YouTuber and singer Gabbie Hanna has apologized to fans after she came under fire for “ableist” comments regarding tone indicators on Twitter.
Gabbie Hanna first found success on viral-video app Vine, but after the platform shut down in 2016, the content creator moved onto YouTube where she now has over six million subscribers on her main channel.
She’s also gone on to release two poetry books and pursue a singing career, releasing several singles, however, the star has been widely criticized online on apps like TikTok for previous controversial behavior.
This time, the controversy surrounded comments she made online regarding tone indicators.
Tone indicators are letters and symbols that some people put at the end of their tweets to clarify the individual’s emotion and intent, and are widely used among neurodivergent people online.
In response to a Twitter user’s explanation and list of useful tone indicators, Gabbie replied: “y’all be doing way too f***ing much,” and when the user asked, “sis, where’s your tone indicator?” the YouTuber replied, “my tone is y’all doing way too f***ing much.”
However, she was immediately met with backlash, many people calling her comments “ableist.” This then lead to the influencer posting an apology on Twitter.
“Sorry to any of my neurodivergent fans who were hurt by that,” she wrote. “I hope you know that’s never my intention. Today is the first day I heard the term tone indicators, I thought my fans were f***ing with me for being sensitive. Ironically, this could have been avoided with a tone indicator”
sorry to any of my neurodivergent fans who were hurt by that, i hope u know that's never my intention. today is the first day i heard the term tone indicators, i thought my fans were fucking w/ me for being sensitive. ironically, this coulda been avoided w a tone indicator😅 ily!
— gh (@GabbieHanna) February 28, 2021
The poster of the original tone indicators list then explained some more background information behind the tweets. She clarified that: “my tweet about tone indicators DID stem from a Patreon livestream that had JUST ended. When Gabbie said ‘ya’ll be doin too much’ she meant us, her patrons.”
She went on to say that “it was an inside joke taken out of context, not a dig at people who need tone indicators.”
Gabbie then quote-tweeted that comment and added: “I deadass thought Rachel made that list for me as a joke because I was butthurt on Patreon about them roasting me for starting my album over.”
People’s response to the situation was mixed, but the conversation around her comments eventually ended up getting Gabbie Hanna to trend on Twitter.