YouTube star Shane Dawson apologizes for jokes about pedophilia
In the middle of YouTube star Logan Paul’s suicide video controversy, another colleague came under fire.
Shane Dawson, who boasts more than 11 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, was accused of pedophilia when an old episode from his “Shane and Friends” podcast resurfaced Wednesday.
On the podcast, Dawson described a conversation he had on Instagram with a 6-year-old girl, who he said told him that she was a cheerleader with more than 100,000 followers.
"And she shows me her Instagrams which are like—first of all— I don't know if I'm allowed to say this but, like, she's, like, sexy," Dawson said.
When his co-host called the comments “disgusting,” Dawson offered his “justification for pedophilia.”
“First of all, let me just say, having sex with children, or touching children, or anything of that nature is terrible, and you should not do it,” he said.
“Here's my thing: People have foot fetishes. People have fetishes about, you know, everything. And there's websites on the internet where they can look at that weird creepy s--t and jerk off to it. Okay, fine, everybody do your thing.”
He then questioned why someone should be arrested if they masturbated to a Google search of “naked baby.”
"First of all, I don't understand why anybody would be turned on by that," he said on the podcast. "But it was sexy."
Dawson said that he was kidding, but the episode recirculated online and was met with immediate backlash.
Late Wednesday, he issued a lengthy video statement.
"I'm going to start by saying I am not a f--king pedophile. I go on record saying I am not a f--king pedophile. Got it? Great. There's my statement,” he said.
“It's disgusting that people are saying I'm a f--king pedophile because of some s---ty a-- f--king jokes from six years ago on a podcast.”
Dawson then went on to apologize for his previous persona in which he tried to make people laugh by shocking them.
“Back in the day, 2008 to 2012ish, maybe 2013, that was my thing. I loved the feeling of making somebody shocked and laugh because they couldn't believe what was coming out of my mouth. I wasn't confident enough to make smarter jokes. I was making the easy jokes. I was playing crazy stereotypical characters. I was doing s--t that was racially insensitive. I was doing s--t that was homophobic. I was doing s--t that could be considered fatshaming. I was doing some f--ked up comedy stuff that I'm not proud of,” he said.
“I have changed so much as a person and as a creative and as a writer and a director. The stuff I was saying back then, I would never say now. Ever. I don’t think that’s funny.”
Dawson also said that he had previously been molested, which made him “passionate about shedding light” on real pedophilia and abuse.
“So I think that's why it hurts the most is having my name put next to the word pedophile is actually the most triggering and the most heartbreaking thing I've literally ever seen,” he said.
“I am so sorry if that triggered you or offended you or hurt your feelings. It triggers me listening to that clip. Listening to that f--ks me up.”