On Monday, Felix Kjellberg – better known as PewDiePie – published a video that ended with a number of recommendations for other YouTube channels. One of those YouTubers is E;R, whose videos often include anti-Semitism and Nazi imagery. PewDiePie specifically shouted out a video that includes footage of a fatal incident at last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in a moment played for laughs.
“We also have E;R,” PewDiePie says, “who does great video essays about – he did one on Death Note, which I really, really enjoyed.” Death Note – the Netflix adaptation of an anime and manga series – is about a notebook that allows you to write down someone’s name and the manner of their death, then see that murder carried out in real-life. In E;R’s video, that becomes a joke about Heather Heyer, a protestor of the Charlottesville rally who was killed by car at the event, including aerial footage of the incident. The man who drove that car was found guilty of first-degree murder only a few days ago.
As The Verge notes, that’s not the only video with hateful and offensive humour on E;R’s channel – it’s just the one PewDiePie recommends. Others include an essay on Steven Universe published two years ago, in which E;R makes comments about the the creator of the series being “a Jew” and contains an unedited speech from Adolf Hitler.
The recommendation brought tens of thousands of new subscribers to E;R. With 76 million subscribers, PewDiePie has the most popular channel on YouTube, and critics fear that his big audience of children will find themselves watching content that’s promoting white supremacist ideals under the guise of humour.
yesterday pewdiepie ended #Subscribetopewdiepie in a video where he promoted some of his favorite channels. one of them was straight up a neo-nazi's yt page where he makes video essays on children's cartoons with added nazi propoganda https://t.co/KBIfpVdfXi
— Hasan Piker (@hasanthehun) December 10, 2018
Last year, PewDiePie was axed from Disney’s Maker Studios after a video where he paid people to hold up signs with messages like “death to all Jews.” He later apologised. Later that year, he landed in hot water again after using a racial slur on stream. He later apologised, one day before almost having another “slip up.” What, if any, apology PewDiePie will offer next is as yet unclear.