Almost half a year since Shane Dawson announced he was quitting the beauty YouTuber world, the controversial star shared a heap of old photos from his product launch with Jeffree Star for Morphe, along with the pledge: "I'll be back soon I promise."
Bar some bizarre promotional stunts, we've barely heard a peep out of Shane Dawson since he dropped the video "Taking Accountability" in late June. The apology came after disturbing old videos of Dawson, showing him using blackface, spouting various offensive words against POCs, and joking about paedophilia resurfaced.
He's been laying low ever since, but this past weekend – much to many's dismay – Shane was back on social media, sharing a slew of behind-the-scenes and official pics of his and Jeffree Star's makeup collab launch on his Instagram stories.
"Last year today was one of the best moments of my life and I think about it almost every day," he wrote. "Thank you @jeffreestar for believing in me and thank you to everyone who made that time so special. I'll never ever forget it."
Later, he explained: "Sorry for all the pics. Just feeling emotional and sentimental tonight. I'll be back soon I promise. Thanks for going down memory lane with me. Hope you had an amazing and safe Halloween!"
Jeffree Star – Shane Dawson's bestie who faces some very alarming allegations of his own – has publicly stood behind Dawson since the disturbing videos resurfaced, touting a spiel now pretty familiar to anyone following YouTuber controversies: the old, 'That person isn't really me anymore, so therefore I can't really be held accountable' trope.
"I know Shane from now. I don't know Shane from 10 years ago, and he doesn't know me from 10 years ago. Now do I agree with Shane's past actions? Of course I don't. And does he agree with my past behavior? Of course he doesn't. I know the amazing person he is today, and you don't abandon your friends," Star said in a YouTube video addressing the controversy.
The last we'd seen of Shane on YouTube was via his fiancé, Ryland Adams' video titled "Our Bedroom Makeover Reveal!". The general consensus on the video back then was similar to now – with many questioning why he would bother to come out publicly again at all, if he isn't going to address the disturbing allegations that came out even after his last apology, "Taking Accountability". With these fresh posts come further predictions of Shane Dawson's likely next moves: Dawson will continue to follow the YouTubers well-worn path: ignore everything and distract people until the storm blows over. Whether the community will actually let the storm blow over is the million-dollar question.
"Ew just ew. The stuff that came out this year about Shane's previous content and how he was towards underage fans was vile," one Reddit user wrote about Dawson's new Instagram posts. "I do not want to see a grown man whose primary audience is much younger be able to just come back and act as if nothing happened."
"I knew he would start testing the waters to come back," another wrote. "Come on man, read the room. The room doesn't want you here," wrote yet another.
Only time will tell whether Shane Dawson is able to join ranks in the YouTube community once more. Sadly, it's a makeover the controversial YouTuber has managed to pull off many times before.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.