Felix Kjellberg has done a lot of incredible work for charities, both in raising awareness, raising funds, and donating his own money. Unfortunately, if you’ve only heard about him from the recent storm of headlines from big media outlets who are intentionally misleading their readers, you’d think he was literally Hitler.
PewDiePie has always been a polarizing figure on Youtube, even before all of this recent nonsense. There’s something special about a guy who can sit in front of his computer each day and reach many more engaged viewers than most mainstream media outlets. If news channels were pulling the same kind of viewership as PewDiePie, they’d be over the moon. And he’s doing it by himself, alone in a room, without thousands of staff members.
Based on how certain outlets have been reacting to PewDiePie, it seems like it’s a mixture of jealousy, fear, and frankly trying to capitalize on his stardom with some clicks so they can try to ride the gravy train (Fraghero’s been guilty of doing it too).
He’s done A LOT:
They’re all playing the same game, that’s why there’s tons of coverage about PewDiePie’s “downfall” lately, but only whispers about the countless positive things he has done.
It’s not like outlets haven’t covered his charitable contributions in the past, but the tone definitely changed once he started being more critical of the media, and the way they have been covering him.
The recent character assassination on PewDiePie begs the question…
Where does raising millions of dollars in cash for great charities measure up compared to making a few off-color jokes, that were taken very out of context, and then apologizing for it and accepting the consequences? Both of those things are aspects of the PewDiePie character. If you had a magic switch and you could rid the world of PewDiePie’s jokes, and his charitable contributions, you’d be a monster if you flipped it.
We want to tell the other side of the story, that there’s more to PewDiePie than a few Nazi jokes that didn’t land. By rounding up PewDiePie’s great contributions in one place, maybe we can make life a little easier for the journalists who have time to watch through over 3000 videos, but no time to point out any of the great work they witnessed in the process of looking for anything even remotely offensive to try to take out of context to use against him.
First things first, let’s make something clear. PewDiePie made some offensive jokes, a few people were offended, he had to pay consequences for that by losing deals with big corporations.
The thing is, he doesn’t need these big companies. He built this himself, just a guy at a computer, so he’s not beholden to anyone. As long as he’s following Youtube’s policies, he doesn’t have to answer to “the man”. That’s a terrifying thought for media companies who have poured billions of dollars into trying to reach people and influence them, for this kid from Sweden to be able to reach MANY more.
During last year’s media storm around the hit-piece on PewDiePie put together by 3 journalists, nobody really wanted to talk about PewDiePie as a whole, all they wanted was to circle the vultures around these short out-of-context clips with very hyperbolic and misleading headlines, as if their wild conspiracy theories about PewDiePie were actual facts.
The Journalists also failed to mention how Pewds was sorry for the jokes he made, how he didn’t expect the two Indian guys to actually do it (hold up a sign reading “Death of All Jews”) and then say “Subscribe to Keemstar”, and when they did, he actually felt bad about it. When Fiverr banned their accounts, he donated money so they can setup their own website, and also requested Fiverr to unban them as it was his fault and not theirs.
Fiverr ended up unbanning both the accounts that were banned as a result of being used by PDP to make distasteful jokes. None of these things matter as it’ll make Pewds look a lot less evil, and that wouldn’t sell a story like portraying him as a big evil monster would.
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PewDiePie has added a chapter into a very important, centuries-long dialogue about freedom of speech and what that really means. You’re free to say what you want, but sometimes there will be consequences. In many articles prior to the recent controversy, the media tries to portray him as this greedy guy who is only after money.
Jealously shines through whenever they bring this up. He’s a very generous guy and if he only cared about money then he would try to be a lot more brand-friendly for corporate sponsors. He could be milking this for a lot more money if he wanted to, but he isn’t.
PewDiePie has raised and given MILLIONS of dollars to charity. Here’s a look at some of the bigger campaigns he’s funded, supported, or created.
We can’t possibly put a value on the awareness he’s raised for these charities beyond the initial campaigns, but his older videos still get views and certainly some of those viewers will also contribute after being inspired by these charitable actions.
