A considered ranking of the most tragic YouTuber apology videos
‘I’m not a Tory’ – Alfie Deyes, 2017
Is there anything better than a YouTuber messing up? It's like Christmas Day every time one of them gets caught eating fish when their whole channel is about being vegan or when they rip their child fans off with a £50 advent calendar.
And it's so predictable. They put their foot in it, upload a 40-minute apology video in which they grovel to their audience and swear to be a better person. Somehow they never admit they're wrong, always shift blame and end up playing the victim.
But which YouTube apology video is so bad it's good? We've ranked them from best to worst:
Alfie Deyes – 'Let's talk about the £1 video'
Who is he? Zoella’s boyfriend. Idiot-vlogger extraordinaire. Obviously a massive Tory.
How did he fuck up? Uploaded a video in which he “lived off £1” for a day. No prizes for saying this very concept is super offensive and problematic to anyone with a functioning brain, but Alfie apparently didn’t see anything wrong with it till the comments came flooding in.
What’s the video like? Infuriating. Alfie reiterates multiple times that it never occurred to him that the video was offensive, bigs up how he’s donating the revenue of the video to homeless charities, and infamously claims he’s not a Tory.
At one point, angry that people were painting YouTubers with the same brush, he says: “No. You cannot group the entire YouTube community.”
Fair play to Alfie for taking one for the team and coin the #NotAllMen of the YouTube sphere, because as we’ve seen, YouTubers are obviously stand-up people free of controversy.
Best line? “I am not a Tory.” Well if the shoe fits, Alfie.
Cole LaBrant – 'Addressing All The Hate We've Received'
Who is he? Former Vine star turned YouTube vlogger. Tweeted about losing his virginity on his wedding night.
What did he do? For April Fools', Cole and his wife made a video pranking their daughter by telling her they were giving her dog away.
What’s the video like? Death threats are mentioned at the 45 second mark, and this is after claiming most people have been on their side. Even the title focuses on how it has affected them rather than any kind of apology.
Most of the clip involves them defending their honour as parents and explaining why it wasn't that bad, rather than just acknowledging that it was super cruel and shouldn’t have ever been made.
At the time, the pair were unsure about whether or not to delete the original video. After all – outrage clicks are clicks nonetheless, and those incredibly awful jumpers won't pay for themselves.
Also: BABY IN THUMBNAIL. An actual baby in the motherfucking thumbnail of the video. Remember guys, these people are a good Christian family. You want to criticise them? You best believe you're criticising God himself.
Best line: “Our mistakes are put out there for the world to see, and your guys’ aren’t.” You HEAR that, YouTube? Their lives are hard.
KSI – 'Ending it all'
Who is he? Once specialised in FIFA, but has now graduated to rap videos, and beating other YouTubers up for absolutely INSANE money.
What did he do? KSI’s brother Deji accused KSI of emotional and physical abuse, and sleeping with a girl he was interested in.
What’s the video like? Over an hour long. OVER AN HOUR. There is an apology fairly early on, but it quickly devolves into a rant. Despite being famously adverse to public beef, he reiterates time and time again that he wants to patch things up in private with his brother.
Deji would go on to release three responses, go on podcasts, and generally do everything he could to play the feud between the two out on a public stage. Yeesh.
Best line? “We need to work on this relationship.” No really.
Zoe Sugg – Explaining the £50 advent calendar
Who is she? Vlogger. Peddler of shit merch. 30-year-old woman-child.
What did she do? Made an advent calendar and sold it for £50. The calendar was quickly found to be worth less than half that.
What’s the video like? In an Oscar-worthy performance of blame shifting, Zoella claims her input in the calendar was entirely creative, and that she had absolutely no say in how the product was priced.
Don't you see? She couldn't have said anything at all. Nope. She could do nothing but watch helplessly as the manifestation of her creativity was slapped with a £50 price tag.
Best line? “I’m not here to justify myself as a person because you either know me or you don’t.”
The Fine Brothers – 'Apology'
Who are they? They own the REACT channel, and you’ll have seen one of the “Old people react to… xyz” type of videos, since they've basically become a genre in themselves.
What did they do? They launched a "REACT world" idea with the intent of basically owning the genre. YouTubers hoping to make reaction videos modelled after theirs would essentially have to pay up for use of their idea. People were fucked off.
What’s the video like? The brothers try their best to explain that they aren't on a crusade against people nicking their idea – they're just trying to protect their brand. The blame shifting is exemplary, with the viewers' lack of understanding providing the main focus.
There are lots and lots of hand gestures to try and push the obvious point into your little idiot mind. There’s one point where they try and make an analogy comparing themselves to Burger King. Yup.
The brothers later put the breaks on their attempt to trademark "react" as a brand, which definitely shows how in the right they were.
Best line: “We’re sorry for confusing people.” i.e. “We’re sorry that YOU’RE stupid.”
TMARTN2 – 'I'm sorry'
Who is he? YouTuber into playing online gambling games.
