In the video, titled “Taking Accountability,” Dawson apologized for doing blackface in racist videos during his early YouTube career.
“Blackface was something that I did a lot… on my channel. And there’s no excuse for it. There’s literally no excuse. I made a video six years ago talking about it and I gave excuses and it was wrong… But I didn’t do the work,” Dawson said. “I didn’t actually look into the history of it and why it’s so wrong and why people were so upset.”
Dawson affirmed to his 23 million subscribers that he is now aware of the history surrounding blackface and recognized the harm his videos did.
“I am so sorry to anybody that saw that and also saw that people were lifting me up and saying, ‘You’re so funny, Shane,'” Dawson said. “I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black and see this white f—ing guy doing blackface and the whole Internet at that time being like, ‘LOL.'”
He also apologized for using the N-word while in blackface.
“I’m sorry that I added to the normalization of blackface or the normalization of saying the N-word,” Dawson said. “It’s not a funny word. Especially for a white person to say.”
Dawson addressed past jokes he made about pedophilia as well, saying that he “would never talk about a child in a way that is inappropriate.”
Toward the end of the video, Dawson stated that he is willing to “lose everything” in order to be held accountable for his actions.
“I’m willing to lose everything,” Dawson said. “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.”
In addition, Dawson apologized to makeup YouTuber James Charles after calling him out on Twitter and saying he “deserved a slice of humble pie the size of the Empire State Building.”
“I’m sorry James, I’m really sorry. Nobody deserves what happened. Nobody,” Dawson said. “The whole internet ganging up on somebody, nobody deserves that. And who am I to say that somebody needs to be humbled? Me, who am I to say that? I have literally put so much hate onto the internet over my 15 years in the YouTube world.”
This was in response to rumors circulating that Dawson masterminded last year’s drama surrounding Charles and fellow beauty guru Tati Westbrook. Dawson denied this claim in the video.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith both called out Dawson on Twitter after he posted his apology. A past video of Dawson in which he pretended to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith resurfaced on Twitter, prompting the tweets from her family members.
To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) June 27, 2020
Dawson’s video comes on the heels of a similar apology from fellow longtime YouTube star Jenna Marbles, who ultimately decided to leave the platform after deleting racist videos from her past.
Watch the full video below.