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Here's why everyone's talking about Shane Dawson, the YouTuber changing the documentary game

His latest series has divided viewers.

YOU MIGHT HAVE seen the name ‘Shane Dawson’ cropping up online over the past week.

Shane is being credited with reviving YouTube and revolutionising longform digital content with his documentary series (that’s plural, just FYI.)

He’s previously worked with creators Jeffree Star and Tana Mongea to give an insight into their lives following their own personal controversies (both series have a combined total of approximately 137 million views.)

Right, sorry, hold up – who is he though?

Shane Dawson has been making YouTube videos since 2008. Initially, he produced sketches and videos on popular culture in which he played a variety of characters. 

In 2014, he apologised for previous videos in which he donned blackface and portrayed racist stereotypes on his channel.

Source: shane/YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here.

In 2015, Shane began hosting a conspiracy show. 

Source: shane/YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here

He then began making docu-series, beginning with one in which he reconciles with his abusive father.

Source: shane/YouTube

Video won’t play? Click here.

And what’s this about controversy then?

His latest series focuses on another controversial online figure – Jake Paul.

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goood morning💫 shot by @erikacostell

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A very brief summary of Jake – he’s the brother of Logan, the guy who filmed the dead body in the suicide forest in Japan. He was previously fired from Disney channel show Bizardvaark. 

This was as a result of him being a nightmare neighbour – last year, it was reported that Paul’s neighbors in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles were meeting with city council members and police officials regarding whether to file a class-action public nuisance lawsuit against Paul. He also previously been videoed using the ‘n’ word while rapping.

Shane’s decision to work with the social media star caused controversy in itself, with some claiming that the series would give Jake a “redemptive arc” in the same way that it did for Jeffree Star, who’d been previously been called out for racism.

For this specific documentary, Shane has been speculating as to whether YouTubers – specifically Jake – are sociopaths.

A sociopath is “a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour”. 

In part two of the series, Shane visited with therapist and YouTuber Kati Morton, who discussed the textbook symptoms of sociopaths.

The video was edited much like a horror film, with disturbing music and dramatic cuts to YouTubers and celebrities exhibiting “sociopathic behavior.”

Source: shane/YouTube

Video not working? Click here.

The video was widely criticised as a result, and Shane was forced to apologise for reinforcing stigma surrounding those with personality disorders.

“I’m sorry if I offended anybody,” he said in a lengthy Snapchat video Thursday night. “If you are offended for someone who has this or thinks they have this, I am sorry, but just know my intentions were not bad.

My intentions were to make something interesting, to show a side of personality disorders that nobody talks about because they’re too afraid to. It’s something that people don’t talk about, and I wanted to talk about it. I’m personally connected to it for so many reasons that I haven’t even talked about.

“I’m sorry if anyone was offended, and it wasn’t even that many people but I’m the type of person that if one person is offended I feel gross and shitty and my stomach hurts… so the fact that there were hundreds of comments made me feel like I had to say something,” he concluded.

Source: K-Row L/YouTube

However, ahead of the release of part four, Shane tweeted:

 

You can watch the series so far by clicking here.

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