Jenna Marbles leaves YouTube and apologises for past problematic videos

26 June 2020, 12:46

Jenna Marbles is leaving her YouTube channel
Jenna Marbles is leaving her YouTube channel. Picture: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dick clark productions, Jenna Marbles via YouTube
Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

“I wanna hold myself accountable and it’s painful to do it and it’s not fun and it hurts and I’m ashamed of things I’ve done in my past but it’s important.”

In an 11-minute video titled ‘A Message’, YouTube star Jenna Marbles announced that she is leaving the platform.

After a decade on YouTube, Jenna (real name Jenna Mourey) took to her channel to address, apologise and hold herself accountable for certain videos that she had posted in the past.

“I feel like we’re at a time where we’re purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic and I’m being requested that I address things that I’ve done in my past,” Jenna says as the start of the video.

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Jenna explained that she feels uncomfortable when people call her an unproblematic queen: “Those of you that are familiar with how long I’ve been on the internet know that that’s not true. I’ve definitely done things in the past that weren’t great. And I’m not completely unproblematic. I’ve tried my best to grow up and be a better person.”

A Message

In the video, Jenna says: “First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I’ve always been a two way street and that anytime that you criticise me and tell me that you would like me to do better, or to do something differently, 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.

“There’s things in my past that I’m not proud of and I’m getting a lot tweets from people saying, 'Why have you privatised all these old videos?'. I’ve spent the last few days privatising almost all of my old content and I’m sorry if any of that holds any nostalgia for you but I’m literally not trying to put out negative things into the world.”

Jenna also apologises directly for a handful of videos that she had already removed from her channel years ago, and explained why they needed an apology.

Addressing a 2011 video where she made jokes as Nicki Minaj, Jenna says: "I do just want to tell you that it was not my intention to do blackface. I don't know how else to say this but it doesn't matter because all that matters is that people were offended and it hurt them. For that I am so unbelievably sorry. This isn't okay and it hasn't existed on the Internet for a long time because it's not okay." 

She also holds herself accountable for a 2011 video that included slurs toward a Chinese man, a "slut-shamey" video from 2012 and a number of videos that she believed were offensive in regards to gender identity.

Many people have expressed how sincere Jenna's apology was, and have since praised her response and the way she took accountability for her past actions. Many also commented on how she's actively shown growth throughout her career.

Closing out the video, Jenna explains why she’s leaving YouTube: "For now, I just can’t exist on this channel. Hopefully I’ve taken down anything that would upset someone and I hope you know that’s just not my intent. That’s not what I ever set out to do, to hurt anyone’s feelings or to make anyone feel bad.

“So, I think I’m just gonna move on from this channel for now. I don’t know if that’s gonna be forever I don’t know how long that’s gonna be. I wanna make sure that the things I put into the world are not hurting anyone. I’m just gonna stop for now… or forever. I don’t know.

“I wanna hold myself accountable and it’s painful to do it and it’s not fun and it hurts and I’m ashamed of things I’ve done in my past but it’s important.”