While Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie is no stranger to controversy or causing headlines, he's in some hot water in one country over his latest video. PewDiePie is widely considered to be the most successful solo YouTuber in the world, with more than 101 million subscribers on his eponymous channel.
But, his view count might be about to take a huge hit after he's allegedly been banned in the most populous country in the world.
Why was PewDiePie banned in China? What the YouTuber said in his latest video about the country's leader, and what exactly this ban entails.
Why was PewDiePie banned in China?
PewDiePie posted a video on Oct. 16 entitled "Hong Kong vs. Joker Fortnite [Meme Review]". In the video, he discussed how South Park was banned in China after the show compared its president, Xi Jinping, to looking like Winnie the Pooh. The show was then banned in China, and the video focused on memes surrounding the "Free Hong Kong" movement.
Because the video was a meme breakdown, PewDiePie then showed the meme that was made in reaction to the South Park controversy.
"I mean the resemblance is uncanny," PewDiePie said about the meme, which showed the animated character next to President Xi. He made further jokes about censorship in China.
"You cannot forget the freedom you have, living in society," the YouTuber then went on to say in the video.
"I feel like this is how war stars," PewDiePie said. "If everyone is on board that this giant nation's leader is an enemy, and unanimously hated, this is how it starts."
The video certainly caused some controversy, and PewDiePie took to his channel on Oct. 19 to discuss how he's been banned.
"Well boys, we did it," he started out in the video. "I'm banned from China. That's right." He then discussed why he thinks he's been censored in China.
"After I spoke out about the Hong Kong protests, and showed their leader being mocked as looking like Winnie the Pooh, I got banned from China," he continued. "Now, if you search anything PewDiePie related on any Reddit-related forum in China or YouTube related videos, it will just be completely blank."
Does PewDiePie regret making the video?
If PewDiePie is concerned about his views or subscriber list decreasing as a result of this ban, he's certainly not showing it. In the Oct. 19 video, he went on to say that he had expected the censorship after making the comments in his initial video. He also claimed that German DJ Zedd had also gotten banned in China after liking a South Park tweet about the Winnie the Pooh comparisons.
"I'm sorry if you are in China and try to watch my videos. That kind of sucks," PewDiePie said, in the closest statement to an apology in the video. "Like, I knew it was going to happen. The music artist Zedd got banned in China just because he liked a South Park tweet. So, obviously, me talking about the Hong Kong memes was going to get me banned."
While many of PewDiePie's videos average in around 4.5 to 5 million views, his "Banned from China" video has already racked in more than 6 million views. Watch his response to the alleged censorship below.