Jenna Marbles announces she is leaving YouTube and apologizes for her problematic past – but the internet thinks other influences should be quitting before her.
The internet is in mourning today after learning the OG queen of YouTube is leaving the platform to reflect on her controversial videos. Jenna Marbles was one of the first creators on YouTube, joining the platform in 2010 and making over 250 videos. She paved the way for female success on YouTube and has accumulated over 1.5 billion views. Recently, Jenna has come under fire for some old content where she appears to be engaging in blackface, racism and sexism.
Jenna posted a video Thursday morning addressing these accusations head on, apologizing profusely and announcing she will be leaving her channel for a while to take time to reflect on past actions. It’s a heart breaking video for her long time fans.
There were a few specific videos and accusations Jenna explains and apologizes for in her video, let’s break these down now. First Jenna addresses a video of her pretending to be Nikki Minaj in a pink wig and what is alleged to be black face. Jenna says that she simply had on a dark spray tan that day and did not intend to do Blackface. She apologizes for the videos nonetheless, saying it doesn’t matter what her intentions were but it matters what the impact was on her viewers. She also apologizes for an old skit where Jenna is rapping and using racial slurs while dressing in offensive clothing and mocking an Asian stereotype. She says the video was unacceptable and has been very hurtful to her audience. She responds to critiques of her past slut-shaming and she also apologizes for her old series “What Girls or Guys Do”. She says she doesn’t intend to hurt her audience with fluid gender identities or minimize the struggle people go through with their gender identity.
Jenna ends the video by saying she doesn’t want to be putting negativity into the world, so she has privated most of her past content and will be stepping away from YouTube with no major plans to return in the future.
A lot of her longtime fans are blaming Cancel Culture for her departure, saying people are attacking her for old videos when she’s proven overtime that she is a better person now. One tweet said “While I agree in life that actions should be held accountable…Jenna has shown to be a vastly different person than who she was from almost 10 years ago” and another user saying “Jenna Marbles leave YouTube because people claim they want to hold people accountable but when those people actually change it’s still not good enough”.
People are pointing to some specific video clips and past tweets to prove Jenna has grown over the years to be an inclusive and educated influencer.
On May 31st of this year, Jenna tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and encouraged her followers to sign petitions for the cause. When Youtube was being accused of censoring LGBT content creators, Jenna tweeted “Youtube Can’t be Transparent Because that would mean admitting to marginalizing a giant group of people for a profit”. People are asking citing a video clip from Cocktails with Khloe as evidence that she has changed from her past racist videos, as she addresses white privledge and her role in it.
A lot of people are upset that her fans are blaming Cancel Culture for her video, as they feel like it’s not a white fan’s place to accept an apology for Jenna’s Blackface and Asian stereotyping. These actions do deserve a head-on apology and needed to be addressed.
One user tweeted “Why are you blaming Toxic Cancel Culture for Jenna holding herself accountable” and “she did bad stuff…so she needed to apologize for it and she did! Where does culture come from? Does blackface not deserve an apology?” another user said “Yeah white people it’s not your place to forgive Jenna! Blackface & racist stereotypes do not affect you” And lastly “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”.
This is a really good point – people were quick to be upset Jenna was leaving because those racist videos were from way back in 2012, but she has never publicly addressed and apologized for them. Just because she is a different person now doesn’t mean she can ignore her problematic past and expect the audience she offended to forgive and forget.
Jenna’s apology video has caused people to demand other YouTubers with un-addressed problematic pasts to follow her lead take accountability. One tweet says “you’re telling me Jenna Marbles is quitting youtube and yet people like Trisha Paytas and Jeffree Star are still on the platform??”
Shane Dawson has some pretty shocking videos that are resurfacing from his past where he clearly does use Blackface and the N-word, as well as perpetuate racial stereotypes. Jeffree Star has also been involved in a lot of serious scandals over the years, as videos surface with him using the N-word, called women slurs and shaming their sexuality. Trisha Paytas is also coming under fire for past blackface and racial stereotypes, accusations of her offending the transgender and LGBT communities at large, and mocking the mental health community and faking illnesses. People believe if anyone is going to leave Youtube and apologize for their past, these three should at least be included with Jenna Marbles and step away from the platform.
What do you think? Should Jenna have taken this break? Should we forgive her for her past videos? What other Youtubers should be publicly apologizing and quitting content making as well? We want to hear from you!