Over the past week, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has taken a large financial hit. After three reporters at the WSJ contacted Disney about the jokes satirizing jews and/or Hitler, Felix’s second season of “Scare PewDiePie” was canceled and Disney has severed ties with Kjellberg.
Felix will be fine (he makes around $15M from youtube yearly), but this public attack will have far reaching consequences that the media has not considered. In the process of their sloppy hit job, they have attempted to tie satirical right wing site The Daily Stormer to PewDiePie, noting TDS’s approval of Kjellberg’s jokes. PewDiePie’s subscriber base on youtube is over 53 million, at the time of this post. If just one percent of his audience is exposed to The Daily Stormer, that’s over half a million of new eyeballs on the site.
What will be the result of this new media narrative? The Daily Stormer will grow, PewDiePie will resent the people telling him what he can’t say and most likely continue to push the envelope, and the media will continue to feed into the cycle as it’s one of the few remaining ways for them to generate clicks. As time progresses, PewDiePie and his audience (of mostly young white males, the core Daily Stormer demographic) will be more radicalized.
Much like when Hitler was first starting out, the only way to win against anti-Semitism is not to play, as any outrage will just boost the transgressive individual’s profile and notoriety. The media has played itself, and the process of mainstreaming anti-Jewish sentiment across the western world has been given even more momentum.