Pewdiepie Calls For End To The 'Subscribe To Pewdiepie' Meme

Screenshot: Pewdiepie, YouTube

In a video posted today, Pewdiepie asked his fans to stop using the popular “Subscribe To Pewdiepie” slogan, citing events like the Christchurch shooting, where a shooter yelled the slogan before opening firing on Muslims worshipping in New Zealand.

“I think it’s time to end the ‘subscribe to Pewdiepie’ movement, or meme,” Pewdiepie says in the video. He goes on to say that, following the Christchurch shooting, he came to believe, “It’s clear to me the ‘subscribe to Pewdiepie’ movement should have ended then.”

The meme started earlier this year as a way to keep Pewdiepie’s channel as the most subscribed channel on YouTube as another popular YouTuber, T-Series, began to overtake his channel. Pewdiepie says the movement started out positively. His video shows footage of YouTube creators making videos and people buying billboards, playing music, having parades, and doing cheerleading routines in support of his channel.

While he says he was initially moved by these gestures, now he believes the slogan is too closely linked to terrible acts of violence and hate.

Originally Pewdiepie believed the movement and the meme would only last “just a couple of days or maybe a week” and was surprised by the amount of support it received and continued to receive over the last few months.

However, as the meme has continued, it led to some horrendous acts. Pewdiepie mentions an example from earlier this year when a WW2 monument was defaced with graffiti that mentioned the meme.

Pewdiepie states in the video he believes when you have an audience of “over 90 million people, you’re bound to get a few degenerates.” He hoped this graffiti incident would be the end of these more hateful acts inspired by his meme.

“I didn’t want hateful acts to overpower all these amazing things people were doing, all these cool and positive things,” he says.

On March 15, a young man shot and killed 50 people and injured 50 more at local mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooter streamed himself on Facebook and was heard yelling “Subscribe to Pewdiepie!” before he began firing at people.

Later that day Pewdiepie tweeted out a message on Twitter, which seems to have since been deleted, though Forbes has a copy of the tweet.

Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy. - Pewdiepie, March 15 2019

Beyond this tweet, Pewdiepie was mostly silent on the shooting. In the video, he claims that his name being referenced in the shooting “affected me in more ways than I’ve let show” and says he wanted to take his time to respond. He also didn’t want to make the shooting about himself, he says, or “let hate win.”

In the video, Pewdiepie says he disagrees with some who believe that he is racist or that the meme was about racism. The popular YouTuber has faced multiple controversies involving actions with racist overtones, such as paying two men via the freelancer website Fiverr to hold up a sign reading “Death to all Jews” and using the n-word on a stream in 2017. He later apologised for these incidents.

“Some of the media,” he says in today’s video, have made the meme about “race or politics or nationality, and I don’t agree with that at all and I want that to stop...This negative rhetoric is something I don’t agree with at all. To make it perfectly clear, no I’m not racist, no I don’t support any form of racist comments or hate toward anyone.”

“This movement started out of love and support,” he concludes, “so let’s end it with that.”


Comments

    That's just what a nazi would say! Checkmate, Felix!
    (sarcasm)

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    T-Series isn't a "YouTuber" it's essentially India's Vevo. Zero creativity on their end. I know it sound like I'm clutching at straws but it's important to distinguish the difference between the two channels.

    Pewdie bitching about fleas after laying down with dogs. *eyeroll*

      What are you even on about? Like, what you said is worthless without explaining what you mean, so if you wanted to make a 'smart' comment that makes you look like a dick, good job. Otherwise, explain your shit or don't say shit in the first place.

        The dude has acted like his voice didn't carry weight for a long time. He has said and done 'ironic' racist shit and now wonders why actual racists think he's cool.

        I don't think he's an actual Nazi, but he's been acting like none of this stuff matters and hrs finally got the point where he can't deny it anymore. Being racist for a joke is still being racist and some people aren't going to get the joke.

        Great power and great responsibility, etc. He needs to understand that he influences tens of millions of people and has a responsibility to be better.

      I'm not even sure you watched the video. Or read the article.

        They often just read an article by the verge saying "Pewdiepie bad, Pewdiepie is nazi" and make their opinions based on that alone.

          Its Mike & Pokedad. This is what they do.

            You mean where I didn't say "Pewdiepie bad" at all, but talked about how he has been distancing himself from the idea that as a celebrity his actions are subject to greater scrutiny than other peoples' and he has now come to a point where he has to reconcile with it? Because that's what I said. Not only did I not call him a nazi, I specifically said that i don't think he is.

            He's just a dude who says dumb things on the internet because that's what people do. Except in the past celebrities were handled by promotional companies. When they tried to do things that would look bad, someone was there to make sure they keep the brand on track. Celebrity doesn't work like that anymore and this is the result. If you don't have a whole team looking after your image there's a good chance you can make yourself look bad because people slip up and they are watched and judged because they are famous.

            But you seem to downvote me no matter what I post, so I guess that's what you do. Taters gotta tate.

              Being racist for a joke is still being racist and some people aren't going to get the joke.
              Love the hot takes here defending blackface.
              Stay fucking classy.

              I did blackface but I didn't mean it in a bad way I AM IMMUNE FROM CRITICISM
              This is why i downvote you Mr Potato head.

                Because Pewds did racist stuff for a joke and was rightly called an asshole?
                Because blackface is racist?
                Because defending blackface is also racist?
                Because you are a racist?

                You're also a misogynist and generally allergic to nuanced conversation because you're a victim of your own fragile sense of self worth and incredibly reactionary toward anything that might shake it. Mr Potato Head is rad and calling me that isn't an insult, fyi.

                  I just called you that cause of taters gonna tate.
                  But to you everyone who doesnt subscribe to your brain dead ideology and identity politics is a 'something' so i wont lose any sleep what you think i am.

    Better late than never. I'm kind of surprised he didn't try to shut it down around the time people were hacking into unprotected networked printers to advertise his channel. I guess he was okay with some crimes that helped advertise his channel: just not horrific crimes.

      Because hacked printers are not horrifically hateful murderous crimes?

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