YouTuber David Dobrik has finally given a serious apology for the multitude of scandals over the past few years which have suddenly snowballed into a heap of controversy – namely the rape and sexual assault allegations against his past collaborators.
Unlike a lot of other online apologies, Dobrik actually owned up to the hurt he caused and didn’t make things about himself. Nevertheless, there are plenty of incidents that he still glossed over or even left out entirely.
“I’ve put myself in a lot of situations where I needed to apologise for my past actions, and I’ve never done this correctly, I’ve never done this respectfully,” he said.
“My last video is a testament to that.”
Let’s unpack what David Dobrik had to say this time around.
Durte Dom rape allegations
First up, Dobrik apologised to a woman known only as Hannah who recently accused Vlog Squad member Durte Dom (real name Dominykas Zeglaitis) of raping her while shooting a video in 2018.
He made clear that he believes Hannah, and that he never should’ve posted the video filmed at that shoot in the first place. However, he never used her name and spoke relatively cryptically about the alleged incident.
“What I understand now – and I didn’t understand before – is that she sent that text [asking for the video to be removed] because she felt like she had to, not because she wanted to, and that’s fucked up and I’m sorry,” he said.
Dobrik went on to talk about how he now regrets even making the video, and said it was a time when he didn’t act responsibly as a content creator.
For example, although he wasn’t in the room when Hannah was allegedly raped, he admitted that he nevertheless should’ve done more to make sure everyone in the shoot was safe and comfortable at all times.
“I was completely disconnected from that fact that when people were invited to film videos with us – especially videos that rely on shock for views – that I was creating an unfair power dynamic,” he said.
“I did not know this before. It was completely wrong and I wish I was more responsible and I wish I was more aware at the time, and I’m so sorry I missed that.
“People felt like they had to be silent for the sake of my video and that’s not right, and it’s fucked up, and I’m sorry.”
Dobrik also used the video to apologise to fellow YouTuber Ally Hardesty, who accused Dom of groping her and forcefully kissing her at a party way back in 2017..
“I’m sorry I that I took Dom’s word for what happened in those certain situations and I didn’t believe you,” Dobrik said.
“Not only did I not believe you but I made a joke of what kind of a person Dom was because I couldn’t wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people, and I’m sorry for that.
“Not only did I discredit you Ally, but I platformed Dom, and not only did I platform Dom, but I platformed the subject of sexual assault in a negative way where I made jokes about it and I reinforced that kind of behaviours.
“I’m sorry and I really let not only you down, but a lot of people down.”
The final set of apologies was for all the problematic shit Dobrik has said as a vlogger over the past few years.
While he wasn’t explicit about what he was apologising for, Dobrik has been accused of repeatedly making racist and homophobic jokes in his videos and behind the scenes.
“Before my content shifted to be more responsible and positive, I said and did things that were really offensive and called them bad jokes,” Dobrik said.
“I can’t even call them bad jokes, and it was cowardly to say in my last apology that I missed the mark because it’s fucking gross and I’m sorry.”
For those unfamiliar, his microaggressions and outright racist jokes against Black people and Asian people, for example, have been widely documented.
One refreshing thing to hear was that Dobrik didn’t take the easy route of blaming so-called cancel culture for all his problems. Remember, this is at a time when practically all of his major sponsors are frantically distancing themselves from him.
“A lot of people reached out to me saying ‘cancel culture is bullshit’, and ‘you need to fight back’ and ‘you need to call people out’, and I don’t agree with how this should be taken at all,” he said.
“I think when there’s a crisis, there’s a serious opportunity to correct yourself, to learn and improve, and to make sure that those mistakes don’t happen again, and that’s why it’s so important to hold yourself accountable.”
“It doesn’t feel right to go back to posting like I have been, and it doesn’t feel right to go dark because I love what I do, but I think it is important to show that change is possible, and that I’m learning, and maybe even forgiveness is possible,” Dobrik said.
That means he’ll work on vlogging in a more responsible way, and be more conscious of the environment he creates for those who he works and collabs with. When that will happen, exactly, remains to be seen.
Dobrik finished by reiterating that his past track record of apologies is pretty crap, and that there are likely things he left out this time around, too. But he also said that it was only a start, and that he’d continue to be accountable in future.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
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