After a decade on YouTube Jenna Marbles has quit the video-making platform amid controversy over racially offensive videos previously shared to her channel.
The entertainer, whose real name is Jenna Mourey, shared a video to her YouTube channel on Thursday (25 June) titled “A Message” in which she apologised for doing an impression of rapper Nicki Minaj while wearing blackface in a 2011 video.
Revealing that she had made a lot of her old videos private “quite a while ago”, Mourey said: “It was not my intention to do blackface… but it doesn’t matter because all that matters is that people were offended and it hurt them and for that I am so unbelievably sorry.
“This isn’t OK and it hasn’t existed on the internet for a long time because it’s not OK. I haven’t done anything remotely like that because I heard people say, ‘This is blackface and I don’t like that.’”
She continued: “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, and that that was never my intention. It’s not okay. It’s shameful. It’s awful. I wish it wasn’t part of my past.”
Mourey, who has made comedy videos on YouTube since 2010, also apologised for a rap song that featured racist lyrics towards Asian people, saying that the video was “inexcusable” and “shouldn’t have existed”.
In response, Mourey said that she would be leaving YouTube, explaining: “For now, I just can’t exist on this channel… 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. 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, for now or for forever.”
Other YouTubers like Shane Dawson and Jeffery Star are also facing backlash for past offensive content as old videos keep resurfacing.
YouTube is joining traditional broadcasting in reckoning with its past use of blackface, with Jimmy Kimmel and Tina Fey also apologising this week for their use of the practice.
*This article was adapted from Independent