Youtuber Liza Koshy Apologizes For Mocking Asian Accent In Resurfaced Videos

YouTuber Liza Koshy has taken to Instagram to apologize after a video of her using a mock Asian accent resurfaced. Another clip included footage of Liza pretending to speak Japanese.

“What I once thought of as ‘innocent jokes,’” wrote Koshy, “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 sorry.”

One video, which was originally posted in 2016, shows Liza pretending to have an Asian accent while tasting candy from Japan and Hawaii. Then-boyfriend—and fellow YouTuber—David Dobrik is also in the clip. She added that though she had “experienced the harm of prejudices” in her life as a woman of colour, that does not exempt her “from the responsibility of acknowledging the times I’ve unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas.”

What I once thought of as ‘innocent jokes,’” wrote Koshy, “were actually tainted with implicit bias, and what might have been intended as ‘playful’ was actually to some, incredibly painful

The videos were shared on Jun 21 by TikTok user callmesukiwi, who called it “a clear example of the normalized racism against Asians.” 

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watching a movie with my neighbors… watching my neighbor's movie… same same

A post shared by Liza Koshy (@lizakoshy) on

“You can be someone who has no intention to be racist, but because you’re conditioned in a world that is racist and a country that is structured in anti-Black racism, you yourself can perpetuate those ideas,” Ibram X. Kendi author, historian and leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. “No matter what color you are.”

This quote was shared with me in conversation a couple weeks ago, and has been sitting in my heart ever since. While we focus on systemic anti-Black racism in the country, I’ve been hesitant to center my voice,” Koshy continued. “My work has been within but now I recognize and take responsibility for the times I was not the ally I am becoming today.

You can be someone who has no intention to be racist, but because you’re conditioned in a world that is racist and a country that is structured in anti-Black racism, you yourself can perpetuate those ideas

In response, @callmesukiwi thanked Liza for her apology. “Thank you @lizzza for apologizing and recognizing the impact of your actions!,” the user wrote in a green-screen video with Ariana Grande’s “Thank U Next” playing in the background. “@daviddobrik what about you?”

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