- Shane Dawson issued a lengthy statement announcing his departure from the beauty community on Sunday after people accused him of orchestrating Dramageddon 2, the explosive feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles that erupted last year.
- But outrage at Shane continued after his statement as people slammed him for standing by Jeffree Star, seeming to justify attacks on James Charles, and labeling the entire beauty community as drama obsessed.
- Others also accused him of using the community for a cash grab with his Conspiracy makeup collection, pointing to the fact that a restock of the line was announced a day earlier.
- Shane later said he was taking a break from Twitter for a few months and deleted all his statements.
Dramageddon 2 Recap
It’s been more than a year since the feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook captured global attention, but now, Shane Dawson has reignited conversations about the drama with a lengthy statement on social media.
To give a brief history of what brought us here, here’s a short recap of Dramageddon 2 and what’s happened since to help better understand Shane’s statement.
Last year Tait Westbrook posted her infamous “Bye Sister” video announcing the end of her friendship with James Charles. She explained a lot of reasons for her decision, but one of the points people really latched onto was this claim that James used his power to go after and manipulate straight men.
That quickly resulted in people throwing some serious accusations against him online, and it really picked up after Jeffree Star specifically called him a predator and a danger to society. Jeffree never ended up releasing any more details to back up his claims and James eventually tried to clear his name in his “No More Lies” response video.
So everyone decided to end the drama there, after James lost around 3 million subscribers and was subjected to a lot of hate online that he’s admitted put him in a dark mental space. James has since bounced back from the massive subscriber drop and everyone has tried to move forward.
As far as how Shane fits into this: when all this originally happened, he was filming a series with Jeffree Star about the beauty community and their makeup collaboration. At the time, it appeared as if he had a lot of first-hand knowledge about what was going on, siding with Tati.
But after it all ended, it seems like only Shane and Jeffree remained tight. Tati, Shane, and Jeffree ended up unfollowing each other and Jeffree later admitted that he and Tati were no longer friends.
Tati has remained quiet about the drama and Shane walked away from the situation relatively unscathed. He did receive some backlash from people accusing him of click-baiting after including some of the drama in his series trailer, but not the series itself. He’s also faced some criticism for continuing to be friends with Jeffree Star despite this drama and Jeffree’s long history of racist and offensive incidents.
Kameron Lester Speaks Out
Why are we talking about this now? Well, recently Jeffree Star has been hot water again because of more offensive things he’s said and done in the past. Along with that, in a recent video, an influencer named Kameron Lester announced that he was cutting ties with Jeffree and Shane.
Kameron talked about Jeffree’s brand giving him huge opportunities in the beauty space, but he eventually started feeling like he was used as a “token Black boy” and felt like their relationship was conditional. He also talked about Jeffree refusing his request that he make amends with the Black beauty community.
On top of that, Kameron talked about knowing that tensions with James were brewing behind the scenes months before Tati’s video came out because of a call he overheard between Shane and Jeffree.
“I just remember Shane Dawson called, and he was going off about James Charles…just like cursing James out and I was just kind of taken back because I’ve never seen Shane Dawson like that and he was going in on James.”
Then three months later, the public drama went down and Kameron said he felt regretful for not warning James. So after hearing that, people began to accuse Shane of helping orchestrate the drama by encouraging Tati to release her video and fueling all the tension between them behind closed doors.
Shane Leaves Beauty World
By Sunday, Shane had finally had enough and posted a 4-page letter that laid out his “final thoughts” on the beauty world.
In it, he directly responded to some questions he’s received, essentially saying that he knew Tati was planning the video but did not orchestrate it or need it as drama for his series. Still, he said that he has huge regrets about how he could’ve helped everyone handle it all better.
He talked about loving his experience working on his Conspiracy palette with Jeffree, saying it changed his life and taught him to stand up for himself.
However, as far as what he learned about the community, he said: “The beauty gurus who are ALWAYS involved in scandals are ALL THE FUCKING SAME. They are all attention seeking game playing egocentric narcissistic vengeful two faced ticking time bombs ready to explode and Im OVER it.”
He said they’re a talented group, but are on a side of the internet that enjoys “receipts” as a way to defend or expose someone. He added that he knows Jeffree is in that group but said, “he will always be family and I love him despite those characteristics.”
Shane said Jeffree is aware that he doesn’t agree with how he handles situations and Shane has told him that, nut he said he can’t take the drama anymore and is “out.”
Shane added that he’d never been involved in drama with another YouTuber before filming his beauty community series and did not plan Dramageddon 2. He said people come to him with problems like he’s a grandpa and he gets wrapped up in these situations when they involve someone he cares for.
That’s what he said happened with Tati. He said he believes a lot of what she said and added: “Do I think James is THE DEVIL? No. Do I think he was a young egocentric power hungry guru who needed to be served a slice of humble pie the side of the fucking Empire State Building? YES. Has he grown as a person since then? It really seems like it! And that’s AMAZING. I’m truly happy he’s realized how his ego was effecting others which he did address in his no more lies video.”
He also went on to make some jokes about how hard she “snapped” in her video and what an impact it had. Then, Shane explained that he doesn’t think Tati is a villain and said Jeffree didn’t orchestrate the drama either but did latch on because he was also frustrated by personal issues with James.
“Was Jeffree excited to see a competitor fall? Probably! He’s jeffree FUCKING star what do you expect?? I guess I missed the part where he got baptized and devoted his life to Christ.”
