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Disney drops YouTube star PewDiePie accused of anti-Semitism

Disney drops YouTube star PewDiePie accused of anti-Semitism
PewDiePie signs copies of his new book "This Book Loves You" at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 29, 2015 in New York City.John Lamparski/Getty Images
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Disney has cut ties with a YouTube star after a series of anti-Semitic jokes and videos were posted on his channel.

Felix Kjellberg, also known by his online alias PewDiePie, received a backlash from fans and sponsors after posting videos containing Nazi imagery.

The 27-year-old Swede has more than 53 million subscribers on his PewDiePie account.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, nine videos posted on the YouTube page over the last six months included anti-Semitic jokes.

One video featured two men holding a banner which reads “Death to all Jews”, another saw a man dressed as Jesus saying “Hitler did nothing wrong”.

Disney-owned Maker Studios has released a statement saying it is severing its ties with Kjellberg.

“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” it said.

“Disney’s Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”

Kjellberg posted a blog on Sunday about the videos “just to clear some things up”.

He said he was “in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes”.

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He wrote that his video featuring the “Death to all Jews” poster was only made to prove a point about the “crazy” modern world.

Kjellberg said he used the online marketplace Fiverr to pay two men in India $5 to hold the poster and laugh and dance.

“I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online,” he wrote.

“I picked something that seemed absurd to me – that people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars.”

He added: “I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary.

“I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel.

“As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”

YouTube has not removed any of the videos, nor has released any statement regarding the accusations.

Last year, PewDiePie was temporarily banned from YouTube for joking about Islamic State.

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