Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie, has said he is “absolutely sickened” to have been mentioned by the suspect in the New Zealand mosque shootings during a livestream of the attacks.
The suspect, who reportedly identified himself a 28-year-old Australian man named Brenton Tarrant, said on a chilling livestream of the massacre, “Remember lads, subscribe to Pewdiepie,” in reference to the hugely popular, but controversial, YouTuber. Kjellberg has already responded to reports about the livestream via his Twitter account.
“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch… I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person,” PewDiePie wrote, while also giving his condolences to the victims and their families.
Forty-nine people are confirmed dead in the two mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Dozens more were also injured in the assault, including children, according to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in what she described as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence” on “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
The coordinated series of terrorist attacks, which the killer claimed to have been planning for the last two years, began at the Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, Christchurch at approximately 1:40pm local time (12:40am GMT). Another shooting took place at the Linwood Islamic Center on Linwood Avenue, roughly two miles away.
The livestream of the massacre, and multiple copies, have since been purged from Facebook, but the video of the attack is still being shared widely online, forcing other social media platforms to respond.
The shooter’s alleged 18-page manifesto reportedly credits Donald Trump and Candace Owens as inspirations for the shooting.
PewDiePie has courted controversy many times for his use of racial slurs while streaming on Twitch. Following one incident in which he used the word ‘n****r’ while streaming, the hashtag #PewdiepieIsOverParty trended worldwide on Twitter.
He was also heavily criticized for paying two men to hold a sign which read: “Death to all jews.” He apologized soon after, saying “I am sorry. I didn’t think they would actually do it. I feel partially responsible.” He has also been rebuked for repeated use of Nazi imagery and jokes in his content, despite his claims that it is purely humorous in nature and his repeated disavowals of anti-Semitism.
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