Mars said she was participating in a popular YouTube genre called storytime, in which a creator spends the duration of a video retelling either a dramatic or funny event. Mars has been on YouTube since 2015 and the majority of her videos can be classified as storytimes, which she credits as the reason she’s been able to garner over 731,000 subscribers.
On Nov. 10, Mars told Insider that she started getting messages and emails from fans who said that there was another YouTuber who had retold Mars’s story without crediting her.
“At first I didn’t even bother to look at the video until that same subscriber told me that the content creator had millions of followers,” Mars said. “Seeing as it was someone who has over 10 million subscribers on one channel, I was not only upset and frustrated, I also felt cheated and disrespected.”
The “rip off” video was uploaded by Venezuelan influencer Marialejandra Marrero, who’s recognized by her username Mar and Mariale. Marrero has over 15 million subscribers across her various channels and in a since-deleted video, had apparently retold one of Mars’s stories from three years ago called, “Sephora employee ruined my wedding.”
A search of Mars’s archive shows that she did upload a 30-minute video in July 2017 called “STORY TIME: SEPHORA EMPLOYEE RUINS WEDDING !”
According to her interview with Insider, Mars watched Marrero’s video and summarized it as a condensed version of her story, although apparently, Marrero had kept in obscure details and undeniable similarities that made Mars realize it was her story — including what she had for lunch that day.
“When I tell my storytimes they are my real-life experiences,” she said. “So to see someone who I’ve never seen before tell my story and try to portray it as her own was confusing and kinda creepy.”
Mars said she checked to see whether Marrero had given her credit or linked out to HeyParis and saw that she did not. Instead, after Mars claims that after she called Marrero out, the YouTuber added in a quick shoutout to HeyParis in the middle of her description box to make it seem like it was there the whole time.
Marrero, who was also interviewed by Insider, said that the situation embarrassed her, which is why she took down the video and posted an apology.
“She has made it clear she does not accept my apology and continues to post about how I stole from her and profited from it,” Marrero told the publication. “I’d like nothing more than to make amends and to move on.”
Mars posted another video about how she wasn’t impressed with Marrero’s response. Mars also added that the larger problem is how Black creators are struggling to be heard and then not credited for their work.
“It just kind of circles back to Black people not getting credit for what they create, whether it’s culture-related or not,” Mars said. “That’s kind of just how it’s always been, and I personally think it’s wrong either way.”
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