Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg aka PewDiePie, the Swedish YouTuber with over 100 million subscribers, who is living a quaint life in Japan has found himself in the spotlight yet again, this time for all the wrong reasons. In his recently-uploaded video titled “My Dog Cringes at TikToks.." Felix can be seen making his pug copy the mannerisms of a TikTok content creator as he does the voice.
While, the particular bit seemed pretty harmless on the surface, with the YouTuber presumably mocking the long fingernails of the TikToker, it was later learned that the person on the other side of the screen was actually hard of hearing.
In no time, a chopped clip of Felix’s YouTube video made its way to the microblogging site Twitter where people expressed their displeasure over the “tone-deaf" and “insensitive" show put up by the YouTuber.
Pewdiepie isnt ableist, he just wanted to mock a Black woman for millions of viewers for having long fingernails and speaking in her natural dialect! Its ONLY racism.— Steven Underwood (@blaqueword) July 27, 2022
This woman deserves an apology from PewDiePie. Deaf people have had to endure ableism and mockery all throughout their lives. If you defend him when he's clearly in the wrong, YOU'RE part of the problem. https://t.co/ttVvsSIeov— Queen Pinksweets ⚜️ Gave birth to Vernon's twins (@QueenPinksweets) July 28, 2022
Pewdiepie is the human embodiment of as long as you’re extremely popular you can get away with anything— Hunni Bee (@Clichefairy) July 27, 2022
Pewdiepie mocked a young deaf woman's voice and long nails while using his dog's paws to mock her using sign language. We have to stop giving insipid jackasses large platforms to bully people.— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) July 27, 2022
While some wondered if the outrage was unwarranted.
Pewdiepie is under fire for making fun of a girls nails and literally nothing else? Twitter really be setting the bar low for cancelation these days lmao— The Act Man (@TheActMan_YT) July 28, 2022
if y’all think pewdiepie was mocking that girl for speaking ASL y’all wrong lmao he was making fun of her nails indicating his dog has long nails too mfs try to start drama with anything little crumb they can leech onto desperate asf fr— wavy (@trippydood) July 27, 2022
Pewdiepie: Her nails are gross and longTwitter: So you hate deaf people now too?— Shin Common Writer (@RileyMo23340515) July 27, 2022
wait pewdiepie makes fun of someones nails and you guys make it about dissabilty and race?— gravity (@gaaavity) July 27, 2022
Perhaps barraged with notifications of her being featured in a Felix video, the content creator responded by saying that while she was weirded out and found it really frustrating, she wasn’t surprised.
Stating further that she was trying to normalise having big nails while signing in the deaf community, reaction videos from big creators such as Felix did hurt. Giving the benefit of the doubt to Felix while noting that the YouTuber may already have been aware during or after uploading the video, she concluded by saying that we all need to “live and learn."
Felix, on the other hand, responded to the outrage by editing out the segment in question and left a note under his video that read:
“Hey, just to clear a few things up: I edited out the clip with the girl that has the long nails. Had no clue she was deaf, but kinda dumb of me to not realize.. Still watching through the clip I only poked fun of her long nails. The voice I did for my dog is the same voice I’ve given her for years. (edit: ..and making my dog’s paws move was poking at people always dancing or doing some move on tiktok, which is an ongoing theme in the whole video). Anyway honest mistake, my bad."