In his 100 million subscriber video, PewDiePie announced he was donating $50,000 to the ADL, an organisation that claimed he “widely disseminated” hate speech.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, recently celebrated reaching the 100 million subscriber mark, making him the first solo YouTuber to do so – the Indian music channel, T-Series, had already reached that point after their widely-publicised “subscriber war.”
In his video celebrating the milestone, and unboxing the custom award that YouTube sent him, Kjellberg said that “as an additional celebration, I’m donating $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, which is an organisation that fights bigotry and prejudice in all its forms.”
This is despite the fact that the ADL have had PewDiePie on their hitlist for years. In 2017, Jonathan Greenblat, CEO of the ADL, had said some of his videos counted as “hate speech,” and that they were “pleased” when Disney severed ties with him:
PewDiePie’s effort to defend it as an attempt to be funny falls flat. PewDiePie is entitled to his views, but neither Disney nor any other company has any obligation to support his wide dissemination of hate speech.
The ADL were also responsible for the recent removal of many conservative YouTube channels. On August 15th, they released a hitlist of channels they wanted removed, including James Allsup, Faith Goldy, and The Red Elephants. Goldy’s channel remains online, but the other two were since removed. Speaking to National File, Allsup named the ADL as a key reason why his channel was taken down by YouTube:
I have been targeted by the ADL, which listed me on a hit list of channels they wanted banned. Their operatives have been publicly calling for me to be banned. Today they got their wish… I was banned from Instagram and Facebook, and now YouTube, because the left isn’t interested in the debate… They aren’t interested in truth. They want to paint me, and by extension you, with an ‘evil’ brush- they want you to be a caricature they can easily demonize… When you’re a normal person with nonthreatening ideas and a happy family, that’s very inconvenient for their character assassination.”
Goldy told National File that the ADL were doing this to stop the re-election of President Trump. “They’re playing right-wing whack-a-mole with our socials,” she explained.
Some have speculated that PewDiePie is trying to pay off the ADL (the internet mafia) in the hopes that this will appease them, and stop them from focusing on his channel again. This is, of course, a fools errand. If he ever says something that is interpreted as remotely charitable to the right, or just the cause of free speech again, he will once again be “cancelled,” and no amount of money will stop that from happening.