One of Britain’s most successful influencers has seen her followers plummet after it emerged she’d written a series of racist tweets over ten years ago.
Elle Darby, 26, from Wiltshire, who launched her own clothing brand on the back of her success as a social media star, has lost nearly 100,000 followers since tweets she wrote as a teenager resurfaced last week.
In the tweets, mother-of-one Ms Darby, who is in a relationship with fellow influencer Connor Swift, called foreigners ‘meatheads’ who ‘speak in grunts’, and said she ‘hates Polish people and Indians really’.
Darby has since published an apology video on her YouTube channel – but some fans have suggested that the influencer comes across as ‘insincere’ and ‘irritated’ in the three-minute clip.
Social media star Elle Darby, 26, from Wiltshire, pictured with her partner and fellow influencer Connor Smith, has enjoyed huge success since she began posting content on YouTube and Instagram. However, the emergence of racist tweets written by Darby in 2011 have seen her lose nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram and YouTube this week
Darby, pictured with her young son, Saint, had called foreigners ‘meatheads’ who ‘speak in grunts’, and said she ‘hates Polish people and Indians really’ on an old Twitter account, which has since been deleted
Ms Darby apologised in a three-minute video for the tweets, saying she feels ashamed of her historic posts, adding that she wants to ‘take responsibility’ for her actions’
Before the tweets were published, Darby enjoyed more than 785,000 Instagram followers but the social media star now has 716,000. On YouTube, a subscriber count of 611,000 has now dropped to 585,000. Comments are currently turned off on the influencer’s platforms.
MailOnline has contacted Elle Darby’s management for comment.
Darby’s name trended on Twitter after disappointed fans watched the video, with many saying they were less than convinced by it.
@hralexandra1x wrote: ‘Elle Darby’s apology video is so insincere.’
@charlcurry96 added: ‘Just watched Elle Darby’s ‘I’m sorry’ video and she literally looks and sounds like the most insincere, unsorry person I’ve ever seen.’
@xjodyhayton_ wrote: ‘I’ve always loved Elle Darby but more and more tweets are being leaked now and each one is worse and worse! I don’t I’m the only person who is disappointed, regardless if it was 10 years ago.’
@georgiahwo added: ‘Seeing those Elle Darby and Connor tweets actually made me so upset. I was not a perfect teen, neither any of my friends but never did racism, fat shaming or derogatory terms leave our mouths. I’ve noticed a lot of influencers are the same with resurfaced tweets. Disappointed.’
Darby, 26, had written a series of ‘shameful’ messages when she was a teenager, using racial slurs and insulting several ethnic groups
The star posted an apology video on YouTube – but fans have said she appeared ‘irritated’ and ‘insincere’ in the clip
Disappointed fans have said they were left ‘hurt’ and ‘angry’ by the tweets
Darby’s partner Connor Swift published a second written apology for racist tweets he’d sent in the past
@bendingtheruIes penned: ‘The whole Elle Darby & Connor Swift situation makes me so angry & upset. Angry at how they thought it would be okay to tweet such despicable things. Upset that I spent yrs looking up to them as they were my comfort YouTubers. Disappointed & enraged doesn’t even cover it right now.’
@KatieRB99 added: ‘Considering I thought Elle Darby was one of the most genuine people I watched for years. Her apology video which shows no remorse or genuine apology proves otherwise. I won’t send her hate as that makes me part of the problem, however I’m sad she’s not the person we looked up to.’
Connor Swift, Darby’s partner, also issued two written apologies to his Instagram after racist tweets he’d written surfaced too.
One screenshot posted online appeared to show him tweeting: ‘Looked like a black man after work, through all the dust I collected. #StillLookedhot.’
He told his 175,000 followers: ‘I’ve learnt now more than ever before that the words we use are so beyond powerful but I will show that my actions will forever speak louder moving forward. I want to make it clear that I am sorry, to everyone my tweets have affected and caused pain upon.’
In 2018, Darby hit the headlines after she wrote to Paul Stenson, the owner of the White Moose Café and Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin.
She asked about a ‘possible collaboration’ involving free accommodation for her and Swift, who were planning to visit for an early Valentine’s Day weekend.
But her note was greeted with disdain by Mr Stenson, who not only poured scorn on the request but also posted the exchange online – and vowed to ban bloggers from his hotel.