PewDiePie Forced To Defend £40,000 Donation To Anti-Hate Group Following Criticism
Felix Kjellberg, better known around the world as PewDiePie, announced in a recent video that he'd be donating $50,000 (£40,000) to the Anti-Defamation League, a 100-year old organisation dedicated to combating anti-Semitsm and securing "justice and fair treatment to all". The popular YouTuber, who recently hit the 100 million follower milestone, explained in his celebratory video that he feels he's "finally come to terms with the responsibility he has a creator."
"As an additional celebration, I'm donating $50,000 to Anti-Defamation League, which is an organisation that fights bigotry and prejudice in all its forms," Kjellberg said in the video, which you can see below.
Unfortunately, it seems that what was intended as a gesture of goodwill has been hit with criticism from a number of Kjellberg's fans, forcing the YouTuber to defend his donation and reassure his audience that his intentions were pure. Some (not all) of his fans, it seems, were especially surprised by the donation, given that the ADL took a public stance against the YouTuber in 2017 following comments that many deemed to be anti-Semitic. The organisation later called him out again in 2018 when they mentioned him specifically in that year's Top 11 Moment Of Hate On Social Media.
This swiftly led to a conspiracy theory posted by a contingent of PewDiePie fans across Twitter, Reddit, and 4Chan that claimed the only reason Kjellberg made the donation to the organisation that had once slammed him was because he was "blackmailed" into doing so by the ADL itself.
For his part, Kjellberg offered a statement in response to these claims on Twitter which made mention of the 2019 Christchurch attack, when the terrorist who livestreamed himself murdering innocent people in a mosque name-dropped PewDiePie. The YouTuber wrote that his "clash with the [mainstream media] was manipulated as a tool for destruction. I'm not okay with this situation any longer and I've felt responsibility to make changes."
"Making a donation to the ADL doesn't make sense to everyone, especially since they've outright spoken against me. I wanted to show publicly that I can move past it and move on. I think that's important. This isn't just my fight anymore."
Kjellberg, who recently shared a series of photos and videos from his wedding and honeymoon last month has stated that he's happier now because he's acknowledged his mistakes, and is trying to learn and grow from them. In his most recent video, he said, "I'm nine years older now. I'm still awkward as fuck, but I finally got confidence in myself. I made a lot of mistakes on the way, but I've grown. I feel like I have, at least."
The Verge has now reported that Kjellberg has now pulled his donation, stating that he didn't really know much about the charity when he announced his plan to donate. In a new video, the YouTuber said, "I made the mistake of picking a charity that I was advised to instead of picking a charity that I'm personally passionate about. Which is 100 percent my fault."
Featured Image Credit: PewDiePie/YouTube