YouTube star PewDiePie, who has millions of social media followers, said he was "sickened" Friday to hear his name come out of the mouth of a suspected New Zealand gunman allegedly involved in a massacre at two mosques that killed at least 49 people.
Taking to Twitter, the gamer, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said he had "just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy."
Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) March 15, 2019
I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.
The suspect, who livestreamed the carnage via a remote camera strapped to his head, was heard saying "Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie."
The remark refers to a meme used by fans to boost the popularity of PewDiePie's channel so he remains the most-followed person on YouTube, where he has 89 million subscribers.
The Swedish commentator/comedian/gamer/celebrity has his own history of controversy. He has been severely criticized for making nationalistic and anti-Semitic comments. In 2017, a recording surfaced of him using the N-word while playing a game. In 2018, he gave a shoutout to a channel that often contains anti-Semitic and homophobic language.
He later said he intended no offense, and has either apologized or attempted to clarify his comments, saying he doesn't condone hate.
The shooting suspect has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court Saturday.