YouTuber PewDiePie is facing understandable backlash after posting a meme mocking singer Demi Lovato, who’s currently hospitalized following reports of an apparent drug overdose. (A representative has issued a statement that Demi is “awake and with her family,” and indicated that a number of the reports related to the incident were “incorrect.”)
Around midnight on July 26, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, tweeted a meme related to the rumors surrounding Demi’s hospitalization.
PewDiePie deleted the photo three hours later and apologized for his post after it began to receive significant criticism. “Deleted meme. I didnt [sic] mean anything with it and I didnt [sic] fully know about the situation. I realize now it was insensitive, sorry!” he wrote.
They said that some of the information that has been reported about Lovato’s condition was “incorrect,” but did not give specific details.
Multiple outlets reported that Lovato had been hospitalized on Tuesday. TMZ was the first to report that Lovato, 25, had been hospitalized in a suspected heroin overdose.
The outlet cited law enforcement sources and claimed that she was given emergency opioid overdose treatment Narcan at her home before being brought to hospital.
A host of celebrities have sent her support online since the news broke, with many reminding their followers that addiction is a disease and not a choice.
Deleted meme. I didnt mean anything with it and I didnt fully know about the situation. I realize now it was insensitive, sorry!
— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) July 26, 2018
PewDiePie has YouTube’s largest channel , with over 64 million subscribers. But while he remains popular, a host of controversies — including using the N-word in a video and anti-Semitic content — have hurt his career.
YouTube cancelled his commission for an original show in 2017 after people highlighted anti-Semetic content in some of his videos.
In one video, he includes a clip of two men laughing as they hold a banner that reads: “Death to all Jews.”
Disney, which had a business deal to produce videos with PewDiePie, also cut ties with him.