We can now add “disgraced YouTube stars” to the list of people more willing to distance themselves from white supremacy than the currently sitting American president, with massively successful Let’s Play-er Felix Kjellberg—a.k.a. PewDiePie—announcing that he’s giving up his beloved Nazi jokes in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. Kjellberg—who lost a Disney partnership earlier this year over his love of oh-so-edgy “ironic” Nazi goofs and salutes—appears to have finally noticed that there are actual, real-as-fuck white supremacists out there in the world right now, and that connecting his personal brand to theirs might not be the smartest business move.
“At this point, I’d really just want to distance myself from all of this,” Kjellberg said in a video posted to his channel today. “I remember back when everything happened in February, I was sort of like, ‘I mean, they’re just jokes. There’s not actual Nazis out there, what are you talking about?’ And then I look at this, and I’m like oh, I see. OK!” And while it’s worth noting that that’s exactly what people have been yelling at PewDiePie ever since he started doubling down on his fun, racist goof-em-ups in response to outside criticism, it’s not like we can fault anybody for having a radical—if belated—perspective shift in the aftermath of the violence in Virginia, which left one liberal protester dead after a participant in the white supremacist rallies hit her with his car.
“Believe it or not, I want nothing to do with these people,” Kjellberg added. “I have no hate in my heart. I only have hate for hateful people.” He then proceeded to lay down the sickest burn of all on the hatemongers of the “alt-right,” declaring them “not even that funny anymore.” ”It’s sort of a dead meme. So, just to make it clear. No more. OK? It’s not me censoring myself, it’s more like, I don’t want to be a part of this. OK? Just want to move on with my life.”
[Note: Kotaku, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]