OPINION: As a former Vlog Squad stan, writing this is painful…
The Roast of Zane Hijazi was posted to Youtube three days ago and I won’t lie, I’m uncomfortable af. The Vlog Squad made jokes about Heath Hussar who’s been a member of the group since the beginning of the youtube group and how he’s allegedly a racist.
David Dobrik the creator of the youtube group has made several apologies over the years for racist jokes, racist impersonations and using racist slurs in his videos. There have been so many scandals about the group that Vulture has made a whole timeline of the controversies.
The Vlog Squad has realised that using racist humour isn’t acceptable in this day and age as they haven’t been in a racist controversy in almost a year... until now. Since The Roast of Zane Hijazi has been uploaded, fans have made it clear how uncomfortable the jokes made them feel.
Let’s have a look at some of the jokes made about Heath Hussar.
“Thank god Heath finally got in shape… unfortunately though, it’s going to be a lot of work for Mariah, who has to knit a much smaller klan outfit.” - Matt King
“The cast of Unfiltered is here. You know, it’s funny that the show is called Unfiltered when they have to filter out Heath’s racism every episode.” - Jason Nash
“Heath asked Zane to fly to DC to storm the capital, but Zane couldn’t get past TSA to board the plane.” - Mariah Amato
“[Directed at Zane] You’re delusional, you have bad hair, and your best friends are racist.” - Ella Priya
“Mariah, you are so sweet to me, you treat me like family every time I come out to LA. I can’t believe you’re still with that racist.” - Hidaya Hijazi
“Heath is so racist, he and Mariah take a break from the relationship every summer because she gets a little too tan.” - Zach Justice
The Vlog Squad think it’s acceptable to joke about one of their closest friends being racist but let’s be clear, these jokes aren’t funny. Racism isn’t something to laugh about. It’s hurtful and completely minimises the damage racism has on people. It’s not a quirky character trait, it’s bigoted and something to be ashamed of.
Instead of laughing alongside your racist mate, you should be educating them and actively discouraging it. You'd think that a group of mid-late twenty-year-old Youtubers would know better than to continue being friends with a racist.
The Vlog Squad has been on Youtube for almost eight years and they have had plenty of chances to grow and evolve their content. Instead of blasting their racist mate, they could have used their platform to raise awareness about racism or responsibly used their privilege. It's disappointing to see how they continue to use racism as a joke.
It's not cute to be racist, it's not funny to make light of racism and it’s not cool to be friends with racists.
Here's hoping we get more positive role models in 2023.