Shane Dawson is not having a stellar few weeks, but even by his own account, he had it coming.
Things started going sour for the YouTuber last week, when he released an apology video called "Taking Accountability", which addressed the disturbing content Shane used to upload on his channels because he thought it was funny. Content included him in blackface; paedophilia jokes; and rampant anti-Semitism.
Many saw Shane's apology as a pre-emptive attempt to get out ahead of bad press, given a fellow YouTuber, Jenna Marbles, left the platform altogether after she addressed her old racist content on the platform. Of course; it didn’t quite work out the way he (probably) planned. Soon Twitter was filled with resurfaced material of the YouTuber.
There were many, many bad videos, but one that particularly caught the public’s attention was a clip of Shane Dawson pretending to masturbate over an old poster of Willow Smith. The poster depicted Willow Smith as a child – she was only 11 when the picture was taken.
It didn’t take long before the footage came to the attention of the Smiths; who came down hard against the YouTuber. "SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU," Jaden Smith posted on Twitter. The comments made headlines around the world.
And then came the explosive video from Tati Westbrook yesterday: "BREAKING MY SILENCE ...". We won’t get into the nitty gritty of what was said now (that’s what this article is for) but essentially Tati claimed that both Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson manipulated her in going against James Charles and creating the now-infamous "Bye Sister" video. While these allegations are certainly not as serious the racist and predatory content he posted.. it’s still a pretty huge mic drop moment in the community.
Now, it’s not just public opinion and bad publicity Shane’s contending with: it’s actually his ability to make money. Yep, The Verge reported yesterday that all three of Shane’s incredibly popular YouTube channels will be demonetized as the platform reckons with these problematic reports about their big star. This means Shane won’t make a cent from future video views on any of his channels, including Shane (22.5 million subscribers), Shane Dawson TV (8.4 million subscribers), and Shane Glossin (3.7 million subscribers).
Just to clarify: 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 with all this bad press, Shane's not exactly ‘brand safe’ right now.
The Verge reports that the move to demonotize Shane’s videos is not a permanent one, but it will be in place ‘indefinitely’, according to YouTube. Many wonder why this hadn’t happened sooner, given Shane's most disturbing and problematic videos were uploaded to the website years ago. Companies including Target have also confirmed that it'll remove Dawson’s books from its shelves.
Whether Shane Dawson can ride out this storm is yet to be seen. If this is the end of the line for Dawson, something tells us he won't go quietly.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia (1800 respect) or Lifeline Australia (13 11 14).
Main Image Credit: YouTube