Jenna Marbles has been a vlogging titan on YouTube for many years, with 20 million subscribers. Even her dog is practically a household name.
She is now quitting YouTube over backlash for having worn blackface among other racist actions in her past.
It is the end of an era.
On Thursday, June 25, YouTube legend Jenna Marbles, whose real name is Jenna Mourey, announces that she is leaving the platform.
She has 20 million subscribers. Her view counts number in the billions.
Jenna rose to fame for comedic sketches early in her YouTube career, including satirical DIY videos.
These days, most of her blogging consists of her day-to-day life, plus lots of content of her wonderful ugly dog, Kermit.
However, nearly a decade ago, Jenna posted some truly abhorrent things to her YouTube channel.
These videos, which have been hidden from public view for many years, show Jenna making poor, racist choices.
From racism against Asians to wearing blackface while parodying Nicki Minaj, Jenna crossed some serious lines.
“I feel like we’re at a time where we are purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic,” Jenna says in the emotional video.
“It was not my intention to do blackface,” she affirms while confronting the 2011 video.
“I do want to tell you how unbelievably sorry I am,” she emphasizes, “if I ever offended you by posting this video or by doing this impression.”
“And,” Jenna stresses, “that that was never my intention.”
“It’s not okay. It’s shameful. It’s awful,” Jenna repeats. “I wish it [weren’t] part of my past.”
Specifically in reference to Asian-specific racist video, she states that it is “inexcusable” and “shouldn’t have existed.”
Jenna is noteworthy for having changed many years ago, ending that kind of toxic, problematic behavior.
But she explains why, aftering being called out yet again, she feels the need to step away from YouTube.
“For now, I just can’t exist on this channel,” Jenna acknoweldges.
She says: “I think I’m just going to move on from this channel for now.”
“I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” she admits. “I just want to make sure the things I’m putting in the world aren’t hurting anyone.”
“So I need to be done with this channel,” Jenna reasons, “for now or for forever.”
(Here is Kermit. He looks like a very worried sock puppet brought to life by a curse, and I love him)
Some have decried Jenna’s departure from YouTube as “cancel culture gone too far.”
Others have said that Jenna’s actions, which are her own choice, set an example for others.
They note that Jenna was already a public figure when she used racist jokes to attain fame and money.
Additionally, people have pointed out that Jenna, with an estimated net worth of $8 million, will be okay without YouTube.
In contrast, racist behavior such as “ching chong” jokes about Asians and blackface further sentiments that get people of color mistreated and killed.
On the other side, however, people have begun to ask.
Though not everyone has a racist past, no one is fully unproblematic — so where do we draw the line on consequences?
For years, Jenna — alongside actor Colton Haynes — have been pointed to as examples of formerly problematic people who listened and changed.
Both had, as part of costumes and unaware of the practice’s history, worn blackface.
Jenna stopped, apologized, and removed her harmful videos from public circulation.
Colton stopped, apologized, and channeled his enthusiasm for elaborate Halloween costumes into dressing as Fiona the ogre.
Certainly, one can see why politicians can be held to a higher standard if they wore blackface.
Not only should members of political dynasties know better, but they are suposed to bear the public trust.
YouTube stars … are not.
Profiting from racist jokes is bad, but those videos have not been seen or monetized for many years.
Additionally, when it comes to the bulk of the last decade, Jenna’s behavior has been fine … in ways that Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson have not.
Many have lamented that Jenna was “canceled” while those two chuckleheads are still getting away with their abhorrent BS.
This is the sick twist of becoming less problematic with time. Jenna is a good person.
Jenna is stepping back because she understands that her past actions were harmful. Genuinely bad people will never voluntarily do this.
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