YouTube star PewDiePie has apologized for using the N-word online saying that “I’m just an idiot” and that he is “disappointed in himself”.
The world’s most popular YouTuber used the offensive term while live-streaming during a round of popular game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds last week.
The fallout was inevitable and immediate. An online debate quickly sprung up across forums and other social media with fans claiming his words were taken out of context and excusing his behavior, while the wider media were just as quick to condemn him.
PewDewPie, (real name Felix Kjellberg) who has more than 57 million subscribers (57,000,000!!!) said in a short YouTube video posted this Monday titled simply, “My Response.”
“It’s not that I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it, that’s not it at all, I’m just an idiot, but that doesn’t make what I said or how I said it OK,” Kjellberg said. “It was not OK. I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position I am, I should know better … and I owe it to my audience and myself to do better than this.”
In past controversies, Kjellberg, who has found himself forced to apologize, the apologies have often seem half-hearted, at beast, and more often than not, found him defiantly counter-attacking those in the mainstream media who leveled the accusations. In Monday’s video, PewDewPie’s effort seemed heartfelt, and cognizant of the racial connotations associated with the N-word.
“I’m disappointed in myself because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies,” he also said, more than likely referring to a former backlash resulting from a Wall Street Journal investigation that revealed that PewDewPie had often referenced Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic language in the end game of some of his online v-logs.
It’s unclear if there will be any repercussions from YouTube, or at least that will have any real impact or long-term affect of his ardent gamer followers.
Time will tell.