Yesterday, Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg - the millionaire YouTube personality known for making a spate of racially-charged "joke" videos - let the gaming community down once again. Unfortunately, this time it cannot be excused as a clumsy attempt at satire.
While engaging in a live stream of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), Kjellberg used a racial slur to express his frustration at another player. Here is the exact moment that will surely have an immediate impact on his career.
"What a fucking n-" Kjellberg said, while killing an opponent. "I didn't mean that in a bad [way]," he later mumbles, while laughing.
Needless to say, this has not gone down well with most people in the gaming community, with some developers already calling for copyright strikes against any content that uses their games.
Personally, I don't feel remotely torn about this situation. It's not something that should be excused or laughed off. Using racist epithets in anger is never okay, particularly for a public figure who has a fanbase in the tens of millions.
I know it sounds like a cliche, but you really do have certain responsibilities when you're the most popular user on YouTube. It's important to note that his channel receives in the region of 300 million views per month. That's a lot of people to casually share racist insults with.
And it is racist - Kjellberg may be a comedian, but this was clearly not said in the context of a joke. (See also: Michael Richards.)
There will be counter arguments, of course. "People are overacting/jealous", "this has always been his shtick", "it's just a word", "black people say it too", "whatever happened to freedom of speech?", et cetera, et cetera. You can probably read multiple variations of the above on Twitter right now - I've been too depressed to look.
If you're a Pewdiepie fan, all I ask is that you think long and hard before launching your own online rebuttals and defences. This wasn't a private moment erroneously picked up on a hot mic (which would be bad enough.) Instead, Kjellberg consciously used the insult during a public stream watched by thousands.
It will be very interesting to see how significant the fallout will be from this incident. We're not hoping to see Kjellberg's career ruined forever, but there has to be repercussions of some kind. Normalising this behaviour is simply not on. We all need to be better than this.