Last week, Dawson shared (and then deleted) a public statement announcing he was “done with the beauty world,” after claims that he and Jeffree Star orchestrated the Dramageddon feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles. Then, over the weekend, videos resurfaced of Dawson in blackface and making a series of harmful references to having sex with a minor. The hashtag “ShaneDawsonisoverparty” soon began trending on Twitter.
One such video featured Dawson allegedly pretending to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith, when she was 11 years old. Another, seems to feature Dawson and ex-girlfriend Lisa “teaching” a 12 year old girl about sex and gesturing she re-enact it infront of them.
In both clips, Dawson is over 18 years old and the people featured are underage. References to sexual assault and sex with a minor should not be taken lightly and are not funny. They’re harmful, inappropriate and illegal.
Then, as the videos resurfaced, Dawson published a 20-minute-long video—called “Taking Accountability”— addressing his past behaviour. He acknowledged that he was guilty of performing and normalising blackface, using the N-word, making jokes about stereotypes of people of colour and jokes about pedophilia with his audience.. And, that he should be help accountable.
“That is disgusting, that is gross, and it is not something I would ever do,” he said about his past references to pedophilia. “It is something I did for shock value or because I thought it was funny or, like, ‘Oh my God, my child-molester character,’ or whatever.”
“It’s all gross and I promise that is not real, that is not me. I’m willing to lose everything. At this point, realising how many people I’ve hurt or how many people I’ve inspired to say awful things or do anything awful, to finally just own up to all of this and be accountable is worth losing everything to me.”
In response to the news, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith called the YouTuber out for sexualising their daughter and sister, who, again, was only 11 years old at the time. It should be noted that Dawson's video does not address the disturbing clip featuring him about Willow Smith.
“To Shane Dawson… I am done with the excuses,” tweeted Pinkett Smith.
“Shane Dawson, I am disgusted by you,” tweeted Smith. “You sexualising an 11 year old girl who happens to be my sister is the furthest thing from funny and not okay in the slightest bit.”
You can watch Shane Dawson’s full apology below.
If you or anyone you know is feeling distressed or has experienced a traumatic event, know that there are people who are ready and willing to listen. Contact Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or QLife (1800 184 527). If you feel your life is in danger or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please talk to the folks at Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800Respect (1800 737 732) or 000.