Some YouTubers are no strangers to an apology video. Liza Koshy, Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson and more internet stars have issued apologies for their past racially insensitive content amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
Koshy, for her part, made headlines in June 2020 when a since-deleted video with then-boyfriend David Dobrik resurfaced. In the video titled “Couples Trying Japanese Candy,” the twosome pretended to have Asian accents while snacking on candy from Japan and Hawaii.
“It’s not racist, that’s like the sounds I hear when they talk,” Dobrik said in the resurfaced clip.
The Liza on Demand star then replied, “No, it’s not racist as long as I keep saying no.”
Both Dobrik and Koshy have more than 17 million subscribers on their respective YouTube channels. While Koshy released a lengthy apology via Instagram, Dobrik has yet to publicly comment.
“As a woman of color and self-defined ‘little brown girl,’ I have experienced the harm of prejudices in my own life,” Koshy wrote, admitting she “unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas” in the past. “This reality does not exempt me from the responsibility of acknowledging the times I’ve unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas. I see now that some of my previous influences and my own past thinking, speaking and storytelling reinforced stereotypes. I created characters of different cultures with the intent of celebrating them, but with the impact of appropriating them.”
Marbles, meanwhile, announced in June 2020 that she is taking a break from her channel, which has more than 20 million subscribers. The personality, whose real name is Jenna Nicole Mourey, came under fire for wearing blackface to impersonate Nicki Minaj and for mocking Asian people.
“I’m literally just here to have a good time, and I don’t think I’m having a good time, and it seems like maybe some other people aren’t having a good time, so, for now, I just can’t exist on this channel,” Marbles said through tears. “I’m not sure that I want to continue doing stuff on this channel. I don’t want to put anything out in the world that’s gonna hurt anybody. I need to be done with this channel for now or forever, I don’t know. Good talk.”
Scroll through for more YouTubers who have spoken out amid the backlash: