PewDiePie apologises after sharing 'insensitive' Demi Lovato meme
Ever notice how prolific YouTubers always seem to be apologising for making offensive comments? It's one of the weirder trends on the internet the last few years, but perhaps for those who had the privilege of making millions in their late teens out of being wacky and "out-there" on the internet, it's not that surprising.
One of the biggest names to be so incendiary and provocative in their actions and remarks this year is Logan Paul. If you don't know already, the YouTuber made news some months back when he filmed the body of a recently deceased man in Japan's infamous Aokigahara forest. After uploading the video of the body and his reaction to it, he promptly gave a half-hearted apology, before going back to tasering two dead rats and offending Japan in other ways.
Swedish YouTube star Felix Kjellberg, better known as the shrieking video game 'lets player' PewDiePie, has got into his fair share of controversies in the past, too. In January 2017, he used the n-word during one video, then only a few days later made a video in which he paid two of his fans to display the message "Death to all Jews" on a sign.
In the same video, he apologised for what happened. "I am sorry, I didn't think they would actually do it, I feel partially responsible," he said. "I'm not anti-Semitic, [...] so don't get the wrong idea. It was a funny meme, and I didn't think it would work, okay."
However, within a few weeks, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that over the previous year, he had included anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery in nine different videos. Eventually, the Disney-owned Maker Studios cut its ties with the extremely popular vlogger due to these controversies, hoping to keep their brand away from such negative backlash.
As often happens with these stars, he managed to keep on making a lot of money on other platforms afterwards.
Now, Kjellberg has got into trouble again, this time for poking fun at Demi Lovato. He shared a meme that appeared to make light of the pop star's current situation, after she was rushed to hospital following a suspected overdose on Tuesday. Once he got his fair share of criticism for the tasteless joke, he tweeted out an apology for his actions:
"Deleted meme. I didn't mean anything with it and I didn't fully know about the situation. I realize now it was insensitive, sorry!"
One user took PewDiePie to task for what he said, pointing out that apologies don't really mean anything if there are no attempts to change behaviour afterwards. "You keep apologizing for doing offensive and insensitive things and then continue to do offensive things," the long-time fan wrote, adding, "the situation was blasted all over social media".
According to her representative, Lovato is currently making improvements, and "wants to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support".