Disney has decided to cut ties with PewDiePie over allegations of anti-Semitism.
PewDiePie is the world’s highest paid YouTube star.
The decision came after several videos PewDiePie released over the past few months were found to contain Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, accepted the material was offensive, but said he did not support “any kind of hateful attitudes”.
He is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016.
Image source Wikimedia
The 27-year-old Swede has been 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.
Maker Studios said: “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.”
In one of the controversial videos, Felix 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, PewDiePie 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”.
PewDiePie 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 PewDiePie 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.
In 2016, PewDiePie was temporarily suspended from Twitter after making jokes about ISIS.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been heavily criticized by the US, Israel and the UN for branding Zionism a “crime against humanity”.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a UN forum this week: “As with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crime against humanity.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu called the comments “dark and mendacious”.
New US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to raise the issue when he meets Turkey’s leaders on Friday.
John Kerry is in Ankara for talks on the crisis in Syria.
But his visit has been overshadowed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments, comparing Zionism with fascism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, at a meeting of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna earlier this week.
His words drew strong condemnation from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which called them “a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world”.
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been heavily criticized by the US, Israel and the UN for branding Zionism a crime against humanity
In the US, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said “the characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity… is offensive and wrong”.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s office said he heard Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech through an interpreter, and called it “unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership”.
Relations between Israel and Turkey have deteriorated since May 2010 when nine Turkish activists aboard a flotilla of aid ships trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza were killed in clashes with Israeli troops.
Family Guy comedian Seth MacFarlane found himself at the centre of more scandal on Monday in the wake of his controversial hosting of Oscars 2013.
Seth MacFarlane caused outrage among viewers when his Ted alter-ego took to the stage at Sunday night’s ceremony with Mark Wahlberg, and told his co-star that if he “wants to work in this town” he’s got to be Jewish.
His Ted then added to Mark Wahlberg: “I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever.”
But the gags, which came as the pair presented the award for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, weren’t received well by many Jewish rights groups, with the comedian labeled “offensive, unfunny and inappropriate”.
Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement: “While we have come to expect inappropriate <<Jews control Hollywood>> jokes from Seth MacFarlane, what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny.
“It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs.”
The League’s Founder and Dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, added: “The Oscars are transmitted to every corner of the globe, even to such places where such hateful myths are believed as fact.
“Every comedian is entitled to wide latitude, but no one should get a free pass for helping to promote anti-Semitism.”
The statement continued with the League accusing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of failing to show “greater sensitivity” by allowing the sketch to be aired during the show.
Seth MacFarlane divided opinion with many of his jokes, which saw him take mock Adele’s weight and Chris Brown and Rihanna’s relationship, as well as a sketch which was deemed racist after the comedian used a colored sock to illustrated Denzel Washington.
However, a spokeperson for the Academy said in a statement of Seth MacFarlane’s hosting: “If the Oscars are about anything, they’re about creative freedom.
“We think the show’s producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and host Seth MacFarlane, did a great job, and we hope our worldwide audience found the show entertaining.”
If Seth MacFarlane’s success is to be judged by the ratings of the show, then controversy rules.
The 85th Oscars cracked 40 million viewers for the first time since 2010 – pulling 40.3 million viewers on ABC, an overall increase of 3% from 2012’s telecast hosted by veteran master of ceremonies Billy Crystal, which drew 39.3 million viewers.
Even better, viewership rose 11% in the important 18-49 demographic with a 13.0 rating over the 2012 show’s 11.7 rating in the same category
However, the show failed to top the 2004 Oscar’s audience of 43.5 million viewers who tuned in to watch Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King take Best Picture.
Despite the success of the show, Seth MacFarlane said on Tuesday that he would not return to host another show.
Retweeting a message from another website asking him if he would reprise his presenting role, Seth MacFarlane replied: “No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though.”
According to the comedian’s sister, Seth MacFarlane had to be reassured at length by his family that things went well after the ceremony.
Speaking on Access Hollywood Live, Seth MacFarlane’s sister Rachael explained: “He’s incredibly, incredibly critical of himself. So we were saying, <<You were fantastic, it was amazing>>. He said, <<I’m always going to find something>>.”
Fashion designer John Galliano, who was convicted last year of making anti-Semitic remarks, has been stripped of France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur.
The decision was published in a decree signed by French President Francois Hollande and published in the country’s official journal.
John Galliano lost his job as artistic director of fashion house Dior over the comments made in a Paris bar.
British fashion designer blamed his outbursts on addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Fashion designer John Galliano, who was convicted last year of making anti-Semitic remarks, has been stripped of France's prestigious Legion d'Honneur
John Galliano, who had been charged with “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity”, was given suspended fines totaling 6,000 euros ($7,500) over the incident.
