The reckoning of viral stars is far from over.
Off the back of one of the biggest weeks in YouTube cancellation history, fans and fellow creators have been calling on David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad to address their former racist content.
The backlash started when David’s friend, Seth Francois, posted a video on June 2nd titled ‘”Accountability” to all Creators‘. In the video, Seth apologises for being involved in the Vlog Squad’s past problematic content— much of which hinged on Seth as the token Black friend. Other Vlog Squad clips Seth shared include depictions of blackface and harmful Black stereotypes.
Seth promised to “never endorse or support anything on the internet that has to do with my culture being portrayed in a negative light” again, and asked viewers not to send hate to any of the Vlog Squad members, as he believes they are all good people. He explained the importance of taking accountability and was hopeful that David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad would do the same.
Fast forward one month, and YouTuber Trisha Paytas has now involved herself, posting multiple videos asking that fans keep the same energy for David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad as they have for Shane Dawson, Liza Koshy, Jenna Marbles, and the countless other creators the internet has “cancelled” over the last few weeks.
Trisha, who has a lengthy history of problematic behaviour herself, previously dated Vlog Squad member Jason Nash. According to Trisha, the two broke up in 2018 after she publicly slammed Jason’s friend Brandon Calvillo for dating an underage girl.
Trisha claims the Vlog Squad is advised to sweep all controversy under the rug, which is why they rarely address backlash.
After weeks of pressure, David Dobrik finally addressed the Vlog Squad’s problematic content on his podcast, Views, with Jason Nash.
In the episode, titled ‘Auditioning for SNL’, David says he is “ashamed,” “embarrassed” and “genuinely feels awful” for his former videos. He then apologises to fans, saying, “If there was a kid who saw something from me that didn’t make them feel welcomed, or just made them feel uncomfortable, I’m- I’m sorry. I didn’t ever mean to make anyone feel out of place.”
However, many fans are not satisfied with David’s apology— calling it a “non-apology” and arguing that at the very least, David should have apologised on his YouTube channel where the problematic content was initially posted.
Seth Francois also seems to have some thoughts on David’s apology. One day after the Views episode went live, Seth posted a quick video called ‘How to deliver a proper Apology,’ where he explains the two things apologies must have: acknowledgment and a plan of action.
Seth notes that acknowledgment involves clearly stating what you did wrong, rather than making a vague statement. “The reason the receiving party needs to hear that is because it shows that you actually understand their perspective and where they’re coming from,” he says.
He then explains the importance of openly conveying how your actions will be different moving forward.
Seth goes on to say the apologiser should never bring their “credibility” into an apology— something David is being accused of doing by promoting his involvement with Black Lives Matter before segueing into his apology.
David has not yet commented on Seth’s response. And no other members of the Vlog Squad have issued public apologies at the time of publication.