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Google cuts YouTube star's premium advertising links over anti-Semitic imagery

Google has distanced itself from one of the world's biggest YouTube stars over allegations of anti-Semitism.

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has seen premium advertising links cut by the site after several videos posted by the vlogger in recent months were found to contain anti-Semitic imagery and references to Nazism.

The Swede, who has more than 53 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, is reported to have made around 15 million dollars (£12 million) though Google-owned YouTube in 2016.

He said he accepts the material - which included an abusive sign and Nazi imagery - was offensive, but was "in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes".

In response, YouTube said it was cutting some of its ties with the video producer by cancelling a new series of his reality show due to be screened on the platform, and reducing his channel's promotion to advertisers.

"We've decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we're removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred," a YouTube spokeswoman said.

Google Preferred is an aggregated list of YouTube content aimed at potential advertisers.

On Monday, the vlogger's business parter Maker Studios, which is owned by Disney, also dropped the star after the Wall Street Journal raised concerns over some content in his videos.

"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate," Maker Studios said in a statement.

"Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward."

Kjellberg said the aim of his videos is to entertain his followers.

"I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary," he said.

"I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.

"As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don't support these people in any way."