Youtuber Liza Koshy apologized after a racist video of her pretending to be Asian resurfaced.
In a now-deleted 2016 YouTube video with ex-boyfriend David Dobrik, the pair imitated Asian accents while trying various exotic candies. “It’s not racist, that’s like the sounds I hear when they talk,” Dobrik, 23, said in the video titled “Couples Trying Japanese Candy.” In response, Koshy, 24, said, “No, it’s not racist as long as I keep saying ‘no.’”
The controversial video was brought to light on June 21 when it was shared on TikTok. “Why is no one talking about this? It’s a clear example of the normalized racism against Asians,” the user wrote on the clip. “They’re trying Japanese candy and pretending to talk in Japanese as a joke. Isn’t that still… racist?”
“My work has been within but now I recognize and take responsibility for the times I was not the ally I am becoming today,” Koshy wrote on Instagram addressing the video on Sunday, June 28. “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,” she wrote. Dobrik, 23, has yet to address the video.
Koshy went on to discuss her own experiences with racism, adding, “As a woman of color and self-defined ‘little brown girl,’ I have experienced the harm of prejudices in my own life.”
“However, 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,” she continued. “I created characters of different cultures with the intent of celebrating them, but with the impact of appropriating them … I am sorry to the beautiful communities I have caused hurt within.”
Koshy’s apology came shortly after Jenna Marbles (real name: Jenna Mourey) announced she is quitting YouTube after she apologized for previously sharing racist videos. The several controversial clips include her portraying Nicki Minaj in 2011 where she is wearing black face, and a music video where she rapped racist lyrics offensive to Asian communities. “I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone,” the 33-year-old said in her apology video on June 25. “I just don’t want anyone to feel upset about anything. I don’t want to contribute to that. … I don’t want someone to watch something and feel hurt or offended now for any reason at all.”
Koshy’s apology comes shortly after Jenna Marbles (real name: Jenna Mourey) announced she is quitting YouTube after apologizing for previously sharing racist videos. The controversial clips included her wearing blackface to portray Nicki Minaj in 2011 and rapping racist lyrics offensive to Asian communities in a music video. “I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone,” the 33-year-old said in her apology video on June 25. “I just don’t want anyone to feel upset about anything. I don’t want to contribute to that. … I don’t want someone to watch something and feel hurt or offended now for any reason at all.”