On a recent stream for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, world-famous (arguably the most famous) YouTuber PewDiePie dropped the traditionally racially charged insult after taking fire from an enemy. He said: “What a f**king n****r…sorry but what the fuck”.
After, PewDiePie seemed to indicate he didn’t mean anything by the comment (hence the ‘sorry’), but quickly trailed off.
PewDiePie was playing the incredibly popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at the time, which is a heated game to say the least. You’re dropped into a dog-eat-dog death match and must scavenge and kill to survive.
In the heat of battle, it’s not uncommon to hear any number of offensive words from other players, but when streaming, especially when streaming to an audience as massive as PewDiePie’s one should be mindful of the colorful metaphors used in public.
The Internet and Twittersphere were quick to notice, with many questioning why, exactly, PewDiePie is so popular given his controversial history.
PewDiePie was the center of a controversy regarding perceived anti-semitic slurs after the Wall Street Journal alleged PewDiePie used anti-jewish terminology or made references to Hitler or Nazis on at least nine occasions, resulting in a brand deal with Disney being terminated and his YouTube Red series being cancelled.
In the wake of the Charlottesville, PewDiePie claimed he would lay off Nazi-related jokes.
Some in the gaming-sphere were quick to downplay the controversy:
Time will tell whether this latest controversy causes any long-term harm to PewDiePie’s brand, but you can be assured opinions will be plentiful, ranging from outraged, to outrage at the outrage, to arguments regarding free speech versus hate speech.
In the meantime, Sean Vanaman of Idle Thumbs fame (and one of the developers of the acclaimed Firewatch), has issued a takedown for any Firewatch-related content on PewDiePie’s channel:
Surely the most anticipated release this week will be PewDiePie’s official comment on the matter.
For now, we can look to this video regarding Mr. Pie’s thoughts on the subject at large.