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PewDiePie draws backlash online for seeming to mock deaf TikTok user

PewDiePie, a Swedish YouTuber with a massive 111 million subscribers, recently received backlash online after seeming to ridicule a deaf woman in his recent video titled “My Dog Cringes at TikToks..”. The said content was a reaction video of the YouTuber and his dog to viral “cringe” TikTok videos, which happened to include a video of a deaf TikTok creator.

The TikTok creator involved was Scarlet May, who currently has 6.2 million followers. She is known for her delicate nails that she often uncontrollably showcased in her fun-filled “story time” videos, as they were always accompanied by American Sign Language.

In a video she posted last July 18, she shared an entertaining experience in a fast-food drive-thru. Like her usual video, the deaf woman shared it with her viewers while using sign language and with eye-catching long silver acrylic nails.

@scarlet_may.1 she knows .. 👍🏽 #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – Scarlet May 🦋

PewDiePie included Scarlet May’s TikTok video in his reaction video, which he found unbearable to even finish. “I’m not listening to this”, he mockingly said. Not content with that, he held both his dog’s paws and mimicked Scarlet May and her sign language. “Look, she has your crazy nails, Maya (his dog)! Sorry, are my nails distracting you guys?” he said with a modified voice.

The video immediately received various responses on social media platforms condemning the YouTuber’s disrespectful actions.

Screenshot via Twitter
Screenshot via Twitter

At the same time, some users were also defending PewDiePie, saying that the YouTuber was only making fun of Scarlet May’s nails and that people were making an issue out of it by interpreting it as him making fun of the TikTok user for being deaf.

Screenshot via Twitter
Screenshot via Twitter

Scarlet May herself released another TikTok video in response to the case after multiple requests to speak up. “If you made a mistake, admit the mistake,” she said and recounted how her condition was not something to make fun of.

@scarlet_may.1 Replying to @anethepeach we all make mistakes hopefully he learns from this 😊🤟🏽 #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – Scarlet May 🦋

As of writing, PewDiePie had already edited out the contested part of his video and pinned a comment clarifying his side. “Had no clue she was deaf,” he wrote, “but kinda dumb of me to not realize.” He also explained that he only poked fun at her long nails, the modified voice was the same voice he had given his dog for years, and the moving of the dog’s paws was meant to make fun of the unnecessary gestures that he noticed to be common to many. In the last part of the comment, he said, “Anyway, honest mistake, my bad.”


Other POP! stories you might like:

The dark side of YouTube: Content without conscience

The wholesome side of TikTok will make you cry for all the best reasons

YouTube’s first-ever video resurfaces online after it turned 15-years-old

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