The Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie vs T-Series YouTube subscriber war just ended. Or did it?
PewDiePie just seemingly conceded defeat to T-Series after the latter overtook him in terms of total subscribers, but not without taking one last jab at his arch rival. Kjellberg has posted yet another music video named “Congratulations” which features multiple accusations against T-Series and its owner Bhushan Kumar, as well as, a few personal confessions.
In the music video, PewDiePie accuses Kumar of multiple immoral acts, also referring to a Times of Indiareport which talks about an ongoing investigation against the owner for “[sic]alleged evasion of huge tax and syphoning off hundreds of crores to foreign countries to purchase properties in the names of his employees.”
Kjellberg also reveals in the video that T-Series had apparently sent him a ‘cease and desist letter’ after his first diss track named “Bitch Lasagna“, which was published on 5 October. The Swedish YouTuber refers to this letter to talk about people who file such ‘cease and desist’ letters to point out a video that is seen as defamatory. Kjellberg states that video’s like ‘Bitch Lasagna’ aren’t defamatory at all.
For those wondering, a ‘cease and desist’ letter is a document sent to an individual or business to stop purportedly illegal activity (“cease”) and not to restart it (“desist”).
As pointed out in a report by The Verge, PewDiePie has dealt with legal complaints against his videos including copyright strikes and takedown requests in the past. The YouTuber has talked about his displeasure with regards to such legal requests before and using “Congratulations” to take a jab at T-Series does come across as something Kjellberg would do.
The Swedish YouTuber has been often slammed by various media outlets for racist jokes and recommendations. Now, PewDiePie, like many YouTubers, incorporates pranks and stunts into his videos. But as a Wall Street Journal report found in 2017, a few of these pranks were anti-Semitic.
In one video, Kjellberg used Fiverr, an app that allows people to pay freelancers $5 to complete tasks, to pay two men in India to dance around with a sign that says “Death to all Jews.” In another video, the YouTuber featured a man dressed as Jesus saying “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Kjellberg also included swastikas and excerpts from Hitler speeches in his video, to seemingly make the video funnier.
Following the Journal report, Kjellberg said in a post on Tumblr that he didn’t support hate groups, saying the videos were meant as “entertainment.” He did eventually apologise but that certainly wasn’t the last time people were offended due to racial slurs in a PewDiePie video, which clearly goes to show that PewDiePie too, certainly isn’t a saint when it comes to controversies.
But the video isn’t an all-out rant against T-Series or all PewDiePie haters. Kjellberg uses “Congratulations” (which has more than 10 million views at the time of writing this), to thank his fans who’ve stuck with him.
An unusually emotional Kjellberg also reflects on his past problems with alcoholism in the video.
“Ever since I was a nobody, screaming at barrels. This is it, it’s been an adventure. It’s the end of the reign of Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg,” he says in the last verse of the song.
As of Monday afternoon, T-Series is the most popular channel on YouTube with nearly 92,120,908 subscribers. Kjellberg’s channel is a close second, with 92,099,251 subscribers.
The ongoing competition between the two channels also happens to be the first time in years that a competitor has overtaken PewDiePie. While ‘Congratulations’ does seemingly appear to be Kjellberg throwing in the towel, the race to 100 million subscribers will still definitely interest both channels, the battle will never end.