Shane Dawson’s Family Is Doing His Apology Tour for Him
Shane Dawson is no stranger to the internet shame circuit. The earliest video still available on his current channel, which has over 21 million subscribers, is a 2014 apology for a number of the same issues he was once again forced to confront last month. He’s since gone silent, refusing to engage in any further conversation beyond an initial video addressing racism and problematic comments towards minors that appear his early videos. With a years-long career on YouTube, a platform on which celebrity tends to have a short shelf-life, it would not be surprising if Dawson took this opportunity to throw in the towel. But that means his fiancé Ryland Adams and future sister-in-law Morgan Adams, who are also both YouTubers, would be left, on some level, with his mess.
On July 29, Morgan, 22, posted her first video since Dawson’s June 26 apology. In it, she says she doesn’t want to get involved with his drama.
"I don't like [the controversial videos], I don't agree with them, it makes me uncomfortable to watch them, because when I watch them I'm like, 'Who is that?' I don't feel like that's a person that I know,” she says.
She goes on to say the Shane Dawson she knows “has always just been gracious, and kind, and understanding,” and that she doesn’t “recognize” the person from his old problematic content.
A little less than a week later, Dawson’s fiancé Ryland made his own return.
“If you’ve been watching Shane for a long time, you’ve experienced his growth and you know that he is a genuine person with good intentions,” he begins his video, titled “My Past, My Present, and My Future (30 Days of Meditation).”
Ryland echoes his sister’s comments, insisting that the person he’s been with for the past four years is a “genuine, loving, caring” person. More than just speaking to Dawson’s character, he also takes a moment to commend his current content. While Dawson began as a comedy and character-based creator, a period during which he made many of the offending comments, the past few years he’s produced documentary-style deep dives into fellow creators like Tana Mongeau, Jake Paul, and Jefree Star that have earned tens of millions of views each.
“In that time he’s doubled his subscribers, which I do think came as a result of him living out his healthier, more authentic self,” Ryland says.
The Adams siblings emphasize the same thing: Dawson has already grown and changed. Apology videos may not feel like enough, but according to the actions they witness from Dawson on a day-to-day basis, Dawson is no longer the person he is apologizing for.
But there’s one still voice absent in all of this: Dawson’s. While his immense success probably means he can stay out of the limelight for as long as he wants, those associated with him have careers they need to return to. Ryland and Morgan are by no means unpopular—they both have around 4 million subscribers each—but they can’t afford to continue not making content forever. Until Dawson fixes his own situation, their relationship with him forces them to do that work for him, softening the blow of Dawson’s potential (and let’s face it, inevitable) return.