Where on earth are Shane Dawson’s PR people?
Over the weekend, disgraced beauty YouTuber Shane Dawson uploaded a seven-year-old Christmas-themed clip of himself, writing in the caption that he was “really proud” of the video. In the music video parody, he’s lying in bed, with the opening of the clip seeing Shane singing about Santa Claus being a paedophile.
Yes, the same Shane Dawson who faced incredibly severe backlash from the wider public earlier this year after old clips of him joking about paedophilia, using blackface and spouting various offensive words against POCs resurfaced, shared a video of himself… joking about paedophilia.
“I wanted to repost this because I feel like the message could mean something to people who are dealing with loss around the holidays,” he captioned the since-deleted IGTV, as per Instagram account @hereforthetea2.
“I’ve always been really proud of this video and I hope it makes you feel better today if you’re down. I stumbled across it today and it means more to me now than it did 7 years ago when I made it. I know I haven’t posted in a long time and I promise I will come back soon and talk about stuff.”
The opening line of the music video reportedly reads: It's Christmas time and Santa's here, Making the children smile/But he's just a pedophile/So you better watch your child.
Apparently, the video was deleted within seconds after Dawson uploaded it. It’s unclear what actually motivated Shane Dawson to upload this video in the first place – whether it was a desire to make headlines again or, maybe even more alarming: a genuine refusal to understand what content constitutes as dangerous, inappropriate and deeply upsetting, and his role in creating that content.
Besides this most recent move, Dawson has remained relatively quiet since his widespread ‘cancellation’ earlier this year. He’s been quietly releasing new products to his merch site, and has steadily been appearing in more and more of his fiancé Ryland Adams’ sympathetic YouTube videos, which seem like an obvious comeback bid.
The latest was a guest spot on Ryland’s podcast, which saw him mourning the loss of his kitten, Mario, who apparently died in a freak accident involving the couple’s dogs.
“Mario came when I needed him most and I needed to feel unconditional love and I needed to remember, like, I don’t know, I don’t want to get too much into the Internet shit ‘cause it feels so stupid right now to get into,” Shane said in the segment, in tears.
While there’s no doubt the loss of a pet is tragic, this new video clearly sets up another ‘poor Shane’ narrative, which is likely designed to tug at fans’ heart strings and make them forget all about his (many) indiscretions. Time will tell whether any of these efforts will have any impact.
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.