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Photo: Matthew Simmons
Photo: Matthew Simmons

YouTuber Jenna Marbles’ self-cancel shows the good and bad of “cancel culture”

One of the platform’s most popular creators is taking a break after apologizing for her actions and statements in videos from eight and nine years ago.

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On Thursday, June 25, popular YouTube influencer, Jenna Mourey, better known by her channel name, Jenna Marbles, announced to her 20 million subscribers that she will be taking a break from Youtube. 

In her emotional 11 minute video, titled “A Message,” she apologized for videos she had made in 2011 and 2012 that were racist and sexist. 

Marbles showed clips of the videos, one where she was in blackface, impersonating Nicki Minaj, and one where she was impersonating and mocking East Asian men. She also apologized for times when she shamed women for sleeping around, explaining that she had a lot of internalized misogyny at the time, and no longer feels that way about what people choose to do with their bodies. 

After posting the video, many took to Twitter to criticize the modern phenomenon known as “cancel culture,” where public figures and celebrities are quickly “canceled” due to problematic behavior. 

“Let’s stop normalizing going back through 10 years of somebody’s life hoping you stumble upon a mistake to try and ruin their life,” tweeted singer and fellow YouTuber, Gabbie Hanna after Mourey’s announcement.

But many others were pleased with Marbles’ actions, and want to keep seeing public figures being held accountable for their actions. 

“I find it insulting that more people are concerned about Jenna Marbles being emotional over being held accountable, than they are that Black people had to experience that pain in the first place AND wait many years for the pain to be acknowledged,” wrote one commenter. 

This idea was reinforced by Youtuber and Twitter influencer, Amanda Elimian. Elimian made a video about “cancel culture” and how it doesn’t really apply to Marbles because she made the apology video on her own volition, which shows true growth. 

She was curious to know why White people were accepting her apology even though it wasn’t directed at them. 

“Do Black and Asian people not deserve an apology?” she asked. 

Elimian feels that too many people don’t care about racism as much as they claim to, especially when it comes to something or someone that they love. 

For instance, it is well known at this point that makeup entrepreneur and YouTuber, Jeffree Star, has done and said very racist things in the past, and has been “canceled,” but still has a thriving career. Elimian made the argument that many people are not angry enough about actual bigotry, especially when they continue to support people who are racist. 

Marbles expressed that she doesn’t want anyone to be upset or offended by her content, and that she is ashamed of what she did in the past. 

In this case, a public figure “canceled” herself, and is taking the time to reflect on her past choices and head in a better direction. Cancel culture can be negative in many ways, but when fans allow celebrities to have room to grow, everyone benefits. 




 

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