Last Updated on September 12, 2019
PewDiePie has pulled a planned $50K donation to the leftist Anti-Defamation League after a severe fan backlash online against it.
As part of his 100 million subscriber celebration, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, announced he was donating $50,000 to the ADL, an organisation he said “fights bigotry and prejudice in all its forms.” This was despite the fact that the ADL is anti-free speech, has run numerous other YouTubers off the site, and even targeted PewDiePie himself 2 years ago. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADl, said at the time that some of his videos counted as “hate speech,” and that they were “pleased” that Disney had 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.
As National File reported, many online speculated that Kjellberg was “paying off the internet mafia,” to stop them from targeting him again. His fans were astonished that he could give such a large sum of money to an organisation that had not only hurt him, but had such an overall terrible track record.
WTF @pewdiepie huge ups for the 100 Million but why the FUCK did you donate $50,000 to the ADL. They are a joke agency….remember they classify pepe as a hate symbol?
— TheQuartering (@TheQuartering) September 10, 2019
His fan subreddit was flooded with memes against the ADL, and moderators swiftly attempted to delete them. In a deleted tweet, he said that it “doesn’t make sense to everyone” as to why he would support them.
Pewdiepie statement on the ADL donation https://t.co/eGTYDdCEEx pic.twitter.com/RAzEh7eBJM
— PewDiePie Submissions (@LWIAY_bot) September 11, 2019
On Thursday, PewDiePie uploaded one of his LWIAY (Last Week I Asked You) videos, in which he spent the intro apologising for choosing the ADL for his celebratory donation:
I made the mistake of picking a charity I was advised, rather than picking a charity that I was personally passionate about, which is 100% my fault. Usually when I pick a charity I take my time, I find a charity that I’m really excited about and passionate to donate to. So when I uploaded the video talking about the charity, it was very brief and people could tell something was off.
He explained that he saw it as an “opportunity to put an end” to the claims that he is somehow alt-right, and that after the Christchurch shooter mentioned his name during the attack, he “felt a responsibility to do something about it”:
I’ve struggled to figure out how to do that, but this was not the right way to go about it. I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I also didn’t know a whole lot of things that have surfaced throughout this whole thing about the charity that doesn’t fit at all. So I understand why some people have concerns about it, and these are things that I would have known myself if I had just taken my time.
The endorsement was “very rushed,” he added, and that it no longer would be “genuine” of him to continue with the donation, but that he would donate to another charity and “do it properly” this time.
Some leftists were furious online that he had rowed back on the donation, with some even going so far as to again accuse him of anti-semitism.
Um, is PewDiePie wearing an Iron Cross in his video where he caves to his angry anti-Semitic Fanbase and explains why he is rescinding his donation to a Jewish charity? Gotta hand it to him, that’s a bold move. pic.twitter.com/uVJrrFYHnj
— Dusty Smith (@cultofdusty1) September 12, 2019
.@honey should probably pull their pledge to PewDiePie and hand it straight to the @ADL now.
Just a suggestion. https://t.co/bmLBg07gmg
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) September 12, 2019
It seems as if PewDiePie can have a laugh about the situation, as when the satirical website Hard Drive asked for the $50K themselves, he joked that he had already donated it to “cat ear research.”