The fines related to incidents on the evenings of 8 October 2010 and 24 February 2011 at La Perle cafe in the Marais district of the capital.
During the trial, the court heard how, during the February incident, John Galliano harangued museum curator Geraldine Bloch about being Jewish and hurled racist insults at her friend – of South Asian origin – before police came to break up the argument.
In a third incident, the court saw an amateur video of John Galliano, while drunk, declaring a love for Hitler.
Since the conviction, John Galliano has kept a low profile. Media reports suggest he is considering moving to Los Angeles.
The Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, is given to those who have served France or the ideals it upholds.
John Galliano took over the creative helm of Dior in 1996 and won British Fashion Designer of the Year on four occasions.
Far-right Austrian politician Heinz-Christian Strache has caused anger after posting a cartoon on Facebook, likened to anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda.
Heinz-Christian Strache posted a caricature of a banker with a hooked nose, wearing Star of David cufflinks.
Austrian Jewish leader Oskar Deutsch likened it to images used by the Nazis in the 1930s.
Heinz-Christian Strache, who leads the Freedom Party, has denied he was being anti-Semitic.
Heinz-Christian Strache posted a caricature of a banker with a hooked nose, wearing Star of David cufflinks
The cartoon was posted on Saturday, accompanied by a comment from Heinz-Christian Strache decrying “EU banking speculators” for taking tax money from Austrians.
On Sunday Heinz-Christian Strache posted a second version, labelled in English. The Star of David emblems had been removed from the banker’s cufflinks and the shape of his nose had also been changed.
Both images show another figure labelled “The Government” pouring a drink for the banker, while a third, poorly clothed and thin figure labelled “The People”, sits opposite the banker with a bone on his plate.
“It is not a coincidence that a caricature of Jews, similar to the ones in <<Der Stuermer>> in the 1930s and 1940s, appeared on the Facebook page of Freedom Party leader Mr. Strache,” Oskar Deutsch said, referring to a newspaper published by the Nazis.
Austrian politicians from both centre-left and conservative parties have condemned the cartoon.
The conservative People’s Party called on the Freedom Party (FPO) to address “the incendiary and discriminating tones within the party itself”.
A lawyer in Vienna has also said he will sue the FPO for holocaust denial, which is illegal in Austria.
Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPO have frequently faced accusations of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
On Sunday Heinz-Christian Strache responded to the backlash with a further comment on Facebook saying he did not tolerate anti-Semitism and insisted that he was highlighting his scorn for “the caste of greedy bankers”.
Madonna was today threatened with legal action and accused of being an ageing self-publicist after she depicted Marine Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, as a Nazi during a concert in Israel.
An image of Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead appeared on a giant screen at the singer’s concert in Tel Aviv, Israel on Thursday.
Marine Le Pen has threatened to sue Madonna if she repeats the stunt when her tour reaches France in July.
The politician said: “We understand how old singers who need to get people talking about them go to such extremes.”
Asked if she was likely to sue, Marine Le Pen, 43, said: “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting.”
Madonna, who will turn 54 in August, is due in France next month, when she will appear at the Stade de France in Paris and then in Nice on the Riviera.
Madonna was today threatened with legal action and accused of being an ageing self-publicist after she depicted Marine Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, as a Nazi during a concert in Israel
Other sources in the National Front, which has frequently been linked with anti-Semitism and racism, said Madonna had offended all of its members.
“We are not a Nazi party, and object to being depicted as such,” said a source in the party, which won a fifth of the popular vote during the first round of presidential elections in April.
“If you accuse the National Front of being anti-Semitic and racist then you accuse a fifth of the French people of being anti-Semitic and racist.
“If Madonna repeats this slur in France then she will certainly be taken to court.”
Wallerand de Saint-Just, the National Front’s lawyer, confirmed he was looking into the possibility of legal action.
Marine Le Pen pledged to reform the party after taking over the leadership from her notorious father, Jean-Marie Le Pen last year.
He is a convicted racist and anti-Semite who has in the past denied that the Nazi Holocaust actually took place during World War II.
Despite this, Jean-Marie Le Pen came runner-up in the French presidential election in 2002, proving that he had widespread support.
Marine Le Pen has toned down the party’s extremist views, but regularly pledges to limit Muslim immigration, and to clamp down on Islamic culture in France.
Madonna’s depiction of Marine Le Pen appeared as she performed her song Nobody Knows Me in Tel Aviv last Thursday.
Madonna is well known for her provocative acts, and is currently dating a Frenchman called Brahim Zaibat who has a North African Muslim immigrant background.
Marine Le Pen won just under 18% of votes in the presidential election and is currently standing to become an MP in France’s National Assembly.