(September 13, 2019 / JNS) Swedish YouTube sensation PewDiePie backtracked on his promise on Thursday, made just two days earlier, to donate $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, calling his initial pledge a “mistake” and not genuine.
“I made the mistake of picking a charity I was advised [to donate to] instead of picking a charity I’m personally passionate about, which is 100 percent my fault,” the YouTuber, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said in a video.
Kjellberg has a history of using racist language and making anti-Semitic jokes. When announcing the ADL donation on Tuesday in a video, he said the contribution “doesn’t make sense to everyone, especially since they’ve outright spoken against me,” but “I think it’s important; this just isn’t my fight anymore.”
Kjellberg said he hoped that the donation would dispel “alt-right claims that [have] been thrown against me.”
He added that specifically after the deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March—in which the attacker urged people during a broadcast of the massacre to “subscribe to PewDiePie”—he felt “the responsibility to do something about it.”
On Thursday, Kjellberg said, “It really doesn’t feel genuine for me to proceed with the donation at this point,” and that he “didn’t know a lot of things that surfaced throughout this whole thing about the charity that doesn’t fit at all. So I understand why people had concerns about it.”
The ADL has not commented on Kjellberg’s withdraw of his donation.
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