David Dobrik has apologized for his past actions following recent allegations of racism after a video of him mocking the Japanese accent with Liza Koshy resurfaced.
David Dobrik is a major personality on social media, with nearly 18 million YouTube subscribers, 13 million Instagram followers, and 19 million TikTok followers.
The YouTuber has faced criticism for videos he made with Liza Koshy in the past where they appeared to mock the Japanese accent, prompting many to criticize both of them for their part in the video.
In his podcast “VIEWS” with Jason Nash on Tuesday, he acknowledged his status as a role model for many people, noting that while he used to think he was only the internet “goofball”, he has come to understand the influence he has.
He said: “I know it sounds so cheesy and I hate saying it, but every video I make, every Instagram I post, everything I do, I just want to cheer somebody up. I want to make people laugh, make people smile, I want them to share it with a friend, I want them to have a positive experience when they’re interacting with anything I produce.
“That being said, I feel like on a handful of occasions I’ve just missed the mark on that, and it really really bums me out. And that kinda sucks that it took me so long to understand. I think when we went to our first Black Lives Matter protest and I was looking through my DMs afterward. It's one thing to get DMs from somebody going hey your videos are funny, but it's a completely different thing to get DMs about how much your alliance with a cause means for that person and their family, or how much it means that you’re using your voice to amplify theirs.
“But that's when I realized Holy s*** there are people who are seriously looking up to me for more than just something goofy. I think for a while I was just like I’m the goofball that’s all I am, but I think there are parts of this where I need to be more serious. I want to be a good role model for the people watching. I’m ashamed and I’m embarrassed for the things I did in some of the videos or vines or whatever I was doing and I genuinely feel awful about it.
“I’m going to do better actively and I’m going to do that consistently. You have my word for that, I promise that. If I’m anything, I’m a man of my word. I just want to say that if there’s a kid who saw something from me and it didn’t make them feel welcomed or it just made them feel uncomfortable I’m sorry, I did not ever mean to make anybody feel out of place. I genuinely just want to make you have a good time and I’m going to do that from here on out and I’m going to do a better job at it.”
This comes after a video resurfaced of Liza Koshy and David Dobrik in 2016 trying Japanese snacks and appearing to imitate the Japanese accent. TikTokker @callmesukiwi posted the clip with the caption “Why is no one talking about this? It’s a clear example of the normalized racism against Asians”. The TikTok currently has 73,000 likes.
Liza Koshy has already apologized for her part in the clip, posting to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube on Monday explaining her lack of education and intentions to do better.
She wrote: “As a woman of color and a self-defined 'little brown girl,' I have experienced the harm of prejudices in my own life. However, this really does not exempt me from the responsibility of acknowledging the times I’ve unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas”