YouTuber Jenna Marbles has quit following blackface backlash

Jennifer Savin
Photo credit: David Livingston - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

YouTube star Jenna Marbles (real name Jenna Mourey) has shared an apology video and said she may never post on her channel again, after being called out for some of her older videos. She has over 20 million subscribers.

The videos in question include her impersonating Nicki Minaj while sporting a dark spray tan, rapping offensive lyrics about Asian people and skits on slut shaming, which she goes through individually and acknowledges in her new upload.

Jenna, who rocketed to fame over a decade ago with her video 'How To Trick People Into Thinking You're Good Looking', began by saying, "We're at a time where we're purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic, and I'm being requested that I address things that I've done in my past."

She added, "I also get a lot of tweets saying 'I love you, you unproblematic queen!' which always makes me uncomfortable, because I'm a person. Those of you who are familiar with how long I've been on the internet know that that's not true... I'm not completely unproblematic. I've tried my best to grow up and be a better person... I've always been a two way street, any time you criticise me or ask me to do better, I always try to do that."

Jenna then explains that she's happy and willing to say sorry and said she recognises it's important to take accountability, going on to say that she 'privated' a lot of the videos in question some time ago.

Since posting her apology, the YouTuber has received support online, with many fans questioning if cancel culture has gone too far.

One tweet, which has racked up over 40,000 likes, posted by a user known as @liatwintelle said, "Honestly, if anyone watched Jenna Marbles in 2020, you'll see that she is NOT the same person that she is in 2011 or 2012. As a black person, I fully forgiver her for the Nicki Minaj / black face video. The other things that she apologises for are not for me to accept..."

Others said they felt it was right for her to acknowledge her past mistakes, with @umbrosious writing, "Jenna Marbles decided to quit youtube, and issued an apology for those blackface videos she did years ago and people are upset because someone they enjoy watching is leaving while overlooking the fact that, while it's cool she apologized, black people aren't obligated to accept."

Others said they felt her Nicki Minaj video wasn't blackface, saying that it was simply fake tan. Jenna herself acknowledged this, saying, "It was not my intention to do 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."

Jenna stepping away from the platform comes at an especially poignant time, as the Black Lives Matter movement has gained worldwide support and many are self-reflecting on their own past behaviour, as well as educating themselves on racial equality.

It's unclear if her quitting is a permanent move, but she said, "For now, I just can’t exist on this channel… I think I’m just going to move on from this channel for now."

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