YouTube star Jenna Marbles announced on Thursday that she’s quitting vlogging after fans asked her to apologize for racist videos she's made, saying there are things in her past she's not proud of.
“I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone,” said Marbles, whose real last name is Mourey.
In a new YouTube video, Mourey said fans requested that she address problematic videos from her past, which include her in blackface, and she “feels like we’re at a time where we are purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic.”
“I’ve tried my best to grow up and to be a better person. And first and foremost, I want everyone to know that I’ve always been a two-way street, and that anytime that you criticize me and tell me that you would like me to do better or to do something differently, that I always try to do that. And I try to make fun content, inclusive content, things that don’t offend people or upset people, and that’s kind of where I am," she said.
Offensive past videos include when she dressed in blackface imitating Nicki Minaj, when she shamed women “who slept around,” and when she made a racist joke about Asian men in her “Bounce That Dick” music video.
"It's awful, it doesn't need to exist, it's inexcusable, it's not OK," Mourey said about the racist videos. "I'm incredibly sorry if this offended then, now, whenever, it doesn't need to exist. It shouldn't have existed. I shouldn't have said that ever. It's not cool, it's not cute, it's not OK, and I'm embarrassed that I ever made that, period."
Not only is Mourey giving up her platform of 20 million subscribers on YouTube, but she’s also making the offensive videos on her channel private.
“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,” Mourey said. “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.”
Despite her announcement about quitting vlogging, Mourey, who started rising to prominence on YouTube in 2010, did leave open the door that she may return to the platform, saying her decision was only for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t know if that’s forever, I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” she said. “I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone.”
Fans have mixed reactions to Mourey’s departure from vlogging. Many were saddened, tweeting jokes about deleting the YouTube app and staring at a tombstone.
Twitter user @miss_katie_rae wrote, “Jenna Marbles has consistently made me smile and laugh even on the days when I’m at my lowest, darkest places. I fall asleep listening to her videos because I don’t get nightmares when they play. She’s such a bright light and beautiful person.”
Another Twitter user, @btdjareau wrote, “i’m devastated. i watch jenna marbles videos every night. i rewatch tons of times. the fact that she may never return to her channel/post content there anymore breaks my heart. i look up to this woman so much.”
Another, @marblesthoughts, wrote: “jenna marbles may have quit youtube for now but remember why she did it. hold social influencers accountable. hold public figures accountable. do not let people get away with problematic things just because they’re famous or rich.”