TikTok star Scarlet May has responded after YouTuber PewDiePie was accused of ‘mocking’ one of her videos and her use of sign language.
Scarlet, who has a following of more than six million on TikTok, is deaf, and uses sign language in her videos, often while wearing long nails.
Reacting to one of Scarlet’s TikToks in a video on his YouTube channel, in which he also reacted to multiple different clips from different creators, PewDiePie – real name Felix Kjellberg – said: ‘No, I’m not listening to this.’
Talking to his pet pug, he went on: ‘She has your crazy nails, Maya,’ before using Maya’s paws, seemingly to mimic Scarlet’s use of sign language, and saying: ‘Sorry, are my nails distracting you guys?’
The YouTuber faced backlash for his comments, with some accusing him of mocking Scarlet, her deafness, and her use of sign language. However, addressing his comments, Felix insisted he only ‘poked fun’ at her long nails and described it as an ‘honest mistake’, with some fans backing him.
Scarlet responded, saying in a new video: ‘Apparently there’s a big YouTuber named, like PewDie-whatever.
‘I don’t know his name but he made a reaction video to my TikToks, making fun of my nails, making fun of my signs with his dog and, I guess at one point, mocking my voice.
‘How do I feel? I feel like it was very weird and very unnecessary but at the same time, I wasn’t surprised. I’m used to it. It’s been a big issue in the deaf community, I’ve been trying to normalise and put it out that using nails while signing is normal, it’s okay! But then a big creator comes on here and puts us a million steps back so it’s very frustrating.
‘I feel like if any other hearing person was telling this story but they had long nails on but they didn’t need a sign to get their point across, he would have listened to the full story and maybe even had a laugh.
‘But because I have to sign to communicate, and I have long nails on, he stopped the video after like two seconds, didn’t even listen to the story, and then after that proceeded to make fun of me signing with his dog.’
Scarlet went on to acknowledge that Felix may not have realised she was using sign language or simply didn’t like her nails, but that he should have made that clear.
She went on to accuse him of ‘sweeping it under the rug’, and urged him to admit his mistake.
Saying she’s trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, Scarlett added: ‘But the mocking of the sign and the voice, and going back and editing it out, and putting me on the thumbnail [of the video], he definitely had to know.
‘But we all live and learn. If he did not know before, he definitely knows now.’
Felix has now edited out the clip of Scarlet from his video, and addressed his comments.
He wrote in a pinned comment: ‘Hey, just to clear a few things up: I edited out the clip with the girl that has the long nails. 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. (edit: ..and making my dog’s paws move was poking at people always dancing or doing some move on tiktok, which is an ongoing theme in the whole video). Anyway honest mistake, my bad.’
The YouTube star, who has a following of more than 111million, and was once the most subscribed-to star on the platform,
He’s been on YouTube for 12 years and, in that time, has faced various controversies.