The grim news came from Shane himself in the form of a caption to an Instagram picture of him and his fiancé Ryland Adams looking pretty chuffed to be wearing shorts. “I know I haven’t posted a video in a long time and I promise it’s not because I don’t want to,” Shane writes. “I’m just trying to stay in a good mindset and be happy. I promise I’m not going to abandon my channel after 15 years of creating.” I don’t know, sometimes abandonment can be a good thing, you know?
To be fair, we knew this was coming. Back in March, Dawson presaged the decision when he declared that while he had been taking time away from the internet for his mental health, he's “been getting creative and editing again”. Why?
As you’ll remember, last year Shane Dawson went from being one of YouTube’s most successful personalities to an internet pariah.
A non-exhaustive list of Dawson’s misdeeds include a disturbing video resurfacing of him sexualising then-tween Willow Smith, a flurry of Blackface videos, using racist stereotypes, saying the ‘N’ word, joking about paedophilia and more. Shane also played a part in the infamous Dramageddon 2.0, which was responsible for a public hate campaign toward James Charles (who himself went on to face allegations of grooming a 16-year-old boy). Dawson went on to lose countless subscribers and corporate sponsorship, and his YouTube channel was demonetised.
You can get a blow-by-blow of the whole ordeal here.
The YouTuber later addressed these issues in a 20-minute long ‘apology’ video, which pretty much just made everyone hate him even more.
But look, it’s been a year, okay? Time is essentially all a white man generally needs before making his comeback, isn’t it?
Oh, and in other news that is totally unsubstantiated, Dawson’s return may take the form of a documentary covering Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney movement. Because that’s what the world needs right now. More Shane Dawson and more (probably exploitative) documentaries about Britney Spears.
Excuse me while I take a nap.
Written by Reena Gupta, an Melbourne-based writer for MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter @purpletank.