Due to the Black Lives Matter movement, YouTubers are realizing how offensive their past content can be for people. They are beginning to apologize for their racial content on their channels.
The list includes Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, and many others but recently added to the club is Liza Koshy. All of these YouTubers have issued an apology from their audience for their racially insensitive content.
Liza Koshy made headlines when one of her videos with her ex-boyfriend, David Dobrik resurfaced in June. The video is titled, ‘Couple Trying Japanese Candy’. The pair pretend to have an Asian accent when they are savoring the candy of Japan and Hawaii.
David and Liza both have more than 17 million subscribers on their YouTube channel. In the racially insensitive video, David says it is not racist because it sounds like how he talks. “It’s not racist, that’s like the sounds I hear when they talk,” Dobrik said in the resurfaced clip.
While Liza replied to him saying that it is not racist as long as she says no. “No, it’s not racist as long as I keep saying no,” she said in reply to Dobrik.
Liza Koshy has issued an apology publicly in a lengthy apology posted on her Instagram handle. Meanwhile, David has yet to comment on the issue.
Liza mentions how as a brown girl herself, she has experienced the harm of racism in her life. She admits to having encouraged racial content in her past even if she has suffered from the prejudices of being a brown girl. Liza explains that some of her ideas and thinking processes in the past have encouraged stereotypes. She continues explaining that she created characters to celebrate them but she also kept them in the racial stereotypes that they are seen.
“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 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.”
Liza says she takes the responsibility for not being an ally in the past, that she is today. She clarifies that she cannot continue to make content without holding herself responsible for her actions previously. Liza writes, “What I once thought of as “innocent jokes” was tainted with implicit bias, and what might have been intended as “playful” was actually to some, incredibly painful. And for that, I am so sorry.”
However, Jenna Marbles quit YouTube after issuing an apology for her past racially insensitive content as well. She has almost 20 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. Jenna’s real name is Jenna Nicole Mourey. She recently came under fire for having impersonated Nicki Minaj with blackface. Jenna also mocked Asian people.
In her apology video, she explains how she was here to have fun and she isn’t having fun anymore. Jenna said that she cannot exist on this platform. With tears in her eyes, she said she feels unsure of wanting to keep making content on her channel. Jenna explains that she does not want to post any content that hurts anybody. Towards the end, she explains, “I need to be done with this channel for now or forever, I don’t know. Good talk.”
Shane has over 30 million subscribers in his three different channels. He recently released an apology video as well. Shane apologized for encouraging stereotypes of minorities.
In the apology video that Shane posted, he said that he used blackface a lot in his videos previously. Shane continued saying it is not okay and there are no excuses. He said that six years ago, he had addressed the issue and he made excuses in them, which was wrong.
The YouTuber said he did not look into the history at that time because of which people were upset. He apologized for making those videos and assured that he knows about the history now. Shane apologized to the people who saw that. He also apologized to the people who saw other people uplifting him saying ‘Shane you are so funny’.
He said he cannot imagine being black and see a white guy doing the blackface and everybody on the internet saying, ‘LOL’. Shane apologized for normalizing the blackface and the N-word. He said it is not a funny word especially for a white man to say.
The video was titled, ‘Taking Accountability‘. Shane addressed being defensive whenever he was accused of being a racist. He apologized to a YouTuber who had called him out back at the time and he admitted to being defensive. Shane mentions his followers lashed out on her with very toxic comments.
Shane says that he was thoughtless of things that he was posting for so many years. He says he is not that person and admits to taking jokes too far.
Towards the end of the apology video, Shane says he is willing to lose everything in the process. He thanks some of the people who will accept his apology but those who would not, he admits to understanding that because there were a lot of jokes.
Shane also acknowledged his inappropriate jokes about pedophilia in the past. A clip resurfaced quite recently in which Shane made sexual gestures by looking at a picture of Willow Smith, who was 11-years-old at the time. Jaden Smith and Jada Smith lashed out on him saying it is disgusting and they don’t want any excuses anymore.
“I would never talk about a child in any way that was inappropriate. That is disgusting,” he said in the apology video. “That is gross. It is not something I would ever do. It’s something I did for shock value or because I thought it was funny.”
YouTube has subsequently suspended monetization across Dawson’s channels.
The teenager also came under fire after there were allegations that someone in the background wore blackface in her video, ‘Nonstop’. She shut down those allegations last month. JoJo clarified that they are talking about a kid’s video and no one is wearing blackface. She explains that it is awful people’s minds would go there. JoJo explains it is about kids dressing in animal costumes and having their faces painted to look like animals, acting the part.
Siwa has 11.4 million subscribers on her channel. She added saying she is on the right side of history. The teenager asked people to stop trying to drag everybody down and be positive.
Colleen apologized back in May admitting that one of her videos is based on complete stereotypes. She is known as Miranda Sings to her 9 million subscribers.
She added saying it is not funny and it is hurtful. Colleen admits to feeling ashamed and embarrassed that she thought it was okay. She says she was a sheltered teenager who was stupid and culturally insensitive. Her video was titled, ‘Addressing Everything’. [I] grew from it and learned from it and realized how hurtful it could be,” Ballinger said. “And now I want to right my wrongs and make a difference so that other people don’t make the same mistakes that I made when I was a kid.”
A fellow Youtuber, Kahlen Barry, called out Tana Mongeau for using the N-word. After coming under fire, Tana took to Twitter to respond to the allegations.
She started by apologizing to Kahleen saying there are no excuses and she should have listened. Tana explains that she has been trying to figure out how to talk about this without hurting anyone. “I am so sorry that came with any silence,” she tweeted on June 22. Tana explains that she wants to be the best version of herself and continue to grow. She says she needs to take accountability to truly grow and educate herself.
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