"I'm ashamed of things I've done and said in my past," Jenna Marbles said

By Gabrielle Chung
June 25, 2020 10:40 PM
Jenna Marbles
Jenna Marbles
| Credit: youtube

Jenna Mourey, the hugely popular YouTube star known as Jenna Marbles, is quitting her channel after a decade on the video streaming platform.

On Thursday, Mourey, 33, announced her decision to "move on" from her YouTube channel — which has amassed more than 20.2 million subscribers — in a tearful video that addressed some of her past controversial videos.

In an 11-minute clip titled "A Message," Mourey apologized for her past actions and shared that she would be stepping away from her channel because "we’re at a time where we are purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic."

The vlogger began by telling fans that she's "not completely unproblematic" given her past work, explaining, "I've tried my best to grow up and be a better person."

Mourey went on to say that she's disabled "almost all" of her past videos as to "not put negative things into the world" anymore.

"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," she said. "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. 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."

Content that Mourey has put on private includes a clip in which she shamed women who "ran around and slept around" and a music video containing lyrics that appeared to mock Asian people.

She also disabled a 2011 video of her imitating Nicki Minaj, though she said that the clip had been "private for quite some time."

"I do just want to tell you that it was not my intention to do blackface," she said of the impersonation video. "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."

Jenna Marbles
| Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Invision for AwesomenessTV/AP

Though Mourey emphasized that she did not intentionally darken her skin for the video, she said it "doesn't matter because all that matters is that people were offended."

"I do want to tell you how unbelievably sorry I am If I ever offended you by posting this video or by doing this impression," she continued. "It's not okay. It's shameful. It's awful. I wish it wasn't part of my past."

Mourey also addressed her relationships with people who have been previously accused of being "racist," saying through tears, "I'm just a person trying to navigate the world the same way that you are so I don't always know what's right, what's wrong, what the truth is. I'm just trying my best."

"As someone clearly with their own past that they're not proud of, I do just try to see people for who they are right now, today and that they're not defined by their pasts," she said. "I'm trying to do the same thing that you are and support and be friends of people that I'm proud of and that I love and I just know that I'm doing my best."

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Having disabled many of her past videos to prevent further offense from viewers, Mourey told fans, "For now, I just can't exist on this channel."

"Hopefully, I've taken down anything that might upset someone," she said, adding that it was never her intent to hurt people.

"I think I'm just going to move on from this channel for now. I don't know if that's forever. I don't know how long it's going to be. I want to make sure that the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone."

The content creator ended the video by telling viewers that it was "important" for her to address her past behavior.

"I want to hold myself accountable, and it's painful to do it," she said. "It's not fun and it hurts. I'm ashamed of things I've done and said in my past."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.