PewDiePie, the Swedish YouTube Celebrity who is the personality behind the most subscribed-to channel on the entire site, paid two men who revealed a “Death to all Jews” sign for him in a video.
In the bizarre video, he stated that he would delete his account when he reaches 50 million subscribers. At the time, he had 49 million.
He was reviewing the website Fiverr, which you can pay someone to reveal a message of one’s choice, though it seems as if he didn’t know that this particular message would be unveiled.
He has since apologised, saying “I don’t feel too proud of this, I’m not going to lie. I’m not anti-Semitic or whatever it’s called. It was a funny meme, and I didn’t think it would work… I swear, I love Jews. I love them”, and the two men in the Fiverr video have also apologised.
This does appear to be a very poor attempt at a joke gone wrong, although the explanation could of course be more sinister. However, the mere fact that PewDiePie has so many millions of subscribers, most of whom are young, and many of whom will be or will have been exposed to antisemitic ideas, particularly in anti-Israel discourse, seeing something like this on the channel of a prominent cultural influencer could have the unfortunate effect of normalising antisemitism. Despite this, his apology is to be welcomed.