Last week, the world’s most popular YouTuber said the n-word while live-streaming. Backlash was immediate and while his fans managed to make excuses for him, the YouTuber told his more than 57 million subscribers that he had no excuses for his language. The apology came in a video posted today, titled “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,” Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, said to viewers.
In past controversies, Kjellberg remained defiant in subsequent videos with half-assed apologies book-ended by counter-attacks on media outlets that raised questions on his outbursts. Today, he seems to at least appear to recognize the gravity of how his racist language could affect the future of the online media empire he’s built for himself.
It’s unclear what, if any, repercussions may be exercised by YouTube. Last year, Disney’s Maker Studios parted ways with Kjellberg following a controversy related to his use of anti-Semitic messaging in several videos. Advertisers are unable to pull ads from individual channels, though YouTube has already removed Kjellberg from the site’s preferred advertiser network in response to the previous incident.
“It was something that I said in the heat of the moment, I said the worst word I could possibly think of and it just sort of slipped out, and I’m not going to make any excuses to why it did because there are no excuses for it.”