How did he mess up? TMARTN2 would often upload videos of him having a blast on online gambling sites, winning loads of money, and encouraging his audience to do the same.
It later turned out he was actually the CEO in charge of the website, and was tacitly endorsing an online gambling site he had an investment in, which is would be against advertiser regulations if his involvement wasn't technically public knowledge.
What’s the apology video like: A dog is in the very first frame of the video, he kisses it, then it cuts to him sighing. The dog even LOOKS sad.
If that weren’t bad enough, you can see the staircase in the background – suggesting the scale of the mansion he lives in AS WELL AS HIS CAR. Before the astute viewer works this out, however, Martin lets us know that he loves us and that we “mean the world” to him.
Best line: “My connection to the company has been on public record since it was first organised in December 2015. I’m sorry to each and every one of you who thought that was not made clear enough to you.”
Geddit? It’s your fault you find this offensive and unacceptable. What I’ve done has technically been public knowledge for years!
Laura Lee – 'My Apology'
Who is she? 30-year-old beauty YouTuber, in the same vein as Jeffree Star, James, Charles, etc. Her channel mainly focuses on beauty tips and make-up tutorials.
What did she do? Old racists retweets were dug up. A classic YouTuber scandale if ever you’ve heard one.
What’s the video like? Fake crying? Check. Bigging up her own personal Sadness? Check. "Death threats"? You bet.
The highlight of this video is undoubtedly the weird thing she does with her hand to wipe away the tears she isn't crying.
Best line: “I hope one day you guys can see me for the woman that I am” – If this isn’t basically gaslighting your audience I don’t know what is.
PewDiePie – 'My Response'
Who is he? The biggest YouTuber in the world – boasting a staggering 95 million subscribers. His bread and butter is making videos of him playing daft video games, but he also recaps the latest YouTuber drama, reviews meme compilations, and takes the piss out of the Pauls.
What did he do? Used the n-word in a livestream.
What’s the video like? True to his own rules, Pewds owns up to his mistake, and doesn't shy away from the wider problem of racist language within his community. He keeps it short, and vows to do better, although those hunched shoulders reek of reluctance.
In fairness to him, of all the YouTubers on this list he seems to have gotten over his initial fuck up the easiest.
Best line: “Heat of the moment.” Ah yes, the ultimate absolver of responsibility. Somehow, in moments where the temperature rises above a certain level, some people can’t help but blurt out the n-word. It’s science.
James Charles – 'tati'
Who is he? Beauty vlogger and probably the most well known of the bunch. Specialises in make-up tutorials, beauty tips, selling merch – you know the drill.
What did he do? Well what James Charles did to piss people off is up for debate, and mostly centres around a video posted by James’s mentor Tati. According to her, James did two things wrong: The first was he allegedly coerced straight men into being in relationship with him, and the second was his endorsement of a vitamin brand that rivalled hers.
What’s the video like? Quite bleak really. James bears all the marks of a guy who’s been woken up to the realisation that he’s lost a huge chunk of his fanbase.
You have to feel for him to be honest, and you get the sense Tati lashed out at the 19-year-old over something quite petty.
Best line: The awkward pauses.
Jenna Marbles – 'What Happened To My Fishies Video'
Who is she? Started by filming comedy skit videos usually starting with the phrase “How girls…” Now sits at a fairly beefy 19 million subscribers.
What did she do? She bought the wrong tank for her fish.
What’s the video like? It’s 47 minutes long. There’s a lot of talk about the intricacies of fish care.
Honestly, Jenna Marbles making a near hour-long video about a fishtank is basically the YouTuber equivalent of padding your essay out to meet the wordcount. An impressive effort, to be fair.
Best line: “Since the fish community has made their way around that.” THE. FISH. COMMUNITY.
Logan Paul – ' So Sorry'
Who is he? Arguably one of the biggest YouTubers of all time. Notorious asshat.
What did he do? On a trip to Japan, Logan filmed a dead body hanging in the region’s “suicide forest.” It was the most widely publicised backlash to a YouTuber fucking up ever. Logan’s initial response was just a note from his phone.
What’s the video like? To be honest, it’s a pretty effective video. Short, to the point, reiterates that it’s a mistake and he’s ashamed of what happened. Sure, he uses the word "content," which is honestly offensive in itself, but it's pretty well managed. He even had the intelligence to take a three-week break afterwards.
Obviously he ruined it all with this awful, awful, merch-plugging “comeback” video in which he brags about gaining three million subscribers in his three week break and says he's "lit as fuck". But what can you do?
Best line: “I want to apologise to the internet.” – I mean… fair.
Rawvana – 'THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING'
Who is she? Vegan YouTuber whose entire video content is centred around being vegan.
What did she do? Was filmed eating a fish by a fellow YouTuber. Video went viral. Yikes.
What’s the video like? A 33-minute video of Rawvana telling her subscribers that being vegan was actually making her sick. Meanwhile, she was still selling her vegan plan.
Best line: "I wasn't planning on hiding this from you." Amazing.