YouTuber ‘PewDiePie’ Responds to NZ Mass Shooter Who Name-Droppped Him

By Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao is a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
March 15, 2019 Updated: March 15, 2019

One of YouTube’s largest channels, “Pewdiepie” responded on March 15 to his name being dropped during a live stream apparently recorded by the gunman in New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting event, which left 49 people dead.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg—the Swedish YouTuber behind “Pewdiepie”—said he felt appalled after reports detailed how a gunman allegedly said “subscribe to PewDiePie” during a live stream that showed the gunman driving to a mosque, entering it, and shooting randomly at people inside.

The footage was widely circulated on social media.

“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person,” he wrote. “My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Health authorities said an additional 48 people were being treated for gunshot wounds, including young children. The attack was the worst mass shooting New Zealand has seen since 1990. Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll rose to 49 in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

The alleged mastermind of the shooting described himself as an “eco-fascist” in his writings. “I was a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before becoming an eco-fascist,” he wrote, according to reports of his manifesto.

Other YouTuber’s expressed their support for Kjellberg who currently sits on 89.5 million subscribers. Gaming channel “Markiplier” run by YouTuber Mark Fischbach stressed that Kjellberg had no links to the gunman.

“You had nothing to do with this. Full stop. The shooter, who should be forgotten to the ass-end of history, is only trying to create division,” Fischbach wrote in response to Kjellberg’s original post. “Anyone that believes or spreads the message that you were associated with this in any way is doing exactly what the shooter wants.”

Another YouTuber “Roomie” (real name Joel Berghult) lambasted other outlets for reportedly placing the blame on Pewdiepie, rather than the shooter.

“I saw some news outlets trying to pin part of the blame on you – the whole situation is absolutely horrific, and trying to simplify deeper societal problems and use you as a scapegoat will only lead us further from addressing the real problems,” he wrote in response to Kjellberg on Twitter.

In the manifesto, Brenton Tarrant, who is one of four suspects now in custody, credited conservative speaker Candace Owens for spurring his radical beginnings.

He allegedly wrote, “Each time she spoke, I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness. Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes,” according to Business Insider.

Owens, also the communications director for Turning Point USA, rejected any connection to the New Zealand shooter.

“What happened last night in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a tragedy and I echo the sentiment of all Americans, in wishing love and healing for all those impacted,” she said in a statement.

She continued: “That said, any insinuation that black conservatism in the United States has somehow inspired radical Islamophobic white supremacy terror overseas is pointedly absurd. People on both sides of the political aisle—especially the victims—deserve a more honest conversation.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the shootings at the two mosques appear to have been a well-planned “terrorist attack.”

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman was white, blond, and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. The man burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao is a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.