As Apple hypes original content, Disney & Google sever ties with popular YouTube star PewDiePieDisney and Google have drawn back their support of "PewDiePie," a leading YouTube star and the centerpiece of the YouTube Red subscription service, after a recent video featured an anti-Semitic joke. The shakeup comes just as Apple has begun teasing two upcoming exclusive programs for Apple Music.
Disney has severed all connections with PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, CNET said on Tuesday. Google's YouTube, meanwhile, has removed his channel from a Google Prefered ads program, and cancelled the second season of "Scare PewDiePie," a show available exclusively to subscribers of the paid subscription service YouTube Red.
A since-deleted video uploaded on Saturday showed Kjellberg laughing as two people held up a banner that said "Death to all Jews." Since August last year he has in fact posted nine videos using Nazi or anti-Semitic references in jokes.
On Sunday he acknowledged that the videos were "ultimately offensive," adding that he doesn't support any "hate-based groups."
While Apple isn't planning to compete directly with YouTube, on Monday Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of Internet and Software Services, teased two shows the company is hoping will draw people into the paid Apple Music subscription service.
The first, "Planet of the Apps," is a reality TV show based on app development with Jessica Alba, Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gary Vaynerchuck.
Joining it will be a spinoff of the "Carpool Karaoke" segments on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," featuring celebrities singing along to music while they're driven around town.
Apple is expected to venture more deeply into original programming, including scripted dramas like "Vital Signs," revolving around rapper and Apple employee Dr. Dre.