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PewDiePie calls for an end to his subscribe meme after hateful use

The YouTuber said he doesn't want to be associated with "unspeakably vile" acts.

PewDiePie slammed the "degenerates" who've referenced the meme suggesting people subscribe to his channel.
PewDiePie/Screenshot by CNET

PewDiePie released a video seeking the end of the "Subscribe to PewDiePie" movement after it took a negative turn.

The Swedish YouTuber, also known as Felix Kjellberg, posted a video Sunday acknowledging how the meme pushing people to subscribe to his channel went off the rails. Until recently, his channel was the video-hosting site's most popular, with more than 95 million subscribers. The meme was designed to keep it at the top.

"When you have 90 million people riled up about something, you're bound to get a few degenerates," he said, in reference to the meme's move into nationalistic territory earlier this year.

In January, Pro-Brexit British party UKIP called on people to subscribe to PewDiePie and some of his fans defaced a World War II memorial in New York in March.

Things took a particularly dark turn when the gunman in the New Zealand mass shooting referenced the meme in a video that was designed to go viral.

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"To have my name associated with something so unspeakably vile has affected me in more ways than I might have shown," he said. "But it's clear to me now the 'Subscribe to PewDiePie' movement should have ended then."

The video follows an alleged reference to PewDiePie from the suspected shooter in Saturday's San Diego synagogue attack, as noted by The New York Times.

PewDiePie -- who initially rose to popularity for his game commentaries -- suffered backlash in 2017 after posting anti-Semitic videos, losing deals with Disney and YouTube. After apologizing, he posted a video about killing Hitler in a video game.