PewDiePie's PUBG Livestream N-Word Controversy

PewDiePie's PUBG Livestream N-Word Controversy

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Updated Sep 07, 2021 at 09:52AM EDT by Keira.

Added Sep 11, 2017 at 12:08PM EDT by Don.

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PewDiePie's PUBG Livestream N-Word Controversy refers to the online backlash towards YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, better known by his YouTube alias PewDiePie, for blurting out the racial slur "nigger" during a livestream of the PlayerUnknown's Battlegounds (PUBG) in mid-September 2017.


On January 5th, 2017, PewDiePie uploaded a video titled “I Won an Award,” in which he jokingly celebrates being ranked #18 in a video titled “100 Most Handsome Faces of 2016,” saying “18 nigga!” (shown below).

On September 10th, 2017, YouTuber Kjellberg broadcast a livestream of himself playing the game PUBG, in which he entered a gunfight on a bridge. After firing at an enemy player, he blurted out the expression "What a fucking nigger" before apologizing and saying "I don't mean that in a bad way" (shown below).


Online Reaction

That day, NeoGAF Forums[1] member chaobreaker submitted a post about the incident. Meanwhile, Twitter user @gentlemushroom[3] posted a tweet speculating that Kjellberg "wouldn't have accidentally said the n word unless he comfortable says it when he's not on camera" (shown below).

amy @gentlemushroom pewdiepie wouldn't have accidentally said the n word unless he comfortably says it when he's not on camera

Also on September 10th, YouTuber Scarce uploaded a video discussing the incident, which received upwards of 890,000 views and 26,000 comments within 24 hours (shown below).

"Heated Gaming Moment"

That day, journalist Ian Miles Cheong defended Kjellberg in a tweet referring to the incident as a "heated gaming moment" (shown below).[2]

Ian Miles Cheong @stillgray Hey, can people stop freaking out over Pewdiepie saying the n-word in a heated gaming moment? Watch, there's gonna be 10 articles about it

Additionally, YouTuber Keemstar posted a video framing Kjellberg's slur as being in the "heat of the moment" (shown below).

Meanwhile, other Twitter users began mocking the "heated gaming moment" defense (shown below). The following day, Redditor cardiff_3 submitted a post asking "What is going on with PewDiePie" to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[7] where it received upwards of 850 points (86% upvoted) within 15 hours.

Firewatch DMCA

Also on September 10th, Sean Vanaman, co-founder of the video game company Campo Santo, tweeted that his company would be filing DMCA takedowns for Kjellberg's videos using footage from the game Firewatch (shown below).[5] That day, a post criticizing Vanaman for a filing "false DMCA claims" was submitted to /r/KotakuInAction,[6] where it received more than 4,300 points (80% upvoted) and 870 comments within 20 hours.

Sean Vanaman vanaman We're filing a DMCA takedown of PewDiePie's Firewatch content and any future Campo Santo games

News Media Coverage

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the controversy, including BBC,[8] Rolling Stone,[9] The Daily Dot[4] and The Guardian.[10]

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 13 total

Recent Images 25 total

Top Comments


>BBC, a major news network, makes an entire video uploaded on their official channel platforming an actual racist trying to segregate literally everyone from black people using the most disingenous argument ever, on a monetized video that was on the Trending videos for a while, thus literally rewarding and promoting racism and associating that with their brand.

>Consequences: Video gets mocked and disliked to oblivion. That is all.

>Pewdiepie, in a fit of rage, accidentally slips a racial slur in some gaming livestream that only a few thousand people actually watched, in a context that does not actually have anything to do with race.

>Consequences: Gets labeled a racist, compared to Nazis (again), abused with an unrelated misuse of a DMCA takedown and media goes bananas (again), media in which, IRONICALLY, BBC is included, and probably more consequences to see.

In this episode of "It's Only Racist When Popular White People Do It"……


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