American YouTube personality Shane Dawson (born Shane Lee Yaw on July 19, 1988) was born on this day in 1988. As a result, he was an early YouTube star.
Dawson started posting videos to YouTube in 2008, at the age of 19, and by 2010 his films had over 500 million views. First and foremost, he was known for his sketch comedy videos, in which he would create and portray creative characters, parody celebrities, and poke fun at cultural phenomena.
Some of these early depictions were criticized for perpetuating harmful preconceptions of a racial nature. During this time, Dawson also briefly pursued a career as a musician, releasing six original songs including “Superluv!” and many parodies of popular music videos.
For four years beginning in 2013, he released episodes of his podcast titled Shane and Friends. Dawson’s lone feature film, Not Cool, premiered the year after and he also made an appearance in the 10-part documentary series The Chair. Additionally, he has made appearances in the films Smiley (2012) and Internet Famous (2016).
Around a year and a half after his previous video, Shane Dawson hinted that he would return to YouTube. The YouTuber, who has 20.4% of the niche market, assured his Instagram fans that “after 15 years of creating,” he “is not going to forsake my channel.”
Users who had previously canceled the star in 2020 reacted angrily to the news when it was released on Wednesday. Dawson, who began making videos in 2008, is representative of the early crop of internet celebrities that rose to prominence thanks to YouTube.
The 32-year-old faced a torrent of criticism in the year 2020 due to the multiple scandals surrounding his earlier recordings. Then, he uploaded a video to his primary channel titled “Taking Accountability,” in which he apologized for his past racist comments and jokes.
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Dawson Began by Saying
“I want to apologize for all the racism I posted online.” He added, “At the time, I definitely should have lost my career for, as a white person, donning a wig, playing a character, doing stereotypes, and then shouting the N-word.”
He continued by saying he understands that saying sorry does not erase the consequences of his conduct. “No amount of apologies can take away the hurt that was caused or the fact that so many people felt I was simply another white person who can get away with anything,” he said.
A video of Dawson making sexual gestures at a promotional poster of 11-year-old Willow Smith leaked online and he was widely criticized. In the clip, he groans while quoting from Sam Smith’s first major label single “Whip My Hair” from 2010.
Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow’s mom, fired out at Dawson after seeing the footage online, writing that she was “done with the excuses.” The internet celebrity appeared to be alluding to this footage in his video of contrition for his “inappropriate” statements about children.
“I solemnly vow I am not the type of person who would make disrespectful comments about a child. That is absolutely repulsive and revolting; I could never voluntarily subject myself to such filth.” Adding that he did it for the “shock value,” he insisted that it was not representative of who he really is.
Dawson’s Remarks Had Been Criticized Heavily on The Internet
It was revealed in 2019 that he appeared to make a joke about sexually assaulting his cat on an episode of his podcast Shane and Friends from 2015. Dawson is overheard explaining how, at the age of 19, he “came all over his cat,” which he describes as his “first sexual encounter.”
The actor quickly turned to social media after the clip went viral to explain that the plot was “based on a ridiculous horrible sketch idea” that was never developed. He admitted it was “disgusting” of him to tell the scenario as if it had actually happened.
In his 2020 video, Dawson briefly mentioned the podcast and that he had “so many regrets” because of it. In his own words: “I’m not being me because I’m always trying to out-shock everybody else.”
After a string of scandals, YouTube took away his ability to make money off of his three channels last year, a decision justified by his history of inappropriate behavior.
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In August 2021, Dawson and his fiancée, Ryland Adams moved from Calabasas, California, to Denver, Colorado.
As of March 19th, 2019, the couple is engaged. Dawson is suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). In a video released on his YouTube channel in July 2015, Dawson confirmed his bisexuality. The announcement also served as confirmation of his breakup with ex-girlfriend Lisa Schwartz.
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