OG YouTuber Shane Dawson is no stranger to controversy, having come under scrutiny multiple times in the past due to his divisive older content — but the backlash he received in late June incited more outrage than ever before.
While Dawson’s past transgressions are well known, new footage emerged showing the star making inappropriate gestures and jokes toward a then-11-year-old Willow Smith, among other videos that many deemed to be pedophilic in nature.
Hot on the heels of accusations that both Dawson and makeup mogul Jeffree Star had orchestrated the drama surrounding James Charles in 2019, Shane quickly became the internet’s #1 most wanted YouTuber — but his fiance, Ryland Adams, is asking fans to quell their fury.
Adams finally addressed the outrage in early August, nearly a month after the latest outrage against Dawson took over the net (as well as his own heated tirade against claims made by influencer Tati Westbrook).
In an August 3 video, Ryland acknowledged that Dawon’s past content may have hurt viewers, and explained that he’d tried not to immediately insert himself into the proceedings for fear of adding to the “intense negative energy” around the matter.
“I understand that Shane’s made highly insensitive and offensive jokes, and I know that while they were far in his past, it’s hard to separate that person from who he is today — especially when seeing them in real time and your feelings are being hurt right now,” he began.
However, Ryland asked that fans allow Dawson room for growth, arguing that the Shane he knows today isn’t the Shane from many years past, as seen in his old videos.
“At some point, I hope that we can champion change and growth over canceling someone altogether, or going for the absolute worst on the internet,” he continued. “…everyone has something in their past that they’re not proud of. But I don’t think that takes away from the incredible content he has put out over the years.”
Adams’ video follows that of his sister, Morgan Adams, who held similar sentiments regarding the backlash against Dawson — although both uploads have been met with some contention among fans.
For now, Dawson has remained largely silent after uploading his June 26 video addressing the vitriol against him, leaving viewers waiting for his next move in wake of the drama.