During a recent livestream of PewDiePie playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the popular YouTuber exclaimed a racial slur. PewDiePie’s racist remark has sparked some outrage in the gaming community, with developer Campo Santo Games expressing intent to file DMCA takedowns against him for Firewatch and all of its future products.
Developer Sean Vanaman of Campo Santo Games addressed the controversy on Twitter, offering stinging criticism of PewDiePie:
He's worse than a closeted racist: he's a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.
— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
In subsequent posts, Vanaman said that he would be reaching out to other, larger developers to encourage them to cut ties with PewDiePie as well. Furthermore, he acknowledged that it’s possible that his company made money because of PewDiePie’s coverage of Firewatch, and that would be “something for [Campo Santo] to think about.”
Considering PewDiePie’s past behavior, other developers may not need much convincing to file similar DMCA takedowns against his YouTube channel. It would be one thing if this was the first racially-charged controversy PewDiePie was involved in, but as it turns out, this is at least the second in less than a year.
As some may recall, PewDiePie came under harsh criticism for a stunt he pulled about seven months ago where he made anti-Semitic “jokes.” One of PiewDiePie’s supposed jokes consisted of the controversial YouTuber paying two men to hold up a a sign with an anti-Semitic message on it. Following this incident, PewDiePie’s biggest business partnerships dissolved, with YouTube Red cancelling his show and Disney washing its hands of the Swedish YouTube star.
It wasn’t long after this incident that PewDiePie uploaded an apology of sorts to YouTube, but not without trying to defend his actions at the same time. PewDiePie explained that his anti-Semitic actions were done as a joke, and he also accused the mainstream media for taking the stunt out of context to paint him in a worse light. For more evidence of his mistreatment by the media, PewDiePie pointed to reports of his income that have been published over the years, which he felt amounted to a personal attack by The Wall Street Journal.
With this latest incident still fresh in the minds of PewDiePie’s fans, it remains to be seen if he will issue yet another apology or if he will wait to see if it blows over. In any case, PewDiePie seems to be burning a lot of bridges, and considering the wide influence he has, he may want to consider avoiding racist language in the future.