YouTube personality Shane Dawson is apologizing… again.
Unlike his earlier apologies, this time he says he’s “taking accountability” past videos in which he uses the N-word, appears in blackface and more.
While Dawson has issued video apologies before, in the new one he posted on Friday he says he’s come to see that those previous apologies were inadequate and insincere.
“I have done a lot of things in my past that I hate, that I wish I could make go away, that I tried to make go away by deleting videos, or un-tagging my Instagram, literally doing whatever I can to pretend those things didn’t happen,” he said.
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“Because yes, I apologized for a lot of them but I’m 31, almost 32. Those apologies suck. I don’t know who that person is anymore,” Dawson continued.
“Every apology video I have ever made has been from fear. It’s me sitting at home, thinking the whole world hates me and crying and hyperventilating and then just turning on a web cam and just saying I’m sorry and hoping people know I’m a good person and then it’ll go away,” he explained. “That is stupid. That is something a child does.”
It was watching Jenna Marbles’ recent apology video, he said, that inspired him to take ownership of his own past actions.
“I was at least 20 when I started YouTube. I made the decision to play stereotypes of Black people or Asian people or Mexicans, or pretty much every race. I made that decision,” he added. “I said, ‘Oh, this is funny,’ and I put it on the internet.’ Now years later, I look back at that — when I say I hate that person, I mean it in the most intense way possible. That person was filled with sadness, filled with anger… [was] in the closet.. I hate that person so f**king much.”
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He insisted he had reached the point where he felt he needed to own up to his own behaviour.
“I’m sorry that I added to the normalization of blackface or the normalization of saying the n-word. And my justification at the time for that was, ‘Oh I was playing a character and it was in comedy and my Black friend was there and that makes it okay.’ No it’s not okay,” he said.
“It’s not a funny word especially for a white person to say. Me as a white person wearing a wig and playing a character and doing stereotypes and saying the n-word is probably what I should have probably lost my career for, at the time,” Dawson added. “And there’s no amount of apologizing that can take it away.”
In fact, he said he’s now “willing to lose everything” due to his past actions. “At this point realizing how many people I’ve hurt, or how many people I’ve inspired to say awful things or do anything awful, to finally just own up to all of this and be accountable is worth losing everything to me,” he said.