Tana Mongeau has apologized for her past racist comments and microaggressions after her former friend Kahlen Barry opened up how she used to gaslight him and frame him as an ‘angry Black person’ when he called out her problematic behavior.
Barry, 21, collaborated with Mongeau, 21, on her YouTube channel ‘Trash’ before becoming an independent creator. In his video, titled ‘finally revealing the truth about Tana Mongeau,’ he recalled her racist behavior and mistreatment of him. A few weeks before filming the clip, he tried reaching out to her on Twitter.
‘In the past, we have had issues when it comes to the topic of race, particularly about your usage of the N word and my feelings regarding it. You made me feel, as a black person, invalidated, and I never felt as a friend I could tell you about the things that hurt me without it being spun back onto me,’ he wrote in the post shared on May 31.
Problematic behavior: Tana Mongeau (L) apologized for her past racist comments and microaggressions after her former friend Kahlen Barry (R) opened up her mistreatment of him
Candid: Barry, 21, first reached out to his former friend and collaborator on Twitter, saying she made him feel ‘invalidated’ as a Black person
‘You have since apologized publicly on your platform and claim that you are a better person. I want to believe that and that is why I am calling on you to demonstrate that during this time.’
Barry ended his message to Mongeau by asking his former friend to use her platform ‘to make a sincere contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.’
In the candid video he posted on June 15, Barry called Mongeau out of for a number of microaggressions, accusing her of being ignorant and ‘gaslighting’ him when they worked together from 2012 to 2014.
During that time, the influencer came under fire for using the N-word and racial slurs in her Snapchats and tweets. She apologized for her actions in 2015, claiming she thought the N-word meant ‘friend’ or ‘homie.’
A few years later, YouTuber iDubbbz told Mongeau to ‘say N*****!’ instead of ‘say cheese!’ when they posed for a photo together at her meet and greet San Francisco, and the moment was caught on camera.
Opening up: In his video, titled ‘ finally revealing the truth about Tana Mongeau ,’ he recalled her racist behavior and mistreatment of him
Outrage: After he released the video, fans dug up her past racist tweets
Barry said he supported her publicly, but when he privately tried to voice his concerns, she refused to listen and dismissed him as an ‘angry Black person.’ He also claimed Mongeau and her manager, Jordan Worona, spread rumors that he had been in trouble with the police.
After Barry published his video, a number of Mongeau’s racist tweets resurfaced, including ones in which she called her friend Imari Stuart a ‘cotton picker’ and told him to ‘go back to plantation.’
A week later, Mongeau responded to Barry and her fans with a lengthy Twitter apology for her past actions.
‘First, I’d like to apologize to Kahlen directly for my silence, there are no excuses, I should have talked and listened to you,’ she wrote. ‘Instead, I’ve been trying to find the words to address this and apologize in a way that that won’t further hurt anyone, and educate myself on how to handle this properly.
‘I am so sorry that came with any silence. But I am taking responsibility for all of my actions in the past, I know I am an adult. there are no excuses for my behavior, and I know that. I have done my BEST to educate myself, and grow as a person from who I was in the past.
‘I want to be the best version of myself who continues to grow. but I know that just educating myself isn’t enough to truly grow, and I need to take accountability for my past actions, and address them in order to truly grow.
Too late? Mongeau shared a lengthy apology to Barry and her fans on Twitter a week later
Saying sorry: Mongeau apologized to Barry and took responsibility for the ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disgusting’ tweets she wrote when she was 14 years old
‘I am sorry for staying silent, I will continue to be addressing and apologizing for everything with full transparency,’ she continued.
‘I want to apologize directly to @KahlenBarry for anything I ever did to make him feel that I was being micro-aggressive or racist. that is so far from who I am and will spend a lifetime trying to show you that.
Mongeau went on to apologize for the ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disgusting’ tweets she wrote when she was 14 years old.
‘I know how truly far I am from that person now,’ she said. ‘To think I’ve ever had a sense of humor that relied on shock value like that f*****g disgusts me.”
‘I am so sorry to anyone who was angered by my silence — I should’ve instantly said this,’ she said. ‘It breaks my heart to see people say I’m only being a performative activist — I truly stand by my morals now and will continue using my platform and doing everything I can to fight for what is right and equality.
‘But I completely understand how my silence was not the right thing to do if that’s how I want to be perceived. I will be better. Thank you to my fans for holding me accountable and expecting better,’ she added.
Thoughts: In a follow-up video, Barry called her response ‘manipulative,’ noting that she only apologized after her racist tweets resurfaced
No thanks: Barry said that behind the scenes Mongeau and her manager called him a ‘liar’ and further invalidated his feelings. He also tweeted that she never really reached out to him
Controversy: The response to Mongeau’s apology was mixed. Some fans noted she was only 14 years old when she wrote the tweets, while others insisted her age isn’t an excuse
‘Anything I can do to be better, grow, and be a help to society with my platform and nothing but that- please let me know. I am not that Tana — and I refuse to do anything but evolve and educate myself. I am so sorry it took me this long to even say this.’
Mongeau’s apology came with mixed reviews from fans. While some pointed out she was only a teenager when she shared her racist tweets, others insisted she should have known better in 2014.
Others called her out for taking a week to respond to Barry’s video, with many doubting that she was doing any reflection as she had claimed.
‘Tana you haven’t been taking time out to “find the words to address this” — you’ve been on a bender with your friends all week and posting it all over your Instagram story,’ one person responded. ‘You ain’t sorry — you just sorry you got caught.’
Barry released a follow-up video in response to Mongeau’s apology, saying that behind the scenes she and her manager called him a ‘liar’ and further invalidated his feelings.
Over: Mongeau split from her husband, fellow YouTube star Jake Paul, in January after six months of marriage
New love? The YouTube star, who is rumored to be dating Noah Cyrus (pictured), revealed she a few weeks ago that she is ‘pansexual as hell’ in honor of Pride Month
He noted that his former friend should have responded to his video immediately, but she only released her apology after her racist tweets resurfaced.
‘I’m going to be honest,’ he said. ‘I think her apology was very manipulative, very deflective, and also gaslighting and invalidating.
‘She did not validate my feelings at all. She made it seem like, once again, I’m making this s**t up in my head.’
Mongeau split from her husband, fellow YouTube star Jake Paul, in January after six months of marriage. A few weeks ago, she revealed she is ‘pansexual as hell’ in honor of Pride Month.
The YouTuber, who is rumored to be dating Noah Cyrus, went on to share a picture of herself with the singer while further elaborating on her sexuality.
‘I never thought I’d be brave enough to publicly share my sexuality in the way I do now…,” she wrote.
‘But I’m proud to be not only a member but an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and I’m proud to say I will live my life based on loving people not for their gender but their soul,” she continued.
‘Some people call that pansexuality, everyone calls me bi, I personally don’t find a need to label it all. Love and sexuality is gender less to me.’