Popular YouTuber and known user of a racial slur Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has apologized for his use of a racial slur. During a “heated” moment in a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds livestream, Kjellberg casually dropped the n-word, setting off both unbridled anger against and a fervent defense of the YouTuber, and of free speech, we guess. Kjellberg is no stranger to controversy, uploading videos with anti-Semitic jokes and later blaming the news media for the resulting outrage.
Kjellberg’s apology comes in the form of a short video, simply titled “My Response.” The online personality tried to display some self-awareness, acknowledging that this is not the first time his (racist) words and (racist) sense of humor has gotten him in trouble (with people who hate racists). He begins by saying that he, too, is offended by YouTubers who use such coarse, racist language, saying, “I always find it extremely immature and stupid. And I hate how I now personally fed into that part of gaming as well.”
“I’m not going to make any excuses for why it did, because there are no excuses for it. I’m disappointed in myself, because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies. And it’s not that I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it. I’m just an idiot. But that doesn’t make what I said, or how I said it okay.”
PewDiePie appears to want to promise that history will not repeat itself—even though history is already repeating itself, as he has apologized for similar incidents before. After the violent demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., Kjellberg promised to end his habit of offensive and controversial humor based on anti-Semitism and Nazis. Kjellberg followed this up the next month by saying “fucking n—er” on a livestream.
Time will tell if Kjellberg will follow up on his apology, or if the community will accept it—the firestorm has already begun, with developers like Campo Santo requesting DMCA takedowns of the YouTuber’s content involving their games. Watch the apology video for yourself below.