What Did Shane Dawson Do? YouTuber Canceled Over Past Racial Remarks

Shane Dawson suggested he could make a return to YouTube nearly a year after he posted his last video.

The YouTuber, who currently has a subscriber count of 20.4 million, promised his Instagram followers he is "not going to abandon my channel after 15 years of creating."

The news, which was shared on Wednesday, was met with uproar from users online who canceled the star back in 2020.

Dawson, who started making videos in 2008, was among the first wave of content creators to find fame via the platform.

In 2020, the 32-year-old was met with a swarm of backlash after he became entangled in various controversies relating to his older videos.

He then released a video on his main channel titled, "Taking Accountability," in which he addresses his prior use of racial slurs, portrayal of racial stereotypes in videos and jokes about pedophilia.

Dawson began by addressing "all the racism I've put on to the internet."

"Me, as a white person, wearing a wig, playing a character, doing stereotypes and then saying the N-word is something I probably should have lost my career for, at the time," he said.

He went on to add that he's aware that apologizing does not take away the impact of his actions.

"There's no amount of apologizing that can take it away and take away the impact it had and take away the amount of people that have been hurt by that—or have felt like that I was just another white guy that can get away with anything."

Dawson was also slammed after a clip resurfaced of him making sexual gestures to a promotional poster of then 11-year-old Willow Smith.

The video showed him moaning as he referenced Smith's 2010 debut song "Whip My Hair."

Willow's mother Jada Pinkett Smith took aim at Dawson online in response to the video, tweeting that she was "done with the excuses."

The social media star appeared to reference the clip in his apology video as he said sorry for the "inappropriate" comments he made about children.

"I swear on my life, I am not somebody who would ever talk about a child—like in seriousness, I would never talk about a child in any way that is inappropriate. That is disgusting, that is gross, it is not something I would ever do."

He added that it is something he did for "shock value" but emphasized that is not the real him.

Last year was not the only time Dawson had been blasted online for his comments.

In 2019, an audio snippet from his 2015 podcast Shane and Friends emerged online, in which he appeared to joke about sexually abusing his cat.

Dawson is heard detailing how he had his "first sexual experience" at the age of 19 when he "came all over his cat."

Shortly after the clip went viral, the actor took to social media to clarify that the story was "based on a dumb awful sketch idea" which he never pursued. He said that he knew it was "disgusting" for him to convey the story in a way that implied it took place.

Dawson did reference the podcast briefly in his 2020 video, highlighting that it was a source of "so many regrets." He added that there was a constant desire to seek out shock value which resulted in him not being himself.

His reel of controversies proceeded in YouTube demonetizing all three of his accounts last year, a move it said was warranted given his past actions.

Shane Dawson hints at YouTube comeback
Shane Dawson promotes his new book "I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson" at Barnes & Noble Union Square on March 13, 2015 in New York City. Dawson appeared to suggest he could be making a YouTube comeback soon. Rob Kim/Getty Images

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