YouTuber Jenna Mourey, aka Jenna Marbles, announced Thursday that she is moving away from her main YouTube channel, potentially forever. “I have spent the past few days privatizing almost all of my old content, and I’m sorry if this makes you nostalgic, but I’m not literally trying to put negative things in the world”, Mourey said in an 11-minute video in tears. Mourey became famous on the Internet in 2010 with a video called “How to Make People Think You Are Beautiful”. For the scale, it has been viewed 69,000,000 times and counts. Mourey currently has 23 million subscribers on the channel.
It’s hard to talk about the rise of YouTube creator without talking about Mourey. The EX-Bar stool writer-turned-viral video engine has been among the best creators on the platform for almost a decade. In 2018, its channel was the 16th most followed in the world, a ranking that only increased if you counted it among the creators. (Mourey has other YouTube channels, including one for games and one for a podcast. Both are co-directed with his partner, Julien’s creator Julien Solomita.) But Mourey also, as she says in this video , invited its fair share of controversy. She refers to a number of videos, including one in which she wears a blackface and another in which she used insults to make fun of an Asian man, noting that the two have been removed for some time and that she has since grown as a person.
In the farewell video, Mourey plays excerpts from these two videos, which were filmed in 2011. The first shows that she makes an impression of Nicki Minaj whom she calls “cringey and embarrassing”. “It was not my intention to blackface … but all that matters is that people were offended and it hurt them,” she said. “It is not good, and it did not exist on the Internet, because it is wrong. I haven’t done anything remotely like that, because I’ve heard people say “it’s blackface” and “I don’t like it.” “Mourey claims it was just her makeup but says it doesn’t matter because it was seen as blackface, and that’s what matters.
“I wish it wasn’t part of my past,” says Mourey. She repeatedly apologizes for the two videos. She continues with an excerpt from a video called “Bounce That Dick”, which includes the phrase “hey ching chong wing wong, shake your King Kong ding dong, sorry it was racist, I’m a bad rap song”. Again, Mourey apologizes and talks about being embarrassed and ashamed. “I shouldn’t have said that. Already. It’s not fun. It’s not cute. It’s not okay. She tackles a third video, which she doesn’t show, apologizing for shaming a slut. “There is no apology requirement from me for this video at this time, but put it on my tab,” jokes Mourey. She also mentions the number of her videos tampered with in binary sexist stereotypes. “I don’t think joking about your sex is funny. I know that many people struggle with their identity or have variable and fluid identities. “
“Just know that I’m doing my best,” says Mourey, speaking to the people who call her online who she is friends with and their racist actions. “As a person, clearly, with their own past of which they are not proud, I am just trying to see the people for whom they are right now. The video, she said, will be the last for a while, perhaps forever, on this channel. “I think I’m just going to leave this channel for now … I want to make sure the things I put out in the world don’t hurt anyone. The video, which she says she could delete, will be the latest new material on the chain.