YouTube sensation Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has had many successes on the video platform and has be embroiled in as many controversies along the way. The YouTuber rarely gives interviews, but one recent lengthy talk with The New York Times tried to pin down some of the content creator’s political beliefs and his thoughts on incidents he’s been at the center of through the year and even before then. It was successful in some ways by giving PewDiePie an opportunity to speak about his past mistakes and whether or not he could ever leave YouTube completely.
The New York Times spoke to PewDiePie about everything from his early success at YouTube to the times he was branded by some as an anti-Semitic and a white nationalist. PewDiePie had gotten into trouble before for incidents like making offensive jokes on Twitter and YouTube and the near loss of his Maker Studios deal due to his reading of erotic fan fiction centered around Disney’s Frozen.
He would later lose that Maker Studios deal and others anyway after The Wall Street Journal ran an article that highlighted several of his most controversial videos including one where he’d paid two Indian men to hold up a sign that said “Death to All Jews.”
“I spent the day being in this little cottage with no internet,” PewDiePie, who was on a trip during the time the article came out, told The New York Times. “And then I go on Twitter, and there’s J.K. Rowling calling me a fascist, and I’m like: ‘How is this happening? This is crazy.’”
PewDiePie responded by creating the parody news series “Pew News” and his followers went after some of the reporters with messages that were featured by the YouTuber. It got to the point that the reporters were getting multiple death threats, and PewDiePie said now he regrets going after those responsible for the article.
As for his actual politics, PewDiePie reiterated that he’s not a white nationalist nor is he anti-Semitic, but he wouldn’t describe his politics. Instead, he said he was somewhere between a left-wing and right-wing mindset and said he was largely apolitical. The “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme was once shared by the far-right British party the UKIP, though PewDiePie said he didn’t want to be dragged into anyone’s politics. PewDiePie also talked about his “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme in general which he eventually called an end to after a long feud with rival YouTube channel T-Series.
When asked if he would ever consider giving up his YouTube career and abandoning his channel, he joked “Don’t tempt me” before clarifying that he wouldn’t ever really delete his channel.
The full interview with PewDiePie can be found at The New York Times.