YouTube star PewDiePie announced to his subscribers that he’s leaving the platform early next year.
The vlogger, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, became one of YouTube’s biggest stars after first launching his channel back in 2010. Since then, he has acquired more than 100 million subscribers, and his videos have been viewed more than 24 billion times, making him one of the highest earners on the platform.
In a video that Kjellberg uploaded over the weekend, he told his subscribers that he has decided to take a break from the platform in 2020, claiming that it’s because he’s “feeling very tired.”
However, the rest of the video leading up to his announcement is devoted to decrying YouTube’s new anti-harassment policy. So, I’m willing to bet that Kjellberg’s decision might have more to do with YouTube’s new policy than it does with him being “tired.”
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that PewDiePie views the new YouTube rules negatively, considering how many times he’s found himself in the spotlight for creating controversial content.
His history of racist and anti-Semitic content goes back as far as 2016, which have led to some branding him a Nazi and anti-semite.
Most notably, Kjellberg found himself in serious hot water for paying users on Fiverr to hold up a sign reading “Death to all Jews,” which he then featured on his channel. It was reported that there were also close to ten other videos between late 2016 and early 2017 that included objectionable material, such as racial slurs.
In response, subscribers fled in droves and he was dropped from several lucrative endorsement deals.
Maker Studios, a division of Disney, cut ties with Kjellberg. YouTube also cancelled his show, Scare PewDiePie, and removed the PewDiePie channel from its “Google Preferred” service.
It seems like YouTube users have had enough of his controversial content, too. Most recently in May 2019, he lost his spot as YouTube’s biggest star. His channel had previously been the most-subscribed channel on the platform for more than five years.
As for PewDiePie’s break from YouTube, only time will tell how long he will be gone. He has taken breaks from the platform before, but always seems to return after a brief stint away.