Dad of Biracial YouTube Stars, the McClure Twins, Apologizes After Racist Tweets Resurface
The troubling tweets show Justin McClure making jokes about black women
The white father of biracial YouTube stars, the McClure Twins, is facing heavy criticism after racist and misogynistic posts on the family’s Twitter account recently resurfaced.
Toddler twin sisters Ava and Alexis McClure have amassed millions of followers across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, thanks to their adorable pictures and videos. Their parents, Justin and Ami McClure, have also garnered their own following, due to their many videos, pictures and openness when discussing their biracial relationship (Justin is white and Ami is black).
Yet, the couple recently sat down together and addressed a subject far from their normal content — Justin, while using his own personal Twitter profile that would later become the family’s account as they rose to internet stardom, had sent out multiple racist tweets that joked about black people and women.
“Black people can’t say ‘ask’ ” Justin wrote in one of his now-deleted tweets, “but they have no trouble saying Cadillac Escalade.”
In a separate tweet, Justin — who also shares an infant son with Ami — wrote about the names black women give their children.
“Dominican women I know: Ilia, Awilda, Janitsy, Zora,” he tweeted in 2011. “Black women I know: Chandelier, Lasagna, Constellation, Walgreens #whenblackpeoplegetpaid.”
Justin continued the derogatory jokes about black women in a tweet the following year.
“Lately I’ve been under the impression… Impression is the black girl I went out with,” he tweeted in February 2012. “She loves being on top #blackgirls #ghetto.”
The most recent of the tweets, which said a black woman would one day name their child, “Allergies,” was written in September 2014, just a year after Ava and Alexis were born.
After facing backlash online, Justin and Ami discussed the tweets in a video published to the family’s YouTube channel on July 13. In it, Ami said she was previously unaware of the tweets and was shocked when they came to light.
“I was just as surprised and shocked by those tweets from previous days as [the public] was,” Ami says in the video. “This is my first time seeing them as well… I did not know that man. The man that I met and married is the Justin I know today.”
During their conversation, Justin proclaimed he isn’t racist but could see, today, that his past tweets are offensive.
“I know I’m not a racist,” Justin told his wife. “But I look at the things I said, and would a racist person say those things? They would … if I what I say is so offensive to someone else and it’s racist to them, then it’s racist.”
Justin explained that the posts were written when he was starting out as a comedian.
At one point, while confronting her husband, Ami bursts into tears and said she once harbored anger and bias towards white people but learned to grow from it.
“I don’t know if you can call it racist… but I didn’t like white people,” she said. “Anybody who knows me knows that I did not like white people. And I had to sit to myself and say ‘why?’”
While some commenters on social media accepted Justin’s apology, many others didn’t let him off easily.
“Is there a way to cancel the McClure parents without canceling the twins?” one user tweeted.
At the end of the YouTube video, Justin sits down with the twins and indirectly discusses the tweets and the fallout.
“Did you learn your lesson from what you said?” one of the twins asks Justin. “Why didn’t you get a spanking?”
“I did get a spanking,” he replies. “I think I got a spanking from the internet.”
The McClure family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.