The battle for YouTube superiority between T-Series and PewDiePie continues in 2019. The previous year was abuzz with the noise surrounding Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie trying to protect his spot of having the channel with most subscribers globally from Indian production house and music label T-Series. In between, fans and admirers of PewDiePie, many of whom had their own channels, jumped into the fray. Soon, Indian YouTubers started taking digs at PewDiePie.
The latest attack came from India’s CarryMinati who is one of the top 10 YouTubers in the country operating solely as individuals unattached to any company, like PewDiePie himself. CarryMinati is the name 19-year-old Ajey Nagar of Faridabad uses for his YouTube videos. Through his channel, CarryMinati makes fun of anything that he finds cringe-inducing on the internet, particularly locally produced video content from India.
In the music video Bye PewDiepie, released on January 1, CarryMinati turns rapper and warns his target that T-Series would overtake him soon. “T-Series company tujhe harayegi, ek din India poori duniya chalayegi,” (T-Series will beat you, one day, India will run the world) CarryMinati says.
CarryMinati, in the Bye PewDiePie video, seems to be especially offended about how PewDiepie made fun of Hindi television serials in a video titled You India You Lose in May. That video, in turn, caused Indians to outrage online along with Ekta Kapoor, the producer of one of the serials PewDiePie made fun of.
As the YouTube war between PewDiePie and T-Series, where neither party was actively participating but their supporters were fighting among themselves, heated up, came the video Bitch Lasagna in October.
Here, PewDiePie took on T-Series for the first time. The title was a reference to Hovey Benjamin’s 2017 song Send Bobs, which made fun of Indian men sending grammatically incorrect and sexually inappropriate online messages to American women. “Bitch lasagna” was among the many crazy spelling errors.
As the subscribers’ count of T-Series and PewDiePie’s channels got closer, fans of the Swedish YouTuber began to make racist comments against Indians. As a result, several Indian YouTubers began releasing one anti-PewDiePie video after another. CarryMinati’s Bye PewDiePie has been the most successful among them so far, getting more than 4.5 million views in 24 hours.
In December, a most unlikely beneficiary of the clash between PewDiePie and T-Series turned out to be the Indian non-governmental organisation Child Rights and You. In an effort to make amends, PewDiePie opened up a funds donation initiative for the organisation via the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, so that his fans could send money to help young children in India.