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KSI Apologises For Using Racial Slur In YouTube Video

4 April 2023 | 10:40 am | Jessie Lynch

"I’ve been messing up a lot. So I’ve decided I’m gonna just take a break from social media for a while."

Credit: YouTube

Credit: YouTube

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British rapper and YouTuber KSI has issued an apology after using a racist slur during a recent video made with his group, The Sidemen.

ICYMI: KSI copped huge backlash after a now-deleted YouTube video was released on April 2, which showed the group playing their own version of the British television game show Countdown, where players are given a group of letters and have to think of a word by rearranging those letters. 

When it came to KSI's turn, he said, "I don't mean this maliciously," before shockingly dropping a racial slur used against individuals of Pakistani origin (which was bleeped).

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Fans were rightfully disgusted at the star for using the derogatory term - particularly as KSI boasts a following of over 24 million subscribers on YouTube - and were quick to call him out on social media.

"Last week 2 Muslim Pakistani men were set on fire on the way home from the mosque. The point here is to show the abuse south Asians receive anyway. When @KSI says a racial slur for points in his silly game or banter he is just adding fuel to the fire," on Twitter user remarked.

Another added, "Non-Brits are missing context - this is a slur thrown at all South Asians; not just people of Pakistani descent here in the UK. It is not shorthand. It is a KNOWN slur. It's explicitly racist. KSI 'saying it as a joke' is a problem because millions of kids will think it's OK."

KSI later took to Twitter to issue an apology, saying, “I wanna apologise for saying a racial slur in a recent Sidemen video. There’s no excuse, no matter the circumstances, I shouldn’t have said it and I’m sorry."

“I’ve always said to my audience that they shouldn’t worship me or put me on a pedestal because I’m human. I’m not perfect, I’m gonna mess up in life, and lately, I’ve been messing up a lot. So I’ve decided I’m gonna just take a break from social media for a while.”

The Sidemen also issued a statement via Twitter on April 3 in which they condemned the “unacceptable” and “inexcusable” use of the racial slur in the video.

“During yesterday’s Sidemen Sunday a racial slur was said during the video,” the statement read. 

“We accept that it was completely unacceptable and inexcusable. The fact the incident was made light of on the show was wrong and compounded to hurt. We deeply regret this and would like to truly apologise."

“We have reflected on this incident both collectively and individually and are truly ashamed that we let ourselves and you guys down in this way.”

The statement continued: “We want to use our channels to promote positivity and great entertainment. We stand against racism and discrimination of any kind and we failed to do that. Again, we are truly sorry and promise to do better.”

Fans, however, were sceptical of the apologies.

"You don’t need to be God to understand racism isn’t ok. You live in the UK and should know the consequences of saying that word," one Twitter user commented under the apology.

Another added, “It’s difficult to see this apology as genuine. You’ve clearly had a theme recently of including more edgy content to drum up extra publicity."

“I think you need to re-evaluate the channel going forward because it’s really messed up that you cater to a younger audience but then regularly include adult themes or otherwise morally suspect content.”