1. Charity: Water
“We’re all just kids who grew up (kind of). Can you imagine if you never got that chance? Save the Children is an awesome charity that has helped more than 125 million children around the world providing everything from school books to food to blankets and shelter.”
Over 4 years ago, he started a Charity: Water campaign with a goal of raising $250,000. He smashed past that goal along with his supporters, and they were able to collect $450 to bring water to people who desperately need clean drinking water. Here’s a list of the specific communities who were impacted by Felix and his fans contributions to this charity.
He has continued to raise awareness and money for Charity: Water long after the initial campaign…
2. Save The Children
PewDiePie started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for Save The Children, and used his celebrity to offer up prizes in exchange for donations. For $25 you’d get a custom email from him, for $1000 you’d get a signed pair of headphones, for $100 he’d give you a shoutout on Twitter, and for $50k he’d go and hang out at your corporate office for a day (and 2 of those were claimed, so he was able to give two days of his time in order to raise 100k for a charity he cares about.)
Most recently, PewDiePie and some of his Youtuber friends raised 1.3 million dollars for (Red), an organization that fights AIDS.
4. Apple Games For (Red)
He also participated in Apple’s Games for (Red) program, where proceeds from his Tuber Simulator app were donated.
5. Ellen’s Gaming Charity
PewDiePie, and many other top Youtubers, teamed up with Ellen for a gaming charity with the goal of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.
6. Humble Bundle and Crisis Text Line
PewDiePie’s network, Revelmode, had also teamed up with the Crisis Text Line, to provide support via text message to people in need of someone to talk to or who just aren’t sure what to do in a bad situation. They partnered with Humble Bundle to raise money for the text line.
We can measure the money that’s publicly visible in these crowdfunding campaigns and fundraisers, but we can’t account for any private donations he may make. Also, we can’t account for the awareness and butterfly effects created every time someone sees one of the videos about charity and is inspired to be more giving. Even with those X factors out of the picture, we’re looking at millions of dollars.
The biggest contributions to the world that Felix has made FAR outweigh his worst contributions. You can look at a person as a whole, a few jokes that didn’t land properly are a small price to pay for the millions of dollars in cash, and the immeasurable awareness he has given to important causes.
We’re taking about literally saving people’s lives and giving futures to children who may otherwise be in a hopeless situation, giving clean water to people who desperately need it, giving his time and energy to many great causes, versus a few bad jokes that were taken out of context by journalists with agendas to mislead and manipulate their readers.
The “hater” mentality is to see someone who is successful, and to want to attack them. Now, add in the fact that there’s money to be made by attacking him (Remember that paywall?), and people trying to make names for themselves, quotas that need to be met as editors breath down their necks to get more clicks, and it all gets really weird.
Reporters from the same outlet that spent countless hours looking over his videos, contacting Disney and other companies he worked with to try to ruin his career, and publishing a very disingenuous hit piece actually showed up, uninvited and unannounced, at PewDiePie’s personal residence offering him “A platform to defend himself.” He already has one of the biggest platforms on the planet to do that.
If anything, he’s the one who could offer THEM a platform to defend themselves and to try to earn back some modicum of trust and integrity.
7. PDP turns T-Series ‘War’ into charity event
As the subscriber war between Pewds and T-Series hit full meme mode, fans began to twist the battle into more of a race war. After seeing an increase in racist tweets towards the Indian YouTube channel, PewDiePie launched yet another charity campaign – this time to help children in India.
We raised $239’000 in just a day for @CRYINDIA
This will make a big positive impact for children in India!
So proud of this community! pic.twitter.com/xkAMa0tRFA
— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) December 4, 2018
The fundraiser’s page talks about the charity in question, CRY, stating:
“CRY’s strategies involve:
Identifying the root causes which force families and communities to allow children to be engaged in labour.
“Addressing these underlying issues by interacting with parents, community leaders and children’s collective.
“Empowering communities to demand for employment schemes, food security and access to all government provisions.”
The campaign ended with a huge £179,207 of its £150,000 goal. This time, in just 16 days.
Seriously, what would we do without PewDiePie?!
Edited by Lara Jackson.