Shane Dawson’s Week From Hell: Your Complete Guide To The Latest YouTube Controversy

I think we can all agree that Shane Dawson.. isn't having a good week.

If you’re not across the latest Tati/Jeffree/Shane/James spat; Shane's ill-conceived apology video or the fallout from Dawson’s disturbing old content – don’t fret; I’ve got you. Think of this as your all-in-one guide to the latest goings-on of one of YouTube’s biggest creators, as he teeters on the edge of outright cancellation.

Now, to completely understand the complete shitshow that was this week; we also need to cast our minds back a little, all the way to Jenna Marbles apology video. Without further ado...

Thursday June 25: Jenna Marbles quits YouTube

Famous YouTuber Jenna Marbles uploads an emotional video where she addresses racist behaviour in her old videos; including using blackface to impersonating Nicki Minaj and rapping racist lyrics about Asians. She announces she’s quitting her channel to reflect. “I am ashamed of things I have done and said in my past,” she says. 

Friday June 26: Shane’s apology video drops

Shane Dawson uploads his own apology video, titled “Taking Accountability”, in which he apologises for blackface, using the ’n word’ and other racist and anti-Semitic behaviour in videos uploaded to his channel over the years. He also apologised for joking about paedophilia.

Saturday June 27: No one seems to like said apology video

People didn’t exactly take to Shane Dawson’s apology video. Many commenters saw it as a pre-emptive attempt by the YouTuber to get out ahead of the bad news stories that he knew would be coming by reframing the narrative. Many also didn’t like that Dawson said he “should lose everything” for his past behaviour but didn’t, like Jenna, actually just quit YouTube altogether. It seemed to imply that he hoped that this would all blow over.

Twitter users react by digging deep into the archives and posting old videos that Shane had since deleted; showing him being racist, appearing to sexualise his dog, and pretending to masturbate to an old poster of Willow Smith. Willow was only 11 years old in the poster.

Sunday June 28: The Smiths say their piece

The Smith’s come across the disturbing footage of Shane sexualising Willow as a child. They obviously were very concerned and upset; and both Jaden and Jada speak out about the footage.

Monday June 29: …

All quiet on the Western Front..

Tuesday June 30: Corporate backlash

The corporate backlash begins: Morphe pulls Shane Dawson’s entire makeup collection from their online shop. Target in the US also removes Shane Dawson’s books, ”I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson" and "It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays”, from its shelves. “We're committed to creating an experience in which all guests feel welcomed and respected. We're in the process of removing these books from our assortment,” Target reps wrote in a statement.

Wednesday July 1: Tati Westbrook arrives

Tati Westbrook enters the chat.

The beauty YouTuber drops a 40-minute long video titled “BREAKING MY SILENCE …”. It’s framed as an “apology video” to James Charles for the whole “Bye Sister” fiasco but really it’s just a full-on assault on Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, who she says actively manipulated her into turning against James.

While Jeffree Star remains uncharacteristically silent, Shane frantically responds to Tati's allegations calling her manipulative and a liar. He tweets then deletes the below; starts a very bizarre Instagram live of himself watching and reacting to Tati’s claims; and sends his fiancé, Ryland Adams, after her too. Not the best look.

Thursday July 2: Shane sees repercussions on YouTube 

YouTube suspends ads on all three of Shane’s channels, meaning the incredibly popular YouTuber won’t make a cent from future video views on any of his channels for the foreseeable future. Now, Shane won’t be poor (the majority of his money, from what we can tell, comes from brand deals and sponcon, rather than YouTube ads) but it’s another sign that the internet's reckoning with Shane Dawson is far from over.

Also: four episodes from Shane’s YouTube channel are blocked due to copyright infringement claims from Sony. The episodes from Shane’s 2019 web series, The Beautiful World of Jeffree StarThe Ugly Side of the Beauty WorldThe Conspiracy Collection Reveal and The Beautiful World of Shane Dawson ­– now show the error message: “Video unavailable: This video contains content from Sony ATV Publishing, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” This timing is telling, and we have a few theories as to why these copyright claims came through this week, of all weeks. 

Friday July 3: Safiya unfollows Shane

Much loved YouTuber, Safiya Nygaard, unfollows Shane on Instagram. Sure, it’s a small point, but considering these two have been friendly for years, a noteworthy one, at least. Shane and his fiancé Ryland attended Safiya’s wedding with Jenna Marbles and her husband Julian not all that long ago.

With no public support from Jeffree; Tati’s annihilation and the disapproval of the Smiths (true Hollywood royalty), Shane’s friend count seems to be regressing by the day.

Stay tuned…

What will next week bring? An all-out war on Tati by Jeffree? The end of the Dawson-Star alliance? Another essential recap by yours truly? Nothing’s off the cards in YouTuber world. Stay tuned.

Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty

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