YouTuber apologises after uncovered racist tweets re-emerge online
Any YouTube celebrity worth their salt will tell you that a vlogger's career lives and dies on their reputation, and that anyone who isn't work enough in 2018 just isn't going to cut it any more. More and more on YouTube and Twitter, the partisan divide between the Right and the Left has led to well-known figures being called out over their past inappropriate tweets and comments. For example, just look at all the furore over Roseanne Barr's racist tweets, James Gunn's sick jokes, and Dan Harmon's old videos. All it takes is one inappropriate statement to invoke the outrage.
This week, popular YouTuber Laura Lee was forced to issue an apologetic statement and video, after a number of her racist tweets dating back from 2012 resurfaced on social media, including one in which Lee stated: "Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster.." The backlash to these and other bigoted messages was immediate and vocal.
In an emotional blog post, Lee wrote: "I want to deeply apologise for the comments of mine that recently resurfaced from six years ago. The insensitive retweet and tweets I made are inexcusable and I apologise from the bottom of my heart to anyone affected by them. I deactivated my Twitter last night because I was mad at myself for the ignorant tweets I made back in 2012. That girl who tweeted that isn't who I am today. I now understand the seriousness behind those tweets. As a small town girl from Alabama, I wish I had the cultural education six years ago that I have now."
She added: "Those tweets aren't humorous in any way to me today and I am truly sorry to everyone I have hurt and offended. I feel so disgusted about this and want you to know from the bottom of my heart I am grateful for this community. Social media has taught me so much about the injustice, bullying and inequality that people face daily. I'm at a place of more understanding now, but there's always space for me to learn and grow ... Personally, I will continue to work on myself. I am not perfect, but I know I am better than this. I'm holding myself and my actions accountable - to use this as a learning moment. I sincerely apologise to you all."
Laura Lee currently boasts approximately 4.8 million YouTube subscribers, as well as her own signature make-up line "Laura Lee Los Angeles," which makes her one of the video-sharing platform's biggest stars. Only time well tell whether or not Lee's business ventures will be affected by the controversy, but the reaction of her followers seems to be split between those willing to forgive and those happy to condemn. Maybe this is just a face-saving tactic to salvage her reputation, or maybe she really has changed since 2012.