File this under “things we definitely don’t need in 2021”: disgraced YouTuber Shane Dawson has posted onto one of his YouTube channels that he’s been taking time away from the internet for his mental health, but that he’s “been getting creative and editing again”.
“Sorry I haven’t been online in a while. Just been taking time for my mental health. But I’ve been getting creative and editing again! It’s been really fun. :) Check out Rylands new video that I edited. I’m really proud of it :))” Dawson writes before linking a video from his fiance Ryland Adams.
Many are taking this as a hint that Dawson will soon return to YouTube, which after last year, would likely not be a welcomed move.
This sentiment is absolutely echoed in the comments section of Dawson’s post, where people have flocked to urge him not to come back; bringing up many of his heinous past actions and suggesting Dawson stay off the internet for good.
As you’ll remember, last year Shane Dawson went from being one of YouTube’s most successful personalities to an internet pariah. Within seven hellish days, which you can get a blow-by-blow of here, Shane was embroiled in controversy after controversy after old content of the YouTuber leaked online.
A non-exhaustive list of Dawson’s seriously offensive actions that were brought up that week included a disturbing video resurfacing of him sexualising a then-11 year old Willow Smith, countless blackface videos from his past, saying the ‘n’ word, using various racist stereotypes and slurs, joking about paedophilia and more. The part he played in the infamous Dramageddon 2.0 was also brought up, which was responsible for a public hate campaign toward James Charles. Dawson went on to lose countless subscribers and significant corporate sponsorship. His YouTube channel was also demonitised.
Dawson finally addressed these issues in a 20-minute long apology video, which, to put it lightly, was not received well. People found the video insincere, and it was read more as a PR move than a genuine apology.
In early July, less than a week after Dawson’s apology video, Tati Westbrook released a video claiming she was manipulated by Dawson and Jeffree Star into making the “BYE SISTER” video which kickstarted Dramageddon 2.0. Dawson took to his Instagram Live to film a real-time reaction hysterically refuting the claims in the video, and that was largely the last we heard of him. Dawson did make a brief guest appearance in the recent drama involving his ex-best friend, Trisha Paytas, but he’s largely remained quiet online.
It’s unclear whether Dawson’s post does mean that he’s fully intending on a comeback, and when. Based on the discourse around his actions last year, and the current focus on holding David Dobrik accountable, it seems that the internet finally may not be so ready to welcome him with open arms. Let’s hope Dawson’s break from the internet continues indefinitely.