YouTube star Jenna Marbles emotionally made the announcement Thursday that she will leave the platform behind, citing her past videos featuring racist jokes and blackface. The 33-year-old Marbles, who has more than 20 million subscribers and over 3.53 billion views, gained fame on the platform in 2010. She made it clear that her offensive videos will be made private and said she no longer wants to "put negative things into the world."
"I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone," Marbles said in a new video she published Thursday. She said fans asked her to discuss the problematic videos she shared in the past. She "feels like we’re at a time where we are purging ourselves of anything and everything toxic," Marbles said.
The offensive videos from her past include one where she put on blackface to mock rapper Nicki Minaj to shame women who "slept around," reports BuzzFeed News. She also shared a racist joke about Asian men in the "Bounce That D—" music video. Marbles said she understands there is a "two-way street" and if people tell her she should do better, it is her responsibility to do so. "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," she said.
As for the offensive videos, she said they are "awful," "do not need to exist" and are "inexcusable." She apologized to anyone they offended "then, now, whenever, it doesn't need to exist." She said they should not have existed in the first place and is "embarrassed that I ever made that, period." She went on to apologize to anyone who has "nostalgia" for the old videos, but "I’m literally not trying to put out negative things into the world."
"I think there was a time when having all of my old content exists on the internet showed how much I have grown up as a person, which I’m very proud of," Marbles explained. "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."
At the end of the video, Marbles did leave the door open for her return to YouTube, telling fans she is not sure if this is for "forever" or how long her absence would be. "I want to make sure the things that I put into the world are not hurting anyone," she added. Despite this caveat to her announcement, her fans took to Twitter to share their sadness for her leaving.
Marbles, whose real name is Jenna Mourey, began vlogging on YouTube in 2010. As her videos began earning millions of views, she went on to appear in Epic Rap Battles of History, The Annoying Orange, Ridiculousness and Smosh: The Movie. She even became the first YouTuber to have a wax figure created by Madame Tussauds. In 2018, she was nominated for the Creator of the Decade award at the Shorty Awards.