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PewDiePie Accused of Mocking Deaf TikToker

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The YouTuber has since claimed he was unaware the TikToker was deaf and said the incident was “an honest mistake.”


PewDiePie Under Fire

YouTuber PewDiePie is facing backlash after posting a video where he appears to make fun of a deaf TikToker’s voice and use of sign language.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, posted a video on Tuesday titled “My Dog Cringes at TikToks.” During it, he sat with his dog on his lap while reacting to TikToks he described as “cringey.”

One of those clips came from Scarlet May, a deaf creator who often posts videos where she speaks and signs at the same time. In this video, she wore long nails while telling a story about ordering at a drive-thru. 

Kjellberg quickly stopped her video and said, “No, I’m not listening to this.”

She has your crazy nails, Maya!,” he said to his dog before picking her up and speaking in a high voice to suggest the dog was talking. 

“Sorry, are my nails distracting you guys?” he said in the voice while moving the dog’s arms around, a move many interpreted as him mocking May for signing. 

The YouTuber, who has 111 million subscribers, quickly faced backlash on Twitter for the joke. 

“Pewdiepie mocked a young deaf woman’s voice and long nails while using his dog’s paws to mock her using sign language,” one person said. “We have to stop giving insipid jackasses large platforms to bully people.”

“As a partial deaf person who’s hearing is completely gone in my left ear… Pewdiepie’s actions were fucking disgusting,” another person added. “I found it so offensive. Mocking a deaf person like that. I feel so bad for her.”

Others thought that Kjellberg’s comments also had racist implications. 

“Pewdiepie isnt ableist, he just wanted to mock a Black woman for millions of viewers for having long fingernails and speaking in her natural dialect! Its ONLY racism,” culture writer Steven Underwood said. 

Another Twitter user said that Kjellberg has shown “time and time again how ignorant and racist he is,” and said his following consists of “incels and right wingers.”

Kjellberg is no stranger to controversy, as he has previously been criticized for his prior use of racial slurs. Many have also accused his fanbase of being anti-Semitic and condemned him for bolstering those ideologies, or at least turning a blind eye to them. 

Still, many thought those upset with Kjellberg’s video misinterpreted his comments. Some argued that he was simply remarking on May’s long nails and that his quips had nothing to do with her being deaf. 

As of Thursday afternoon, Kjellberg’s video had been viewed over 1.8 million times, but the section where he mocks May has since been edited out. She was also removed from the video’s thumbnail on YouTube. 

PewDiePie and Scarlet May Respond 

In response, May posted a TikTok saying she felt Kjellberg’s comments were “very weird and very unnecessary.”

But at the same time, I wasn’t surprised, I’m used to it,” she continued. “It’s been a big issue in the deaf community. I’ve been trying to normalize 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 like, a million steps back,” she added. “So it’s very frustrating.”

May went on to suggest that Kjellberg may have been unaware she was using sign language or perhaps just did not like her nails. 

A lot of people don’t like them, that’s fine, they’re not for you,” she said.

“We all make mistakes hopefully he learns from this,” she added in her caption. 

Kjellberg pinned a comment to his video confirming that he removed the section about May. He claimed he was unaware that she was signing. 

Had no clue she was deaf, but kinda dumb of me to not realize,” the YouTuber wrote. “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.”

“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,” he continued. “Anyway honest mistake, my bad.”

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (NBC News) (Independent)

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Washington State Launches Investigation Into Abuse at Private Special Ed. Schools

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Allegations include staff kicking a fourth-grader and dragging a child with autism around by his leg.


Abuse Allegations

Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has launched an investigation into a system of private schools for kids with disabilities after ProPublica and the Seattle Times reported on allegations of abuse.

The series of articles focused on Northwest School of Innovative Learning (NWSOIL). NWSOIL is a set of private schools that serve 500 Washington public school students with serious disabilities. ProPublica and the Seattle Times found years of complaints from parents and school districts against NWSOIL alleging abuse, overuse of isolation rooms, and unqualified aides teaching instead of certified professionals.

One district claimed NWSOIL staff kicked a fourth-grader. Another alleged that a child with autism was dragged around by his thigh.

Many former NWSOIL employees also claim that they were pressured by their parent company to to enroll more students and skimp on basic resources, like staffing.

Investigation Launched

In a seven-page letter, OSPI reminded NWSOIL of its authority to revoke or suspend a school’s approval, meaning that it could shut NWSOIL down. 

“Given the serious nature of the allegations made in the articles, OSPI is examining what, if any, actions need to be taken with respect to Northwest SOIL’s approval to contract with Washington school districts,” Tania May, assistant superintendent for special education at OSPI, wrote in the letter.

OSPI has demanded any records of mistreatment, maltreatment, abuse, or neglect as well as documents pertaining to restraint or isolation of students and calls to the police. They are also seeking information about the student-to-teacher ratio and staff qualifications. 

