PewDiePie has defended paying people to shout "death to all jews" in videos on his YouTube channel.
The YouTuber has been dropped by Disney in the wake of controversy about the posts, which have been said to be anti-semitic. They depict people shouting anti-semitic slogans, apparently after being paid to do so by the YouTuber who has then posted those videos onto his channel.
But Felix Kjellberg, who is known as PewDiePie online, said that he had posted the videos as a way of "trying to show how crazy the modern world is" and that he wasn't endorsing the kind of anti-semitism that his videos were showing. Addressing reports that were "pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement, and my fans are part of it as well for watching", he denied that he was part of any kind of movement.
Instead, he had paid people to send him the videos to see how offensive they would be for money, he wrote. He then shared those videos to show them to his followers.
"This originated from a video I made a couple of weeks ago," he wrote on his Tumblr. "I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars."
"I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes.
"I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.
"As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way."
The YouTuber has come into criticism for videos that he has claimed to have posted jokingly in the past. Late last year he was criticised for a post that joked that he was being punished by YouTube because he was white.
Mr Kjellberg built up a huge following on YouTube, gathering over 53 million subscribers on the site. He used that fame to make an estimated $14 million per year, making him one of the world's best paid personalities, much of which was generated through advertising and sponsorship deals.
PewDiePie being dropped by Disney cuts off a key part of his empire, through the joint venture that he founded with its Maker Studios. The two created a network called Revelmode that created videos as well as merchandise, but that joint venture has now come to an end.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies