Shane Dawson is getting candid about the past two years of his life.
The YouTuber recently appeared on Alison Rosen’s podcast where he discussed his 2020 cancellation at length. While Shane’s spoken about it before on his own platforms, this was the first time the creator sat down for an in-depth interview to address the matter.
Shane and Alison are longtime friends from the early YouTube days.
Shane starts by reflecting on how his docuseries with Jeffree Star contributed to the drama within the beauty community at the time, noting that the way he chose to direct and edit the series was possibly a mistake.
As a refresher, Shane was filming his docuseries about Jeffree Star amid the release and fall-out from Tati Westbrook’s ‘BYE SISTER…’— a video which famously led to the mass cancellation of James Charles in 2019. Shane copped criticism at the time for using this drama to promote the series, but ultimately choosing not to include much about it in his final edit.
Tati later accused Shane and Jeffree of being the puppet-masters behind attempting to take down James’ career— claiming she was manipulated and gaslit into believing lies about the then 19-year-old and coerced into making her initial video.
During the interview with Alison, Shane then says that he believes his cancellation was partly because his Conspiracy Palette with Jeffree Star (a makeup collaboration born out of the docuseries) went over so well— drawing more attention to him as a creator and leading people to dig into his past.
“Every time I would upload an episode of the series, like, it would turn into some drama, which by the way— my fault,” he says. “And then the palette came out and it did well, which the flip side of that is when something goes over well, people who don’t know who I am, now know about it or they’re seeing it.”
“Then all these clips from my old sketch comedy videos started coming out around that time,” he says.
Amidst the Black Lives Matter movement, multiple resurfaced videos and photos began circulating of Shane engaging in racist jokes, blackface, sexualising animals and minors, and saying the n-word.
Shane tells Alison that he saw several creators apologise for their past racist content during this time, and he felt compelled to do so as well.
“I just wanted to say something, and then Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, all that happened and I saw YouTubers talking about videos that they had made that they were ashamed of and apologising,” he continues. “I really was sick to my stomach over it […] A lot of people were like you shouldn’t have made an apology video. Why did you do that? And for me, I just really wanted to.”
Shane maintains that his past mistakes were the result of his childhood trauma— a topic he has spoken about openly for nearly a decade.
Shane goes on to claim he is glad he got cancelled because it helped shift his perspective on what matters in life.
“I’m genuinely…am glad I got cancelled.”
“My whole life was making these things for the internet, for strangers […] you know, that was my whole 24 hours a day and when something would happen on the internet it would ruin my day, it would ruin my life, it would ruin everything,” he says. “Getting cancelled gave me a whole new perspective on everything because yeah, it does show you […] it really doesn’t matter. The internet drama, it doesn’t matter.”
And while his public image has still not fully recovered post-cancellation, it seems like Shane is ready to put the past behind him and move into a new phase of his career.