The world’s top YouTuber, PewDiePie, just apologised for being “a little harsh” after describing his Singapore and Malaysian fans as “crazy”, “hectic” and “scream-ish” in a video posted last year.
The star was mobbed by fans during separate holidays to both countries in 2013 and 2016, and admitted that he felt “hunted”.
He later said it was “huge” the first time he was recognised in Singapore.
Some netizens have defended the star, saying fans went overboard in invading his privacy.
“I guess he just wants to go on a holiday to be a normal person, not someone famous,” one said.
Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg – better known by his handle PewDiePie – has apologised in a video on Saturday (Jan 4) for calling his Singapore and Malaysian fans “crazy”, “hectic” and “scream-ish”.
The social media star – who is famous for being the most-subscribed YouTuber in the world – published a video on Dec 28 last year in which he answered fan questions.
“I hate the fact that people look at me like I’m some sort of attraction. I’m a person, like everyone else, and I want to be treated like a person. I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” he said.
“If you go to countries like Malaysia and Singapore, people are very hectic and scream-ish and crazy, and they lose their minds when they see you,” he added. “I love meeting fans, don’t get me wrong, (but) I also want people to treat me normally as well.”
“I think there is a culture to treat people more than they are, and that annoys me.”
In a vlog on his trip to Singapore in 2013, Kjellberg documented his experience being mobbed by fans running alongside him and photographing his every move.
He later said that screaming fans chased him for selfies as he was sightseeing and waited for him in the lobby of his hotel.
In a second vlog on his anniversary trip to Kuala Lumpur in 2016 with now-wife Marzia Bisognin, Kjellberg said he realised through Twitter that local fans were frantically tracking the couple’s whereabouts through their Instagram uploads.
The star said he was deeply “annoyed” by fans’ actions – including entering his hotel in Kuala Lumpur to search for him – which gave him the feeling of “being hunted”.
In his latest video on Saturday, the YouTuber apologised for the comments and said he appreciated fans’ support in the years his channel was relatively new.
He added that he was only commenting on the difference in behaviour between Scandinavian fans and Asian ones.
“I was being a bit dishonest when I spoke about Singapore, because actually, the first time I got recognised in Singapore, that was a huge thing for me,” he said.
“To see the effect (I had) on fans back then was kinda cool… It was something that I’ve learned I personally don’t enjoy, but I would be lying if I said I hated it when it happened the first time,” he added.
“I’m sorry if I was a little harsh to you, Singapore and Malaysia…. Like, that was fun, I’m not gonna lie. Just to be clear. Sorry!”
‘People do not respect his privacy’, Malaysian netizens admit
While some took offence at Kjellberg’s comments – with one calling him racist toward Malaysians – most netizens accepted the YouTuber’s apology and admitted that fans had gone overboard in invading his privacy.
“The amount of people getting offended is insane,” said Twitter user @crying_orange. “Seen 20 people whip out their phones and all start trying to touch an e-sports player when they got out of their chair.”
Added a Malaysian commenter with the handle @awngkhairunnas.: “We KNOW that we are obnoxious, and would fangirl so hard when we see a mega star like him in real life, and we should be the one to say sorry.“
A third, Sherif Aziz, said: “Great job Malaysians. Now outsiders can definitely see how well we behave. Can’t imagine how BTS felt when they saw how we screamed and such.”
This isn’t the first time Kjellberg has made comments on his Malaysian fans. In a 2019 video, the YouTuber said in passing that Malaysia was “crazy” and that he was “never going back”.
Again, netizens sympathised, with some saying they, too, would be upset if they were not allowed to enjoy a peaceful holiday.
“Some people think it is a good idea to chase them (Kjellberg and Bisognin) while they are supposed to have a quiet, romantic anniversary vacation,” one Reddit user wrote.
“He did say that his privacy (got) invaded during his trip, and what would happen if he did revisit Malaysia? He’d get even more swarmed (with fans) than before,” a second added.
Said a third: “From his recent video, PewDiePie said that he loves Japan mainly because people barely recognise him. I guess he just wants to go on a holiday to be a normal person, not someone famous.”
You can watch Kjellberg’s short apology here: