YouTube Demonetizes Shane Dawson’s Content Over Past Offensive Videos

Several of the platform’s biggest influencers face severe criticism for racist content.

YouTube announced on Tuesday that it will no longer allow Shane Dawson to make money from ads on any of his three channels after a long history of racist and offensive content.

One of YouTube’s most popular influencers with over 22 million followers on the platform, the vlogger faced an enormous amount of backlash after posting a lengthy video titled “Taking Accountability,” where he apologized for using blackface, insulting people with disabilities, saying racial slurs, joking about pedophilia, and more.

“I am willing to lose everything,” Dawson says in the apology video. He said he was inspired to make the video by fellow YouTuber Jenna Marbles who, a few days before, posted on her channel apologizing for her past use of blackface and promoting racist stereotypes.

Dawson has been active on YouTube for 12 years, making him one of YouTube’s earliest content creators to make it big on the platform. He began his vlogging career by filming comedy sketches, later progressing to more personalized content, conspiracy deep-dives, and celebrity interviews.

Just hours after Dawson’s apology, Jaden Smith called him out for “sexualizing an 11 year old girl” after an old video of the vlogger simulating masturbation in front of a poster of Willow Smith resurfaced online. Jada Pinkett Smith responded soon after, tweeting, “To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.”

Beauty influencer Tati Westbrook also posted a video on Tuesday that caused even more backlash against Dawson and fellow controversial vlogger Jeffree Star. In the video, she details how both Dawson and Star manipulated the drama that unfolded between Westbrook and YouTuber James Charles. Dawson denied Westbrook’s claims on a since-deleted Instagram live video.

Star, another longtime Youtuber, also has an extensively racist past that has come under fire in the last few weeks.

YouTube isn’t the only company that’s holding Dawson accountable for his offensive videos. On Monday, Target announced that it will no longer be selling two of Dawson’s books, I Hate Myselfie and It Gets Worse. Morphe has also removed Dawson and Star’s collaborative makeup line from its website following the controversy.

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