In the letter, OSPI claims that all of this was previously unknown to them as well as to police, Child Protective Services, and local school districts. They are asking NWSOIL for an explanation as to why the allegations were not reported. 

NWSOIL defended itself in a public statement.

“Use of restraints and seclusion are always used as a last response when a student is at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others, it said. “We strongly deny any allegation that we understaff and/or pressure staff to increase admissions in order to maximize profits.” 

Washington state representatives are considering a reform bill that will give them more oversight on the publicly funded system of private special education schools. 

In this legislation, OSPI and at least one district that sends students to this program would be required to visit before approving the contract. It would also standardize district agreements with programs like NWSOIL, including financial safeguards to make sure funds are being used appropriately.

See the full series: (ProPublica) (The Seattle Times)

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31 Children Found Working Graveyard Shift in U.S. Meatpacking Plants

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Evidence suggests the company may have minors employed at 400 other locations.


The Complaint

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently found that a leading contractor for sanitation allegedly employed 31 minors from ages 13 to 17 for overnight cleaning of slaughterhouses and meatpacking facilities. 

Packers Sanitation Services, Inc. is under investigation for employing over 30 minors in three locations in the Midwest. The DOL claims the children were cleaning dangerous equipment with hazardous chemicals up to 6 or 7 days a week. Several of these children reported injuries, including chemical burns. 

The DOL filed a complaint with the Federal District Court of Nebraska for a nationwide injunction on Packers. According to their complaint, evidence suggests that Packers may have kids working at 400 other locations across the country. 

The court partially fulfilled the DOL’s request and ordered Packers to “immediately cease and refrain from employing oppressive child labor.”

The order also demanded Packers comply with the DOL’s investigation because the complaint included claims that Packers’ managers had been tampering with evidence – including obstructing interviews and attempting to hide or delete important documents, text messages, and incident reports. 

The Response

According to the complaint, the purpose for the nationwide injunction request is the safety of the kids while the DOL investigates.

While Wage and Hour is continuing to pour over records to identify such children, it is slow, painstaking work. Yet, the children working overnight on the kill floor of these slaughterhouses cannot wait,” it reads.

Packers denied the accusations. In a statement to NBC News, it said that it has “an absolute company-wide prohibition against the employment of anyone under the age of 18 and zero tolerance for any violation of that policy — period.”

Packers also said it was surprised by the complaint because it claims to be cooperating with the investigation by providing important documents and responses. 

A hearing has been set for Nov. 26 to decide whether the order will be dissolved, extended, or modified. 

See what others are saying: (New York Times) (NBC News) (CBS News)

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Officers Charged After Detaining Woman in Car Hit by Train, Woman Faces Charges Too

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The woman suffered nine broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken leg, a broken sternum, broken teeth, and several other injuries, her lawyer said.


Prosecutors Bring Charges

Less than two months after police in Colorado left a woman handcuffed in a patrol car parked on a railroad crossing as a freight train plowed through it, the severely injured woman has still been charged, according to a statement Monday.

In September, multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a road rage incident in Fort Lupton, where they arrested 20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez for allegedly brandishing a firearm at another driver. While they searched her vehicle, they placed her in a squad car that was parked on train tracks.

Despite being hospitalized for nearly two weeks after the incident, Rios-Gonzalez has been charged with felony menacing, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Her lawyer, Paul Wilkinson, told Reuters the news that she was being charged was disappointing and added that he will file a lawsuit against police for his client’s injuries and for violating her civil rights.

Two officers were also charged for their involvement in the incident. Officer Jordan Steinke, from the Fort Lupton Police Department, faces one count each of attempted manslaughter and second-degree assault, both felonies, as well as reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Sgt. Pablo Vazquez, from the Platteville Police Department, faces five counts of reckless endangerment, one count of obstructing a highway or other passageway, one count of careless driving, and one count of parking where prohibited, all misdemeanors.

Abandoned on the Tracks

A Platteville police officer reportedly stopped Rios-Gonzalez just past the railroad tracks and parked the patrol car on the crossing.

In body camera footage obtained by 9News, she can be heard screaming from inside the vehicle, trying to get their attention as the freight train barreled toward them.

At one point, the locomotive’s horn blares audibly in the distance, but the officers either fail to hear it or ignore it.

By the time the cops notice the incoming train, there are mere seconds until impact, and they scramble away leaving the woman trapped inside.

Vazquez can be heard saying he did not know he parked on the tracks and that he was unaware another officer had placed Rios-Gonzalez in his patrol car.

Rios-Gonzalez suffered nine broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken leg, a broken sternum, broken teeth, and several other injuries, according to Wilkinson.

See what others are saying: (Reuters) (CBS News) (The Colorado Sun)

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