PewDiePie has apologized for a video where he appears to mock a deaf TikTok.
The backlash began on Tuesday, July 26 after the controversial YouTuber uploaded a video called "My Dog Cringes at TikTok," in which he reacted to viral TikToks with his dog, Maya. However, PewDiePie's decision to feature a video by creator Scarlet May ended up incurring some pushback from those who believed he was making fun of her.
A big creator and deaf accessibility advocate, May is well known for her super popular Deaf Kardashiansseries and other comedic videos, all of which see her using a combination of her speaking voice and signing in American Sign Language (ASL) with her long acrylic nails. So when PewDiePie used May's recent TikTok storytime about her experience at a fast food drive-thru as joke fodder, people were obviously not happy.
"I'm not listening to this," PewDiePie declared a few seconds into the video. But to make things even worse, he then went on to turn towards his dog to say they had the same "crazy nails," before using Maya's paws to mimic May's signing.
In response, multiple fans came to May's defense on Twitter by accusing him of "making fun of a deaf woman" and being another white man targeting "woc when they have long nails," which caused PewDiePie to reupload the video without May's segment and leave a comment about it being "an honest mistake," as he "had no clue she was deaf."
Not Pewdiepie making fun of a deaf woman??? pic.twitter.com/sugizTcosx— 𝑰𝒄𝒆𝒅 (@Iced_Exponet) July 27, 2022
nobody literally nobody is talking about pewdiepie making fun of a deaf woman in his comments?!? why do white men always shit on woc when they have long nails?? then goes a head to mimic asl.. he cuts out the clip without taking any responsibility— Billlies #1 fan (@kenthota) July 27, 2022
Granted, it didn't take long for the controversy quickly got back to May, who ended up posting her own TikTok about his "unnecessary" video. She then went on to say that while she "wasn't surprised," she was still "frustrated" by such a prominent creator putting us "a million steps back" and speculated that he wouldn't have used her video in the first place if she wasn't signing with her nails.
“But because I have to sign to communicate and have long nails, he stopped the video after two seconds and didn’t even listen to the story, and then after that, proceeded to make fun of me with his dog," she continued before pointing out that PewDiePie just edited the video, rather than apologizing to her directly.
May added, “You don’t get to just mock deaf people who have been struggling for years with people like you and then go about your day."
Watch May's entire response to PewDiePie's apology via TikTok below.
@scarlet_may.1 Replying to @anethepeach we all make mistakes hopefully he learns from this 😊🤟🏽 #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - Scarlet May 🦋
Photo via Getty / John Lamparski
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