Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, popularly known as “PewDiePie”, called on his followers to end the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement on Sunday, more than a month after the attacker behind the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand referenced to the movement in his livestream.
“To have my name associated with something so unspeakably vile has affected me in more ways than I’ve let shown,” Kjellberg says in the video. “I just didn’t want to address it right away, and I didn’t want to give the terrorist more attention. I didn’t want to make it about me, because I don’t think it has anything to do with me. To put it plainly, I didn’t want hate to win.”
“But it’s clear to me now the ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’ movement should have ended then.”
The attacker, who live-streamed the shooting, said, “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.” Though the YouTuber had condemned the attack in his tweets earlier, this was the first time he addressed the issue on video.
The “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement evolved out of the YouTuber’s battle with Bollywood music label T-Series, in an effort to be the first YouTube channel to hit 100 million subscribers.
In Sunday’s video, Kjellberg also acknowledged the two viral “diss tracks” he made against T-Series, saying they “were not meant to be taken seriously”. The two videos, “B*tch Lasagna” and “Congratulations”, were subsequently ordered by the Delhi High Court to be removed after they were deemed offensive and racist in nature.
“This negative rhetoric is something I don’t agree with at all, and I want it to stop … and to make it perfectly clear: no, I’m not racist. I don’t support any form of racist comments or hate towards anyone,” Kjellberg said in his latest video.
He added that the two videos would remain blocked in respect to the court order.
Kjellberg ended his video by appealing to his followers that when his channel does reach the 100 million subscribers milestone, he wants to see it in a positive light.
“This movement started out of love and support, so let’s end it with that.”