Famed streamer PewDiePie is under fire once again after he mocked the famous TikToker Scarlet May in one of his latest videos.
Scarlet May is a deaf TikTok creator who is known for her videos promoting the use of sign language and advocating for making sign language normal. She often has long, bright nails that tend to click when she signs. Her nails are a huge part of the reason she became famous.
However, earlier this week, PewDiePie was filming a video titled My Dog Cringes at TikToks, a segment where he sits with his dog Maya and makes fun of TikTok videos.
One of Scarlet’s videos came up and within seconds he had paused the video to make fun of her nails. He said, “I’m not listening to this. Look, she has your crazy nails, Maya!” before bringing up Maya’s feet and waving her paws around.
He appears to be imitating sign language by waving his dog’s feet around and then adds, “Sorry, are my nails distracting you guys?”
It didn’t take long for viewers to realize the issue with his video and the internet quickly began calling him out for his ableist and racist behavior, prompting him to give a brief apology in the comments.
PewDiePie offers general apology after mocking Scarlet May’s nails
He wrote, “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,” and closed with a peace sign emoji.
His apology seemed to lack accountability from a lot of critics, who are still unhappy with the video, and his inability to properly apologize to Scarlet.
One user wrote, “Pewdiepie is ableist and knew he was opening up the flood gates for his racist, incel following. He’s a grown man still trying to use misogynoir for views.”
Scarlet herself made a video and responded to PewDiePie’s actions as well, letting it be known that his behavior is annoying but ultimately not surprising.
Scarlet May responds to PewDiePie’s video mocking her nails
Scarlett has built up a following by using her flashy nails to bring awareness to sign language and being deaf, showing that anyone can be deaf and doesn’t have to look a certain way.
The TikToker took to her account and advised fans, “I feel like it was very weird, very unnecessary, but at the same time, I’m not surprised; I’m used to it.”
“It’s been a big issue in the deaf community I’ve been trying to normalize and put it out that using nails why 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.”
She added that she understands he may not have known she was using sign language, but the situation is still annoying and uncalled for.
“I feel like if any other hearing person was telling this story but had long nails on and didn’t need to 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 had stopped the video after two seconds, didn’t even listen to my story, and then after that proceeded to make fun of my signing with his dog.”