YouTube has suspended monetization on all channels belonging to Shane Dawson, one of the platform’s most influential content creators. The move comes as Dawson, whose most popular main channel boasts over 22 million followers, faces a firestorm of backlash regarding past videos that featured blackface and other racist depictions of minorities.
On June 26, Dawson posted a lengthy video apologizing for said content, along with instances in which he said the n-word. Just one day prior, fellow YouTuber Jenna Marbles uploaded a similar video addressing her use of blackface and racist stereotypes.
Hours after the apology was uploaded, Jaden Smith called the vlogger out for “sexualizing an 11 year old girl,” referencing an old video of Dawson simulating masturbation in front of a photo of Willow Smith. Jaden and Willow’s mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, also addressed Dawson in a tweet reading, “To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.”
YouTube is not the only company responding to the controversy. Target has announced it will remove two of his books, I Hate Myselfie and It Gets Worse, from stores. In addition, makeup retailer Morphe has pulled Dawson and Jeffree Star‘s collaborative eyeshadow palette from its website (Dawson still links to the palette in the biography section of his Instagram page). Star, one of YouTube’s most influential beauty vloggers, also faces backlash for a webpage he created in the early ’00s titled “Lipstick Nazi.”