Entertainment & Arts

YouTuber Zoella apologises for old offensive tweets

Zoella Image copyright PA
Image caption Zoella published her first novel in 2014 and has her own cosmetics line

YouTuber and blogger Zoella has apologised for a number of old tweets about gay people and "chavs".

The posts, from 2009-12, which have now been deleted, have been called out for "fat shaming" and being homophobic.

"Fat chav", "skank" and "tramp" are some of the phrases she posted on her Twitter account, which now has 11 million followers.

Zoella apologised on Wednesday, adding she "would never say those things now".

The statement, posted on Twitter said: "I've seen a few of my old tweets from 7/8 years ago floating around (which I have now deleted) using words like 'chav', 'skank' and other words I wouldn't use now as part of my language.

"Obviously that is not who I am today and I'd like to think I'm a little older and wiser! I'm not perfect and I've never claimed to be, I'm only human!"

The vlogger, whose real name is Zoe Sugg, claims several of the statements were taken out of context as they were commenting on TV shows like the X Factor and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Two tweets, saying: "I find it funny when gay men spit... it's like they're trying to be a bit macho," and "How many straight men do you know, who whip out a compact mirror to do their hair before an abseil," have been criticised by Twitter users for being homophobic.

Others, saying "Who do these parents insist on beefing up their obese children, just give them water and some veg and tell them that's all they're getting," and phrases "fat chav" and "close up of a fatty eating a big mac" have also been seen as fat-shaming.

Ashleigh Hamman tweeted: "Absolutely disgusting Zoella calling people fat. Especially when she claims to get upset when people would call her 'skinny' in the past. How hypocritical can you get."

Zoella, who lives in Brighton, has built up a strong social media following in recent years thanks to her lifestyle and beauty vlogs.

Zoella has already come under fire this week for her 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar. The product has seen its price slashed from £50 to £25 by retailer Boots, after it was criticised for being bad value for money by customers.

Some fans said the re-emergence of Zoella's old tweets was a response to criticism of the Advent Calendar.

But not everyone has criticised Zoella, who has her own beauty range and a series of novels, with followers saying she should not be judged for things she said a long time ago.

Her work on anxiety and mental health has been mentioned as an example of how Sugg has matured and developed a positive persona on social media.

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