YouTube influencer Jenna Marbles leaves channel after Blackface backlash

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YouTube star Jenna Mourey, known as her channel Jenna Marbles, announced Thursday that she is leaving the platform amid controversy over the offensive racist videos.

“I feel like we are in a time where we are purging ourselves of everything and everything that is toxic,” she said in a video titled “A Message”, in which she apologized for its racist and sexist content.

Mourey, who has more than 20 million subscribers, highlighted specific videos from 2011 and 2012 – one in which she donned a blackface to imitate rapper Nicki Minaj, another with a rap song with a joke on Asians, and a video in which she criticized women who “slept”.

“It was not my intention to blackface,” she said of Minaj’s impersonation. “I want to tell you how incredibly sorry I am if I offended you by posting this video or making this impression, and it was never my intention. It’s not correct. It is shameful. It’s horrible. I wish it was not the case ‘is not part of my past. ”

She added that the rap song, which included the lyrics “Hey Ching Chong Wing Wong, shake your King Kong ding dong”, was “inexcusable” and “should not have existed”.

The videos, along with other older content from the early years of her channel, are no longer visible to the public, she added.

“Right now, I just can’t exist on this channel … I think I’m just going to leave this channel for now,” said Mourey, visibly moved. “I don’t know how long it will last. I just want to make sure that the things I put out in the world don’t hurt anyone … so I need to be done with this channel, now or forever. ”

Mourey, whose videos have garnered over 3 billion total views, was among the first introductions to YouTube for many. She created her channel in 2010, when the platform was just starting to become mainstream – long before it exploded into the booming industry it is today.

She is best known for her early comedy sketches and satirical educational videos – many of which have now been made private – and, more recently, for her lifestyle and DIY content.

After posting the video on Thursday, some fans and other influencers defended it online, arguing that the incident showed the toxicity of “canceling culture” – the phenomenon of public figures being quickly “canceled” for having said or done something controversial.

“Let’s stop normalizing by going back 10 years in someone’s life and hoping you’re going to make a mistake and try to ruin their life,” tweeted singer and colleague YouTuber Gabbie Hanna.

But others hailed Mourey’s reaction as taking responsibility for past mistakes.

“Jenna Marbles may have left YouTube yet, but remember why she did,” a Twitter user posted. “Hold social influencers accountable. Hold public figures accountable. Don’t let people get away with problematic things just because they are famous or wealthy. “



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