YouTuber Shane Dawson catching heat for old blackface videos
Is YouTube sensation Shane Dawson finally going to face the music for his blackface videos and racist comments?
Twitter user @chaoticgaythey revived the #ShaneDawsonIsOverParty hashtag by posting a tweet this week reminding the public about Dawson’s dubious past, noting, “Shane Dawson is proof cancel culture isn’t real. Thought I’d remind everybody in light of that one post about men having cats and consent.”
Attached to the tweet were several photos of Dawson in blackface as well as three paragraphs from the YouTuber’s Wikipedia entry that noted Dawson has used the n-word and joked about “ghetto pranks” onstage at VidCon [Dawson later apologized for the jokes in a video, stating that he viewed the controversy as a “learning experience”] . He was also criticized for conducting sympathetic interviews with YouTubers Logan Paul and Jeffree Star, both of whom have had racist controversies in the past.
For years, Dawson, who has over 23 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, dressed up in blackface for his “comedic” sketches and made racially shocking remarks — and somehow got away with it. During the 2012 VidCom segment Wikipedia references, “he invited teenage girls onstage and encouraged them to engage in what he called ‘ghetto pranks,’ which included jokes about chicken and booty dances,” according to a Daily Dot article titled “Does YouTube have a blackface problem?”
Two years after the VidCon skit, comedian Franchesca Ramsey called out Dawson for his overtly insensitive shtick.
“I’m not asking for anyone to be banned from YouTube. But hate speech is against the site’s terms of service and there should be consequences,” Ramsey wrote on her blog on Sept. 23, 2014.
“Instead (Dawson) continues to be rewarded for this kind of behavior… Shane has done his modern day minstrel show act AT VIDCON and faced no repercussions. It’d be nice if he’d acknowledge why these thing are problematic, apologize to his audience and stop doing them. But I highly doubt that’ll happen… I think the videos where Shane uses the n-word, does blackface and parodies black people and makes rape and molestation jokes should be removed from YouTube.”
The next day, Dawson finally issued an apology for his blackface videos and racial comments saying, “I’m sorry for anyone offended by my old videos. I have no hate in my heart and I hope you can forgive me.”
In the years since Dawson has also apologized for a pedophilia joke he made on his podcast, “Shane and Friends,” in 2014 and comment he made on the podcast in 2015 regarding sexually assaulting his cat. He has also come under fire for promoting conspiracy theories.