Author and YouTube personality Lindsay Ellis has quit Twitter and YouTube after being “harassed to her breaking point.”

Ellis, 37, rose to popularity on YouTube when she gained a following for posting video essays. She began her career in 2008 with Channel Awesome, and in 2014 she moved to her own channel to focus on her video essays and her writing.

Her channel includes many videos in which she analyzes Walt Disney Pictures film, the Transformers franchise and other aspects of the film industry.

Ellis has stated that she especially loves to discuss “things that are deeply flawed but have this really interesting potential.”

She published her sci-fi debut novel, Axiom’s End, in July 2020. The book soon garnered a spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. She also began a podcast in 2020 called MusicalSplaining, in which she discusses musicals with co-host, director and illustrator Kaveh Taherian.

However, Ellis’s status as a public figure left her vulnerable to widespread criticism. She endured harassment throughout her career, and this led to her ultimate decision to leave Twitter and YouTube. The decision was catalyzed by harassment that she faced in the wake of two since-deleted Tweet from March 2021.

In the first Tweet, Ellis voiced her opinion that the Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon and the series Avatar: The Last Airbender were similar. “Also watched Raya and the Last Dragon and I think we need to come up with a name for this genre that is basically Avatar: The Last Airbender reduxes,” she wrote. “It’s like half of all YA fantasy published in the last few years anyway.”

A deluge of backlash followed the tweet. Many called her racist for seemingly suggesting that, due to the inclusion of Asian culture, the animated works were automatically the same.

Ellis tweeted soon after to refute the allegations and clarify her meaning. She wrote, “I can see where if you squint I was implying all Asian-inspired properties are the same, especially if you were already privy to those conversations where I had not seen them. But the basic framework of TLA is becoming popular in fantasy fiction outside of Asian-inspired stuff.”

Despite her elaboration, criticism and harassment continued.

In the post in which she announced her departure from social media, she wrote, “I know now that being in the public eye at all is a losing game, and I regret all of it.”

Ellis added, “It’s all hollow and brittle, and if there is one thing I’ve learned this year it is how eminently expendable I am.”

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