YouTube channel Game Grumps has apologized for “hurtful language and hurtful jokes” posted in the series’ early years, with its creators saying that they are “deeply f***ing sorry” for content that they no longer view as acceptable.
Game Grumps, which is currently hosted by Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan though previously featured controversial videomaker Jon ‘JonTron’ Jafari,’ posted their support of Black Lives Matter, along with outlining the charities they have donated to. They also used their statement to acknowledge their prior history.
“We shouldn’t have had to have made these sorts of mistakes in order to be better, we shouldn’t have had to hurt people to learn,” the statement reads. “You also shouldn’t have had to wait this long for a formal apology for it. We believed that simply stopping that kind of behavior was enough, but we understand that the hurt of those affected deserves to be acknowledged, and the problem deserves to be talked about openly.”
— Game Grumps (@GameGrumps) June 4, 2020
Game Grumps began as a YouTube Let’s Play channel hosted by Arin and JonTron, though has since transformed into a multimedia company that includes video game, music, and book publishing. JonTron left Game Grumps in 2013 after a year co-hosting the show with Arin, before being replaced by Dan who has remained with the company ever since.
Some of Game Grumps’s earlier content featuring Jon was much more controversial than their current output, with viewers having even compiled instances of Arin and Jon using racial expletives during their playthroughs. After leaving the show, Jon was later involved in a separate controversy, after appearing on a stream where he echoed white nationalist talking points. He later said in the H3 Podcast that he “could have phrased a lot of that better,” adding that he wasn’t racist.
Jon’s departure was met with speculation, and the subsequent controversies surrounding him caused many to speculate that these beliefs were the reason for his exit. However, neither Game Grumps nor Jon have explicitly explained the circumstances behind the split, aside from Jon wanting to focus on creating videos for his own YouTube channel.