YouTube is no stranger to its fair share of controversies, and scandals.
Over the years, countless YouTube stars have struggled to keep their income with things like lost followers, bans, and even demonetization to worry about. In 2020, as more people demand better quality content from their YouTube creators, various stars are facing new problems.
At the end of June 2020, two of the world’s biggest YouTube stars, Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star faced a further backlash following allegations of racism, slander, and even the sexualization of minors. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest YouTube drama.
What Happened with Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson
For almost 10 years now, both Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson have stood out as two of the most influential YouTubers in the industry. Jeffree Star is also the creator of his own cosmetics industry. The popular makeup brand joined forces with Shane Dawson recently.
For a long time, Dawson earned the title of “the king of YouTube”. As a regular creator on the platform, he’s one of the most well-known faces of the streaming era. Since 2018, Dawson has also built various connections with a large selection of the most popular YouTubers from around the world.
In 2019, Dawson created a documentary series in collaboration with Jeffree Star, which earned more than 150 million views. The series acted as a fantastic advertising opportunity for the combined Star and Dawson makeup palette.
Unfortunately, the initial success of Dawson and Star’s collaboration didn’t last long. As is often the case with internet celebrities, older videos and content began to rise to the surface to contradict the pair’s new achievements. Fans discovered that in his early years on YouTube, Mr. Dawson racked up most of his billions of views with offensive and derogatory humor.
A Shameful Start for Shane Dawson
Countless videos from Dawson history started rising to the surface in recent weeks. This content includes images of Dawson engaging in offensive blackface videos, mocking people with disabilities, and joking about bestiality. Dawson has also made several jokes in the past that sexualized minors and even once talked about “figuratively murdering” a person.
Towards the end of June 2020, Shane posted a tearful video in which he apologized for his actions in the past. Dawson admitted that his earlier videos were shameful and that he deserved to “lose everything” because of him. Unfortunately, the video didn’t prevent more offensive clips from resurfacing around the web.
Mr. Star, who has become a close friend of Shane Dawson while the two worked together, also faced a lot of problems with his content in recent weeks. Like Mr. Dawson, Star has a long history with YouTube but hasn’t always had the best reputation.
In the past few months, both Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson have lost partnerships and influencer deals with a lot of different brands. Companies have been quickly redirecting attention away from the two creators in light of recent events. The stressful situation apparently led to Mr. Star claiming that he’s gathered information about other YouTube stars to use as blackmail.
Trying to Outrun the Past
While many incidents with Shane Dawson’s past and Jeffree Star’s behavior have come to the surface before, the repeated accusations against these stars now couldn’t come at the worst time. Right now, the world is more active than ever in the fight against racism and inequality. The BLM movement has pushed people to take more of a stance in the way they fight injustice.
It’s likely that the recent allegations against Dawson and Star will fundamentally change the way that the two creators work going forward. Already, the pair claim that they’re losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Leading companies like Target have started to remove Dawson books from their shelves. Additionally, YouTube has suspended monetization on all of Dawson’s accounts.
Many newer influencers on social media have responded to the scandal on their own platforms. Will Larkins, an influencer on Twitter, said that both Shane and Jeffree had been untouchable for too long. According to Larkins, the pair got away with too much, but people are finally fed up of giving them a free ride.
All Creators Are Facing Scrutiny
Outside of Dawson and Star, the YouTube community has begun to evaluate all YouTube creators more carefully. Jenna Marbles, another influencer that has spent a lot of time on YouTube, recently quit her channel completely. Marbles faced some serious backlash for an old video that showed her engaging in blackface before she resigned from video creation.
Lisa Koshy and David Dobrik are two further examples of YouTube stars struggling to deal with the scrutiny of older videos. The pair faced criticism for old videos that showed them imitating the Japanese language. While many of these creators have apologized for their actions, the public isn’t in a forgiving mood during this time of social change.
Traditional white millennial influencers are beginning to lose their relevance. There’s a wider range of diverse creators coming into the limelight, and today’s viewers want to give more attention to people who they feel haven’t got enough credit in the past.
Even if stars like Dawson and Star manage to make it through the difficult period they’re facing right now, they may never reach the top of the YouTube podium again. Social changes in the world also affect the way that people act on a digital level.
A New Future for YouTube
Today’s market experts believe that the age of people like Shane Dawson and Jeffree star being the kings of YouTube is over. Though these creators may still get millions of views in the months to come if they manage to regain their followers, they won’t climb back to the top.
The beauty community in particular is beginning to assess the creators in its landscape more carefully. The next generation of influencers will be defined by their kindness, understanding, and diversity. The young generation understands the need for a change in the world of beauty gurus. There’ll be no going back now.