On the morning of August 12, 2018 racist and fat shaming tweets surfaced on Twitter belonging to beauty blogger, Laura Lee. In a series of poor actions, the YouTuber, who had amassed over 5 million subscribers, deactivated her Twitter, posted a regularly scheduled video without addressing the situation, and after backlash, uploaded a four-minute apology video.
The apology was not received well by her audience. Her subscriber count dwindled by the minute, with a total loss of over 600,000 followers. Major brands associated with the influencer, including Ulta Beauty, Morphe, Boxycharm, and more, severed ties.
In her apology video, the 29-year-old, who is an Alabama native, blamed the “so vile and disgusting” 2012 tweets on lack of knowledge, despite being 23 at the time of publication. She also claimed that they had been retweeted, when screen shots proved that they were in fact written by her. The backlash was obvious. Viewers did not believe crying for four-minutes on camera was the most effective way to acknowledge the situation. It resonated more with her feeling sorry for being caught, rather than accepting the blame of her mistake.
The infamous apology video received more than 671,000 thumbs down, earning a spot on the top 10 most disliked YouTube videos before being removed from her channel due to her believing “it doesn’t represent me well" as explained in a new video posted on September 25.
Today’s age of social media makes communication more prevalent than ever. One tweet can reach millions of people in a matter of days. Poor communication can have serious repercussions, as evident in Laura Lee’s case. By ignoring the outcry, her reputation was damaged. Now, her image will always be associated with her insensitive tweets and inability to own up to them.
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