YouTuber PewDiePie ‘sickened’ by mention in New Zealand shootings video

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YouTuber PewDiePie has said he is “sickened” that the alleged shooter in the New Zealand mosque attacks said his name during a live-streaming of the shootings.

In the video which suspect Brenton Tarrant shared live on Facebook, a voice is heard saying: “Remember lads… subscribe to PewDiePie.”

The attack on two mosques in Christchurch has left at least 49 people dead.

In response to the video, Mr Kjellberg tweeted: “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 is a Swedish YouTube personality and comedian famous for his video game commentaries and has more than 89 million subscribers on the platform.

The vlogger has recently been engaged in an online battle with Indian music channel T-Series over which channel is the most subscribed to on the site.

As a result, supporters of PewDiePie have taken to posting messages encouraging others to subscribe to his channel, with the phrase “subscribe to PewDiePie” becoming a catchphrase in parts of internet culture and even being used as part of some criminal acts.

A war memorial in the United States was defaced with the message earlier this week, a move Kjellberg called “disgusting”.

Earlier this year, hackers also included the phrase in messages forced onto the screens of hundreds of thousands of Google Chromecast streaming devices they had broken into.

The YouTuber has also been at the centre of controversy on several occasions during his time on the site.

In 2017, he was criticised for using the n-word during a live gaming stream. Immediately after making the comment, aimed at another player in the game, he apologised, saying he “didn’t mean that in a bad way”.

In the same year, he was dropped by Disney after anti-Semitic references were discovered in his videos – including people holding up a sign that read: “Death to all Jews.”

Kjellberg said he was “trying to show how crazy the modern world is” and had paid two men from India through Fiverr, a freelance marketplace, to make the sign.

Chris Price