If the world’s feeling a bit too real for you at the moment, we imagine some low-stakes drama wouldn’t go amiss – grab a tea and settle in for the story of the implosion of the long, troubling alliance between Trisha Paytas and Shane Dawson.
If you know anything about YouTuber controversies, you’ll know that supporting Shane Dawson in any way is a massive no-no. Once among the most popular names on the platform, last year Dawson faced controversy after controversy (many of them incredibly serious) after some internet sleuths unearthed disturbing videos from his past.
Some of the particularly awful things Dawson was called out for last year includes footage of him appearing in blackface, using derogatory language, and other racist and anti-Semitic behaviour. Old resurfaced videos also showed him making jokes about pedophilia and bestiality. Dawson addressed the online outrage that followed these discoveries with a half-baked apology video called ‘Taking Accountability’. It was extremely ill-received, and Dawson went into hiding for a few months, popping his head up for the occasional promotional stint, like this post about his pig handbag line.
Throughout all this, Dawson had his best friend, fellow YouTuber Trisha Paytas, in his corner. Trisha Paytas herself is a divisive and often problematic figure. She is also the wife of a Brad Pitt cardboard cutout.
Dawson and Paytas have famously been friends for a very long time, since the early days of their YouTube careers. According to Insider, Paytas attributed a lot of her success on YouTube to Dawson, having first met the YouTuber when she was cast to play a stripper in one of his early YouTube videos. "I remember going to Shane's house for the shoot (this was years before we even became friends and made our own videos together), but I was like 'WHAT DO YOU DO?' straight up," Paytas told Insider. "He had this big house and was paying all these actors and crew to make videos and his mom told me it was all from YouTube."
Through Dawson’s many dramas and controversies, Paytas has publicly gone to bat for him, and regularly feuded with his critics. Worth noting is that Paytas, too, is far from squeaky clean, and has weathered many controversies of her own.
During Dawson’s latest string of controversies last year, Paytas was loud about her support. She called him the “fucking greatest human,” and hoped for his speedy return to the internet. She even responded when Tati Westbrook accused Dawson of gaslighting and manipulating her to go against James Charles, releasing a charming video entitled ‘Tati dumb as hell’.
Dawson received support from other influencers, too, all who faced backlash for doing so. He had rightfully become an internet pariah, and defending him wasn’t exactly a wise business, or ethical, move. Note: Jeffree Star wasn’t one of the influencers publicly supporting Dawson (though he did finally get around to a half-arsed mention of him weeks after the scandal broke). Remember this: it will become very relevant very soon.
Fast forward to this week, where Paytas found herself embroiled in drama after Jeffree Star’s hairdresser, ‘Hair By Jay’, made some vile comments about her on Instagram Live. Trisha uploaded two videos; both of which address Hair By Jay’s awful video and Star’s historic supposedly awful treatment of her during a Las Vegas holiday (yes, that holiday). She also called out her ‘best friend’ Shane Dawson for continuing to support Jeffree Star, given all this.
"Anyone who supports Jeffree is awful, like these are awful people," she said.
In a TikTok, Paytas said she’d made Dawson aware of Star’s horrible treatment of her from the very beginning, and was disappointed that they were still tight.
“I am not that person to say don’t be friends with someone, but the constant promoting of Jeffree – and how awful and evil he is – it really makes me sick to my stomach,” she said.
Dawson and his fiancé Ryland Adams have continued to be friends with Star, recently featuring him on Ryland’s podcast. Despite Paytas’ continued public backing of Dawson, he’s stayed silent on this issue and supported Star – which many are reading as a betrayal of their long friendship.
In her latest video, Paytas said that Dawson had sold his “soul to the devil” by siding with Star. “You don't care how vile someone is as long as you can get those views and cash in.” Ouch.
Dawson’s actions came as a shock to internet punters: he’s seemingly abandoned a 12-year relationship for Jeffree Star. Not only have Dawson and Star been friends for a shorter period of time, Star stayed silent for weeks on Dawson’s controversies, while Paytas came out swinging for the disgraced YouTuber.
Invested internet detectives then quickly discovered that Paytas was no longer following Dawson and Adams on Twitter or Instagram, and vice versa. As Paytas’ fans truly began to light their pitchforks, she took to Twitter to confirm what had happened; they didn’t unfollow her, she blocked them.
Obviously, Shane Dawson choosing Jeffree Star over Trisha Paytas is the least of our worries when it comes to Dawson, though after Paytas’ extreme support of the YouTuber (often to her own detriment), Dawson jumping ship now must be annoying for Paytas.
Trisha has confirmed the friendship split on her TikTok. Wearing a rather strange wig, Paytas asserted that she will not be taking Shane, Jeffree or any manipulative people into next week. About bloody time.
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