YouTube Star Jenna Marbles Cancels Herself over Past Videos

YouTube star Jenna Marbles
Web Summit/Flickr

YouTube star Jenna Marbles says she is quitting her channel, after being on the platform for a decade during which she garnered over 20 million subscribers and over 3 billion views, due to her past racist and sexist videos.

Now that “cancel culture” is in full swing for everyone, unless you’re the governor of Virginia, some people are deciding to just cut to the chase and cancel themselves,  one such example is YouTube star Jenna Mourey — better known as Jenna Marbles.

The YouTuber announced on Thursday that she will be leaving the platform over insensitive content that she posted in 2011 and 2012.

“I feel like we’re at a time where we are purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic,” said Marbles in a video, entitled, “A Message.”

Marbles explained that she has changed the privacy settings for a lot of her old YouTube videos, making it so people are unable to view them.

“And I’m sorry if any of [those videos] hold any nostalgia for you, but I’m literally not trying to put out negative things into the world,” said Marbles. “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 — [but] I think now it’s hard for that content to exist at all.”

The YouTube star went on to address three specific videos of which she is ashamed, the first one being a 2011 video of her in “blackface” doing an impersonation of rapper Nicki Minaj.

“It was not my intention to do blackface,” said Marbles, who then fast-forwarded the clip to show her audience what she looked like at the end of the video after she took her wig off — which showed her appearing to simply have a tan.

“Her fans know that she wore a dark tan 7-10 years ago,” commented one Twitter user. “#JennaMarbles always looked like that…. So because she threw on a pink wig with her usual tan, she did blackface?”

“But it doesn’t matter, because all that matters is that people were offended and it hurt them, and for that, I am so unbelievably sorry,” continued Marbles in her video. “I heard people say, ‘This is blackface,’ and I don’t like that — I just would never want to put that into the world.”

“I wish it wasn’t part of my past,” she added.

The second video Marbles addressed was also from 2011 — this one featuring a rap song with a joke about Asians, which included the lyrics, “Hey Ching Chong Wing Wong, shake your King Kong ding dong.”

Upon reflecting on this video, Marbles said that it was “inexcusable” and that “it shouldn’t have existed.”

“I shouldn’t have said that, ever,” she added. “And I’m embarrassed that I ever made that. Period.”

The third piece of content that Marbles apologized for was a video from 2012 in which the YouTube star blasted women who “slept around.”

“I made a video that came across unbelievably slut-shaming, and I’m sorry, I just fucked up,” said Marbles. “I had a lot of internalized misogyny, I feel like.”

Marbles, who created her YouTube channel in 2010, became popular on the platform by posting videos that showcased her quirky personality and self-deprecating sense of humor.

Many people were first introduced to Marbles when they stumbled upon her 2010 video, entitled, “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking” — a modest makeup tutorial that went viral, garnering nearly 70 million views on YouTube.

In her apology video, Marbles went on to explain that she “used to make a lot of content about what girls do and what guys do,” which she now considers unacceptable, as she believes that there are people who “have varying fluid identities.”

“I know at the time there were a lot of people that enjoyed those videos, but I have privated all of them, because I don’t think that making jokes about your gender is funny,” said Marbles.

“And I know that there’s a lot of people that struggle with their identity and that have varying fluid identities,” she added.

Given that so much is considered offensive in America today, to the point where even a brand of syrup has gotten canceled, the YouTube star appears to have decided that removing herself entirely from the platform is the best route to take.

“For now, I just can’t exist on this channel,” said Marbles, visibly emotional. “I don’t know if that’s forever, I don’t know how long it’s going to be. I just want to make sure that the things I put into the world are not hurting anyone.”

“So I need to be done with this channel for now, or for forever,” she added.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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