Tana Mongeau spoke out on Sunday, June 21, after coming under fire for past racist remarks. Mongeau's comments came one week after her former friend and YouTube collaborator Kahlen Barry released a video about Mongeau's actions. Kahlen Barry called Tana Mongeau out for her "racist" behavior and she responded in a series of tweets. Mongeau's team did not respond to Elite Daily's request for further comment regarding Barry's video.
On June 15, Barry released a 45-minute YouTube Vlog titled, "Finally Revealing The Truth About Tana Mongeau." Barry said it "was the hardest and scariest video [he] ever had to make but" that it "needed to be said." In it, Barry recounted how Mongeau treated him inappropriately in the past, detailing why he believed her microaggressive actions toward him were rooted in racism.
Barry started by revealing that, while working with Mongeau from 2012 to 2104, he addressed her well-documented, problematic use of the N-word and other racial slurs head-on, but she didn't take the criticism well. He claims that while she committed to working out the situation with Barry to his face, she accused him of trying to ruin her career to other influencers, which Barry perceived as an effort to paint him as an "angry Black man."
Throughout the video, Barry recounted other actions that made him extremely uncomfortable, specifically that she would routinely brush off his concerns about her actions by saying her best friend is Black. He also claimed that when he was once turned away from entering a Playlist party for YouTubers he was supposed to attend with Mongeau, she told everyone who asked where he was that he had been arrested when he had, in fact, returned to his hotel room.
Barry told Centennial Beauty that the reason he decided to speak out now is he doesn't "want to live in a world where anyone has to feel as scared as I did for so many years." Barry said he hopes to get "closure" from it and "give other people in [his] community the strength to speak out and share their stories."
For days after Barry's video was posted, Mongeau continued to share her usual content, but on June 21, she finally issued a public apology.
"First, I’d like to apologize to Kahlen directly for my silence, there are no excuses, I should have talked and listened to you. 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," she wrote.
"But i am taking responsibility for all of my actions in the past, i know i am an adult," Mongeau continued. "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."
Mongeau went on to say she "will continue to be addressing and apologizing for everything with full transparency" and that she wants 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 addressed her "past tweets" writing she knows "they are unacceptable AND DISGUSTING" and "truly far i am from that person now." She added: "To think ive ever had a sense of humor that relied on shock value like that f*cking disgusts me."
Mongeau once again apologized for staying silent for so long, and vowed to "be better, grow, and be a help to society with my platform."
Fans are skeptical about the genuineness of Mongeau's apology, however, because it came on the heels of a leaked text conversation between her and influencer Anna Campbell hitting Twitter in which Campbell implied his experience was all in his head.
Cambell has since apologized and reached out to Barry personally in a series of videos.
Mongeau did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the leaked text messages.
Barry released a followup livestream on June 22 responding to Mongeau's apology expressing his disappointment with it, calling it disingenuous considering her actions behind the scenes.