While 2020 has been an adjustment for us all, one thing that remains the same is public figures’ need to issue a good, old-fashioned apology. A major change is currently sweeping across the globe with the fight for justice heightened more than ever, and as a result, celebrities and influencers are under a microscope with fans sifting through their past. Celebrities take to their social media to apologize for their unacceptable behavior, but is the apology sincere or to avoid being canceled?
The recent scandal involving popular YouTubers James Charles, Jeffree Star, and Tati Westbrook, commonly referred to a “dramageddon 2.0” by fans, began with Westbrook’s video “Bye Sister”. The video accumulated over 33 million views before being deleted, accusing James Charles of being a disloyal friend and of predatory behavior. Shortly after, Jeffree Star joined the bandwagon, claiming that James Charles was a “danger to society”.
Despite James’ video response explaining his side of the story, 2 million of his subscribers unsubscribed, leaving James with a poor reputation in the beauty community. Since the incident, evidence has been brought to the surface vindicating James Charles and proving his innocence, shifting the focus to the motives of his accusers. Tati Westbrook and Jeffree Star have both uploaded apology videos onto their YouTube channels, blaming the other as the mastermind behind the attempted demise of James Charles.
Shane Dawson, formerly known as “the King of YouTube”, has also been under scrutiny after videos of the content creator in blackface have resurfaced. The YouTuber has also been called out for pedophilic jokes after pretending to masturbate to a poster of a then 11-year-old Willow Smith. Jaden Smith, Willow Smith’s brother tweeted “SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU” followed by “YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!! IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.”
Since the incident, Shane’s makeup products and books have been removed from Morphe and Target. He has also lost over 1 million YouTube subscribers. Shane Dawson has issued an apology on his YouTube channel titled “Taking Accountability” in which he apologizes for racial slurs, wearing blackface, pedophilic jokes, and insulting the disabled. While some have forgiven Dawson’s behavior, others have not. Willow Smith’s mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, took to Twitter as well to say this:
YouTuber Tana Mongeau is infamous for her scandals; from saying the N-word and other offensive remarks, to her behavior on her MTV show “No Filter”.
The star has profited from her constant scandalous behavior and countless apologies, selling merch with words “scandalous” and “canceled” on them. Recently the YouTuber has been called out for her racist treatment toward black creators Simplynessa15 and Kahlen Barry. Mongeau has since gone to Instagram to announce that a formal apology is on its way. Despite this, fans are disappointed in the YouTuber as she continues to party and post other content.
The question remains: Are these YouTubers truly remorseful for their actions or are they simply aiming to appease their fans in order to upkeep their success? As the public, the decision to support these creators is up to you.