Before I begin, I should give full disclosure:
- I am not a subscriber of PewDiePie's. I'm not a big fan of his content, and I don't watch his content that often, if at all.
- I do not condone the use of racial slurs or prejudice based on one's skin color or ethnicity.
Anyway, on to the meat of the article. Recently, while PewDiePie was livestreaming PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, he was caught uttering a racial slur. The video is below
First of all, as I said above, I don't condone the use of racial slurs, and if Pewds had used it casually, then I would have certainly shook my head and walked away. However, after watching the video, it was clear from the context that PewDiePie was aggravated and wasn't thinking straight. On top of that, there was an immediate apology afterwords.
Now, if this was all that happened, then there would be nothing really to say. Some guy said a racial slur in a moment of stress, apologized for it, and everyone moved on. However, I'm sure everyone here can guess that a comment like that simply doesn't slip under the radar of the internet, neither does it slip by the media. In an article by Javy Gwaltney of Game Informer, Sean Vanaman and Campo Santo, the developer and studio behind Firewatch, respectively, have announced on Twitter that they will be taking action against PewDiePie by filing DMCA takedowns of all of his videos which feature their games.
This is the part where I become aggravated, myself. Yes, PewDiePie fucked up, and as one of the most popular content creators on Youtube, he should be held accountable for the things that he says and does. I wouldn't be surprised and I also wouldn't care if he loses ad revenue because of this latest scandal.
However, what makes me mad is the flagrant, open, and proud abuse of Youtube's DMCA flagging system by a professional developer. I don't think Sean Vanaman understands that his copyright claims are completely illegal and unenforceable, and if he does understand this, then what exactly motivated him to pick a fight with a professional youtuber and millionairre who could easily win a legal battle if Sean decided to double down. On top of that, I think PewDiePie realizes and understands that the media hates him now, and that there's simply no point for damage control. Even more so, following his recent battle with the Wall Street Journal, his fanbase is more fanatical than ever.
I can see this ending in one of two ways: One, Sean Vanaman gets a cold, hard slap from reality and learns that his morals don't count for shit when you abuse the legal system, or he gets an even harder slap when PewDiePie hits him with a countersuit when the courts refuse to uphold his copyright strikes. Hell, it could happen different, as well. PewDiePie may actually just get fucked and social justice can applaud at having taken down a youtuber with a titanic fanbase. In the end, however, I'm not really interested in what happens to Pewds. Sean Vanaman's actions have soured whatever opinions I may have had of him, and I sincerely hope that his attempt to abuse an already overabused legal tool will blow up in his face.