PewDiePie Apologizes After Appearing to Mock a Deaf TikToker

YouTuber PewDiePie issued an apology for seemingly mocking Scarlet May, a deaf TikToker, in his reaction video. See his remarks below.

By Tamantha Gunn Jul 28, 2022 2:45 PMTags
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PewDiePie's latest YouTube video has stirred up some controversy. 

On July 26, the Youtuber, who has 111 million subscribers, shared a video titled "My Dog Cringes at TikToks," in which he reacts to viral videos with his pup, Maya.

One of those clips included creator Scarlet May, who is deaf and regularly posts TikToks using both sign language and spoken English to communicate. She often sports long nails as she signs to her 6.2 million followers. 

When PewDiePie saw a video of hers, he cut the clip short. "I'm not listening to this," he said in the YouTube video. "Look, she has your crazy nails, Maya!" 

He then waved both of the dog's paws around, appearing to imitate American Sign Language. PewDiePie added, "Sorry, are my nails distracting you guys?"

The video garnered backlash from viewers, including one person who tweeted, "Pewdiepie isnt ableist, he just wanted to mock a Black woman for millions of viewers for having long fingernails and speaking in her natural dialect! Its ONLY racism."

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Another social media user wrote, "pewdiepie is 32 years old .. at his big, prehistoric age he should know what sign language is & know not to make fun of someone for signing."

Following the wave of criticism, PewDiePie issued an apology.

Karwai Tang/WireImage, TikTok

"Hey, just to clear a few things up: I edited out the clip with the girl that has the long nails," he commented under his YouTube video July 27. "Had no clue she was deaf, but kinda dumb of me to not realize.. Still watching through the clip I only poked fun of her long nails. The voice I did for my dog is the same voice I've given her for years."

He also said that making his dog's paws move "is an ongoing theme in the video," adding, "Anyway honest mistake, my bad."

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