Alim Kheraj
Updated Feb 14, 2017 @ 4:45 am
Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

One way that YouTubers make money from the content that they create is through sponsorship deals with brands. However, it seems that Disney has cut ties with PewDiePie after some troubling videos that contained anti-semitic content.

Year after year, PewDiePie, aka 27-year-old Swede Felix Kjellberg, tops the highest-paid YouTubers list. His channel, which focuses on pranks, challenges, and most notably gaming, is one of the popular video streaming site’s most subscribed channels (he has 53 million subscribers), and his videos often gather millions upon millions of views.

Of course, this sort of exposure is super important to brands, but things can often get complicated.

That’s why it’s been reported that Disney is ending its deal with PewDiePie following anti-semitic content in his videos.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the move comes following a video uploaded on January 11th of this year. In the clip, PewDiePie filmed himself “reacting” to two men in India holding up a sign that reads “Death to All Jews.” It later emerged, however, that Kjellberg himself had paid the two men to film themselves hold up the sign, and that it was all for an elaborate “joke.” The two men holding the sign in question have since apologized, claiming that they had no idea what the words meant, and the video was removed from YouTube by PewDiePie himself after he said the joke had gone too far.

In fact, as Vulture report, the YouTube star also had other videos that alluded to Nazism, Hitler, and conveyed anti-semitic messages. Indeed, the WSJ alleges that there are nine videos still active on his channel that contain such messages.

The Wall Street Journal say that they approached Disney for a comment regarding their involvement with PewDiePie, who is linked to their Maker Studios division, with the entertainment giant saying that they’d cut all ties to the content creator.

In a Tumblr post, PewDiePie has since apologized, and said that “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,” he wrote. “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.”

Last year it was reported that PewDiePie made $15 million from his YouTube channel. He has yet to make a comment regarding the termination of his deal with Disney and Maker Studios.