Jenna Marbles quits YouTube over past blackface videos and 'racist' jokes

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Friday 26 June 2020 09:30
news

YouTuber Jenna Marbles has told fans she’s going to “move on” from YouTube after addressing racist behaviour in past videos.

In an emotional 10 minute video titled “A Message”, Marbles (real name, Jenna Mourey) discussed offensive content she had made, after fans reportedly asked her to apologie for it.

These included videos where she ‘blacked up’ in character as Nicki Minaj and another where she made a racist joke about Asian men.

Who is Jenna Marbles?

Jenna Marbles is a YouTube content creator whose profile rose when the site first started getting mega traction around 2010.

She was one of the first wave of vloggers to shape the concept as we know it.

Marbles made relatable, comedic videos with titles like “How to trick people in thinking you’re good looking” (still a pressing question in 2020).

She quickly became famous and in 2017 was one of the first YouTube stars to receive a Madame Tussauds wax lookalike.

Why is she leaving YouTube?

Despite YouTube boosting Marbles’ net worth to a cool $8m, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, fans have been holding her accountable for past racist comments or actions made in videos.

They noticed she had quietly made several pieces of content private.

Marbles openly addressed her behaviour in her upload today, saying she had taken the videos down because she “wasn’t interested in offending anyone” and was “incredibly sorry”.

Speaking in the video, she said:

I’m sorry if any of [my old content] holds any nostalgia for you, but I’m literally not trying to put out negative things into the world. 

I think there was a time when having all of my old content exist on the internet showed how much I have grown up as a person, which I’m very proud of. I think now it’s hard for that content to exist at all because I think people watch it and don’t bother to look at when it was posted or care about what path I took to get to where I am.

It offends them now, and, if that’s the case, where people will watch something and be offended now, I don’t want it to exist.

She then announced she would be quitting YouTube for the foreseeable future.

"I think I'm just going to move on from this channel, for now,” said Marbles.

"I don't know if that's forever. I don't know how long that's going to be... I want to make sure that the things that I've put into the world aren't hurting anyone.

"I'm ashamed of things I've said and done in my past”.

What has the reaction been like?

Marbles’ announcement has received praise from many.

Some highlighted that this is not the first time she’s shown reflection and care in dealing with difficult issues, such as white privilege.

A podcaster shared the reaction of a Black individual who said Marbles’ decision had made her “love her ever more” and set an example of how to truly handle accountability.

Others pledged to support Marbles on the next step of her journey, no matter where it took her.

While no one should be idolised for doing what’s right, Marbles’ decision has certainly left her with a lot of goodwill from the rest of the YouTube community and beyond.

And set the standard for how people can address past wrongs and grow.

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