Disney has severed ties with the world’s highest paid YouTube star PewDiePie over alleged anti-Semitic posts, the media reported on Tuesday.
The decision came after PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, released several videos that contained Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery.
The 27-year-old Swede accepted that the material was offensive, but said he did not support”any kind of hateful attitudes”. Kjellberg is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016.
He was associated with Disney via Maker Studios, a company with a network of YouTube stars, drawing several billions of views per month generating vast income from advertising.
“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” Maker Studios said on Monday.
In one of the controversial videos, Kjellberg paid two Indians through a crowd-sourcing website to hold up a sign which read “Death to all Jews“.
In a response to the criticism, he said he was “trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online” and that people “would say anything for five dollars”.
He said it was “laughable” to suggest he endorsed that message but added that “though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive”.
In other videos, he also showed swastikas drawn by a fan, played the Nazi Party anthem and did a brief Hitler salute all of which he says was done as a joke.
Last year, PewDiePie was temporarily suspended from Twitter after making jokes about the Islamic State terror group.