In the latest episode of his Views podcast, which he co-hosts with fellow Vlod Squad star Jason Nash, David Dobrik offered an apology for any past works that have made viewers feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
The statement arrives as many creators — including Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, and even Dobrik’s ex-girlfriend, Liza Koshy — are looking back on their past work with fresh eyes amid a racial reckoning with respect to systemic inequality and police brutality precipitated by the killing of George Floyd at the end of May.
“Every video I make, every Instagram I post, everything I do — I just want to cheer somebody up,” Dobrik said at the top of Views in a statement of sorts. “I want to make ‘em laugh, I want to make ‘em smile, I want them to share it with a friend, and I just want them to have a positive experience when they’re interacting with anything I produce.”
While Dobrik didn’t apologize for any specific videos or posts, he acknowledged that, “On a handful of occasions, I’ve just missed the mark on that, and that really, really bums me out. And that kinda sucks that it took me so long to understand.” Dobrik could be referring — at least in part — to a now-deleted video from 2016 that recently resurfaced, which sees him and Koshy imitating Asian accents while taste-testing candy from Japan and Hawaii. (Koshy also apologized for offensive jokes and for cultural appropriation via past character creations over the weekend).
Dobrik explains that going to Black Lives Matter protests and opening his DMs afterwards illuminated for him that his influence amounted to more than just being an online goofball. He says that fans expressed their gratitude for his allegiance, and for the fact that he’d used his platform to amplify the movement. In turn, this helped him realize the need to be more serious at times, he says, and to work on being a good role model.
“I’m ashamed and I’m embarrassed about some of the things that I did in videos or in Vines or whatever I was doing, and I genuinely feel awful about it,” he said. “I’m going to do better actively and I’m going to do that consistently…I just want to say that if there’s a kid who saw something from me that 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.”
You can listen to Dobrik’s statement in full, which opens the latest episode of Views, right here.