KSI has issued a public apology after using a racial slur in a recent YouTube video, insisting there’s “no excuse” for his actions.
The hugely-successful YouTuber and influencer, turned boxer, rapper, and entrepreneur, was starring in challenge video inspired by British gameshow Countdown on the Sidemen channel – a collaborative group of YouTube personalities formed in 2013 – when he used a four-letter derogatory word for people of Pakistani origin.
The 29-year-old – whose real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, better known as ‘JJ’, and has more than 29.1 million subscribers on his personal YouTube channel – has been a member of the Sidemen since the group was formed in 2013.
The Sidemen consists of seven members who have a combined total of over 138 million subscribers on their individual channels, and 18.2 million subscribers on the group channel where they post weekly videos that general see them involved in various challenges, sketches, and video game commentaries every Sunday.
In the group’s most recent video – which was shared to the Sidemen YouTube channel yesterday – KSI was seen constructing the racial slur from the selection of letters provided in the gameshow’s famous word round.
The rest of the group members were also seen laughing after KSI said the slur.
The video has since been taken down from YouTube and social media as a result of the growing backlash, and both KSI and the group have issued apologies.
KSI took to Twitter today to apologise for “messing up”, urge his fans not to “put [him] on a pedestal, and confirm he will be taking a break from social media for the foreseeable to reflect on the situation and his actions.
“I wanna apologise for saying a racial slur in a recent Sidemen video,” he said in his tweet.
“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. Im 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 an extended statement and apology via the group’s social media platforms this afternoon, acknowledging that the incident was “completely unacceptable and inexcusable” and going on to “truly apologise”.
“We have reflected on this incident both collectively and individually and are truly ashamed that we have let you guys down in this way,” the statement reads.
“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.”
Since the video was shared to YouTube, there has been widespread backlash and condemnation expressed by fans, famous names, and critics alike on social media – with many branding it “horrifically disappointing”.
TV personality Dr Ranj Singh is one of several famous names to have spoken out on the situation, calling KSI’s use of the slur “simply unacceptable” and adding that he’s “not just upset, I’m disgusted”.
In response to the YouTuber’s apology, which he said was “appreciated”, Dr Ranj said: “Actions speak louder. You’re not the only one in this video. How was this even allowed to go out on YouTube. The number of people (especially POC) saying this word isn’t an issue is a problem.”
He added that some “serious discussions are needed”.
One person wrote (and I don’t know why she’s directly targeting Gary Barlow here): “Wow, @GaryBarlow the price of the Take That tickets are totally out of reach for a lot of us this time round . Two tickets approx £490, that’s a food shop for 5 weeks . Enjoy the profits.”
Another person said: “You know what @takethat you don’t need to charge a bloody fortune for the tickets, you’ve got enough cash yourselves and not every artist does it. I went to see Paolo at the Hydro 3 times for the price of 1 ⫩ ticket Ripping off your fans! Tickets are 4 times the price of 2015.”
Someone else said: “Prices are crazy…first time in 30 years that I’m not even trying for tickets.”
Another person commented: “Prices are ridiculously expensive, I got through to buy tickets for Birmingham but refused to pay £70 to sit at the very back of the arena.”
General sale tickets for Take That’s newest date are available through Co-op Live from 9.30am on Friday 6 October, and you can grab them here.
Take That tour dates for Manchester’s Co-op Live arena in full
Tuesday 7 May – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 8 May – SOLD OUT
Friday 10 May – SOLD OUT
Saturday 11 May – SOLD OUT
Sunday 12 May – SOLD OUT
Tuesday 11 June
Wednesday 12 June
Take That ticket prices for Manchester
Take That Premium Floor Seat Package (includes a gift, a limited-edition city-specific signed print, a souvenir laminate, and an exclusive VIP tote bag) – £242.70 including booking fees.
Take That Premium Tiered Seat Package (includes a gift, a limited-edition city-specific signed print, a souvenir laminate, and an exclusive VIP tote bag) – £242.70 including booking fees.
Brickhouse Social is hosting a brand new Harry Potter-themed pub quiz
Everyone loves a good quiz and while we know there are some non-believers, we think it’s fair to say most people grew up loving Harry Potter. Put those two things together and what do you get? The perfect night out for a Potterphile.
No, we said ‘Potter-phile’.
Manc favourite hangout and popular student spot, Brickhouse Social, has just announced the launch of their new Harry Potter-themed pub quiz, the first of which is set to take place on 4 October.
And just like any good quiz team, any quiz worth its salt needs a good name. Let us introduce you to Brickhouse‘s first-ever ‘Quizitch’ night. Well played — five points to Gryffindor.
Playing host to a horde of fantasy trivia nerds (ourselves firmly included) across their three-storey venue, the quiz starts at 7pm and will put Potterheads to the test with several rounds of questions about the famous book and film series devised by their resident Harry Potter expert.
From Azkaban, muggle magic and the Forbidden Forest to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Quizitch is set to be a Potterhead’s dream.
Better still, although it might not quite be the Triwizard Cup, there is going to be a veritable Honeydukes Express’ worth of prizes on offer, including bar tabs, slices of pizza and more.
Last but not least, the best part about this place is that once you’re all quizzed out, you can always head upstairs for a drink on the terrace, shoot some pool on the first floor or dance the night away at the Kable Club down in the basement afterwards.
You can reserve a table by simply emailing [email protected] or you can always give the guys a ring on 0161 236 4899.
Now, we’ll warn you: spots are being snapped up quickly so get in touch ASAP if you want to take part and even if not, you can always try your luck in case someone drops out. Either way, this won’t be the last time you’ll see Brickhouse diving into the Wizarding World.
Lastly, if all else fails, it’s not like there aren’t a whole host of other great pub quizzes going on around Greater Manchester all week long.