YouTube star PewDiePie blasted gaming news outlets for focusing on him and denied claims that he was involved in any wrongdoing after it emerged that Warner Bros. paid a number of YouTubers for promoted videos of their game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor without instructing them to disclose they were paid for those videos.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg and is the biggest YouTube star with over 46 million subscribers, notes that unlike other YouTubers who were involved in the deal, he actually disclosed that his video was a paid promotion. PewDiePie blasted gaming and tech journalists for putting his face and name at the forefront of the coverage due to his status, despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong.
“A lot of YouTubers were involved in this sponsorship. But since my name is the biggest YouTuber, my name is the only one that pops up,” said PewDiePie in a response video.
“Basically what happened was that we weren’t required to disclose,” he explained. “I still did it. Some other YouTubers actually didn’t disclose.”
“All of these news articles are using me as a clickbait, putting my name to shame, when I didn’t even do anything wrong,” PewDiePie charged, listing outlets such as The Verge, Polygon, Recode, and Mashable as having disparaged him to generate clicks for their articles.
“Back then [before 2015], YouTube paid promotion was a bit of a grey area, nevertheless I still disclaimed it,” he further clarified. “Today, I make a verbal mention before the video begins, and the top line of the description mentions it as well.”
Warner Bros. eventually came to an agreement to settle with the FTC for their failure to instruct YouTubers to disclose payments for promoting Shadow of Mordor.
You can watch PewDiePie’s full response video below: