YouTube’s PewDiePie ‘sickened’ by mosque gunman’s namedrop

PewDiePie (pictured) spoke out against the attack in New Zealand. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 16 March 2019
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YouTube’s PewDiePie ‘sickened’ by mosque gunman’s namedrop

STOCKHOLM: YouTube’s most-watched blogger PewDiePie said he was “sickened” after hearing that the gunman behind Friday’s New Zealand mosque massacre had promoted his videos before opening fire.
Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, in an attack which sparked global outrage.
Footage of the attack was live streamed on Facebook by the gunman, who at one point can be heard saying: “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.”
The shooter, who is believed to be a 28-year-old Australian, has been arrested and charged with murder.
“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person,” tweeted PewDiePie, a 29-year-old Swede whose real name is Felix Kjellberg.
“My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
The gunman, who was armed with semi-automatic weapons, had posted a hate-filled “manifesto” online before the carnage suggesting he was inspired by neo-Nazi ideology.
The Swedish blogger is known for posting humorous clips and playing livestreamed video games for his nearly 90 million followers on YouTube, making him the site’s most watched blogger.
Although he has had the highest number of YouTube subscribers for five years, he has regularly stoked controversy over his videos.
In September 2017, he apologized for using a racial slur in an expletive-laden rant against an opponent during a live-streamed computer game.
And six months before that, he lost contracts with YouTube and Disney over videos containing anti-Semitic insults or Nazi references.
In 2016, he was temporarily blocked from Twitter after joking he had joined the Daesh group.
But on Friday his supporters rallied to support him on Twitter.
“You had nothing to do with the tragedy that has unfolded, nor did you ask for your name to be invoked by a crazy, violent person,” wrote one person.
Another said: “This isn’t about a Swedish man who makes video entertainment for a living. This is about all of us. Protecting all of us. Not letting the narrative of mass murderers win.”


Saudi film forum raises curtain on new-look cinema

The forum will bring together key stakeholders across the design, construction and technology sectors to discuss the latest techniques of building world-class cinemas. (Supplied)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Saudi film forum raises curtain on new-look cinema

  • Cinema Build KSA will gather experts from around the world to be a part of Saudi plans to open more than 2,500 screens in the next five years

RIYADH: Saudi entrepreneurs will be shown the latest advances in global cinema design and construction at a major forum in Riyadh next month.
The Cinema Build KSA forum on April 14-15 at the Four Seasons hotel in Riyadh comes as the world eyes Saudi Arabia’s efforts to unlock the massive potential of its cinema market as part of wide-ranging Vision 2030 economic reforms.     
The Kingdom is set to have almost 350 cinemas with more than 2,500 screens creating more than 30,000 jobs.
The cinema forum, organized by  Eyes of Cities in collaboration with  Great Minds Event Management, will bring together key stakeholders across the design, construction and technology sectors to discuss the latest techniques of building world-class cinemas.
The event will  also highlight new building solutions and equipment used in developing future cinemas, multiplexes and malls.    
General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM) CEO Bader Al-Zahrani said: “The cinema sector in Saudi Arabia will see significant growth, especially with the commission’s efforts to promote national and foreign investment in the sector.”
GCAM is working toward achieving Quality of Life Program’s goal by opening 45 cinemas by 2020, said Al-Zahrani, who will inaugurate the Cinema Build KSA forum and deliver the opening speech.
Cinema Build KSA will gather experts from around the world to be a part of Saudi plans to open more than 2,500 screens in the next five years.
With licenses being issued to the first set of exhibitors, authorities are setting up a road map to achieve their goal of becoming leaders in developing world-class cinemas.     
Commenting on Cinema Build KSA, Leila Masinaei, managing partner at Great Minds Group, said: “The cinema industry in the MENA region is undergoing a massive expansion. The lifting of the 35-year cinema ban in KSA, rapid population growth and urbanization, and the regional focus on economic diversification and new strategies that focus on the leisure and entertainment sectors are among key factors for this growth.”