Former vlog squad member Liza Koshy has issued an apology on Twitter, after facing backlash from fans for mocking the Japanese language in videos with David Dobrik.
Liza Koshy is a former member of the vlog squad and YouTuber. She shot to fame after she started her Vine account in 2013, and has since established herself as an actress and presenter, as well as a social media star.
She has 17.8 million YouTube subscribers and 18.4 million Instagram followers. Liza dated David Dobrik from 2015 to 2018, and the pair still occasionally collaborate.
Last week, a video from 2016 resurfaced of Liza and David trying ‘foreign’ candy together where they pretended to speak Japanese. At one point David says: “It's not racist, that's like the sounds I hear when they talk," while Liza adds: "No, it's not racist as long as I keep saying 'no'" and responds in that way each time David makes an offensive joke.
On June 21, a TikTokker uploaded a clip of the video in question captioned: “Why is no one talking about this? It’s a clear example of the normalized racism against Asians.” The clip has 73,000 likes and 1.4 million views and caused some outrage.
One user in the comments wrote: “They really filmed that, edited the video, rewatched it, and still thought it was okay to post that???”
The TikTok was also shared to Twitter and liked over a thousand times.
@callmesukiwiWhy is no one talking about this? It’s a clear example of the normalized racism against Asians @daviddobrik @lizzza ##fyp ##asian♬ original sound - callmesukiwi
In a post to Twitter and Instagram, Liza wrote: “While we focus on systemic anti-black racism in our country, I’ve been hesitant to center my voice. My work has been within but I now recognize and take responsibility for the times I was not the ally I am becoming today. Being anti-racist requires a personal reckoning, and I can’t in good faith continue to use my platform for progress without taking accountability myself.
“I am taking inventory, taking initiative, and taking note that my impact and influence will weigh greater than my intention. What I once thought of as “innocent jokes” were actually 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.
— Liza Koshy (@lizakoshy) June 29, 2020
“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...
“...It takes a combination of individual and collective reckoning with our past to heal and move forward together. Consider this my resignation from ignorance, and my declaration as an ally in action. I will give grace, make space, and break these damn systems in place like my life depends on it.”
David Dobrik is yet to respond to the allegations against him and Liza.