Today, it is almost funny to think that Shane Dawson was one of the most beloved figures in Internet History as recently as last year. One of YouTube’s original creators, with over 15 years of history on the platform, Shane has had his fair share of controversy throughout the years, but nothing even comes close to the insane fall from grace that destroyed his career in June 2020. Now famously known as “Karmageddon”, the dire series of events that lead to Shane Dawson’s end was a 2-year long unfolding of public incidents that ruined the lives and careers of more than one person.
The dangerous tension that was rising since 2018 within a community of beauty gurus on YouTube led to an unceremonious amount of accusations of blackmail, racism, predatory behavior and corruption. It all came to a head when beauty star Tati Westbrook revealed that most of these accusations and lawsuits amongst the community were orchestrated by Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, in an attempt to hold a monopoly over the extremely lucrative business of beauty products. Public outrage immediately followed, with media outlets from all around the world relaying the story in a matter of minutes.
Shane’s response to Tati was a very public meltdown on an Instagram livestream that same day, which showed millions of people a different side of him that is the polar opposite of the perfect “good boy” persona he had built. The stream saw Shane going on an angry and incoherent rant, during which he attempted to discredit Tati, called her crazy, and claimed she lied about being a victim of abuse. As he paced frantically around his home, screamed and hit himself, even his most devoted fans saw his true face, before he abruptly ended the stream and completely vanished from the Internet, like he was never there.
And while everything was already over for Shane by this point, the final nail in the coffin came a month later, when a young YouTube creator named D’Angelo Wallace released a 73-minute documentary titled “The Exact Moment Shane Dawson’s Career Ended”.
The film takes an extremely detailed dive into Shane’s 15-year long YouTube career, highlighting past patterns of racist, pedophilic and manipulative behavior, brilliantly explaining how his fake “good boy” persona works, and how he went about creating it. The documentary is filled with old videos and lost footage that back up every single one of D’Angelo’s claims. The video took over the world in mere days (watched by over 15 million people) and effectively terminated what was left of Shane’s career.