He did admit that Jeffree took it too far and called it one of the biggest regrets of his life.
Shane ultimately said he’s sick of hearing about all this drama and people using his name in drama videos. He also said he regrets putting drama in the trailer. But in the end, he said that drama is going to continue in the community because people love it.
He said to not expect these gurus to maintain some moral high ground, asking who will be left to watch if we cancel them?
“You don’t go to a circus to watch the hay on the ground. You got to watch the over-the-top performers who just want to be liked and want to do whatever they can to get your attention.”
Shane said he wanted people to stop pretending they were “above it all” and hit at “drama-free gurus” saying that even they participate in drama with some of the videos they create.
So, in the end, he said, enjoy the circus and unsubscribe from gurus you don’t like. Just don’t take the community as seriously as many did last year.
As for himself, he said he’s done with the beauty world. He said he’ll still watch beauty videos and play with makeup privately, but added: “I need to get back to why I started youtube back in 2005 and that was to make things that bring me joy (not drama) and to make movies one day.”
Public Response and Additional Statement
Shane’s comments were then met with a flood of backlash for several different reasons. One of the main reasons was that people felt like he was trying to justify Tati and Jeffree going after James, who was 19 at the time. Many felt he was essentially saying that James got what he deserved.
James needed humble pie…what he means is I needed to justify why a group of 30 yr old people got together to ruin a 19 yr old they were jealous of. Also geez Shane you are too sensitive….Imagine how poor James felt! You always say you’re such an empath shouldn’t be hard— Jessica Marie (@jessie_marie24) June 21, 2020
He literally said James deserved what he got while defending a known racist?????? Yiiiiikes Shane— Megan (@TakingSparks) June 21, 2020
Others were upset with humor he used that made it seem like he was making light of the situation. Following some of those responses, Shane posted another statement, calling it his “last addition.”
In it, he said “Do I think it was ok for the internet to bully james? NO. Of course not. Not sure why some people would [take] that away from my post. I literally said it was “too far” and should “never happen again.”
He explained that he didn’t want to get into too many dark details in his original post but said “we all know collectively that the internet was too mean to James.”
He added, “Me saying he needed to be humbled isn’t mean it’s honest,” before explaining that the humbling should have happened off-camera.
He also apologized for some humor he added in his original post when talking about Tati’s initial video, explaining that humor is how he deals with stuff.
Shane Deletes Statements, Backlash Continues
Shane then said he was leaving Twitter for a few months because it’s bad for his brain. Not too long after, he actually deleted all those statements, saying people could find it reposted somewhere else. “I don’t want this energy in my life or on my timeline. I’m too sensitive for this shit and I’m done.”
Still, the backlash has poured in, with many angry at Shane for continuing to support Jeffree Star despite everything he’s done. Others noted that he often supports people constantly involved in drama, like Trisha Paytas and Tana Mongeau.
Many were also angry at Shane for leaving the beauty world after he seemed to profit off it so much. A lot of people called his own beauty series and palette a cash grab, noting that he never even posted a YouTube tutorial with the palette.
Others noted that the statements about leaving also came a day after he announced that he restocked his conspiracy collection with Jeffree Star Cosmetics and presumably made a ton of new sales.
On top of that, some were frustrated that he labeled the whole community as drama obsessed, including beauty YouTube Samantha Ravndahl who said, “If you genuinely still believe that the entirety of the beauty community is constant, toxic drama, then I can assure you that you are watching the wrong people.”
That’s where this story ends for now. No other creator involved has addressed Shane’s statement and Shane has been silent on social media since. As of Monday morning, people have starting to dig up some of Shane’s old controversies as they continue to slam him online.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Teen Vogue) (MTV)
Twitch Pulls Black Lives Matter Video Featuring Mostly White Streamers
- On Thursday, Twitch deleted and apologized for a Black Lives Matter compilation video that showcased a number of white streamers supporting the movement but featured very few Black creators.
- In fact, the nearly one-minute video only had one line from a Black creator known as Zombaekillz, and Twitch overlaid audio of DrLupo—a white creator—on top of a clip of footage from another Black streamer, BlissKai.
- A number of the streamers featured in the video have now spoken out about the criticism, with some agreeing and others disagreeing.
- This video follows backslash Twitch faced earlier in the week for an LGBTQIA+ tweet that said the G “also stands for gamer.”
Twitch’s Mostly White “Black Lives Matter” Video
Twitch has deleted a controversial complication video it posted on Thursday that was meant to display solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement; however, the video was quickly criticized as tone-deaf for featuring mostly-white creators.
The video was originally posted to Twitter with the caption “Working together to make an impact for Black lives,” according to the gaming outlet Polygon.
While that video showcases a number of white creators advocating for racial justice— including DrLupo, Jacksepticeye, CrankGameplays, AshleyRoboto, and Charalanahzard—it only features one line from a Black streamer, Zombaekillz.
“Black people don’t have the same right, and we don’t have the same power that people around us have here,” Zombaekillz said in the video, a quite ironic statement given Twitch’s inclusion of it around only white voices.
Other Black creators such as BlissKai were featured but had no lines. In fact, in the video, a clip of her is even overlaid with audio from DrLupo. In all, Black streamers only accounted for 11-seconds of the nearly minute-long video.
While the video also opens with a clip of a Black man speaking at a protest, he is not a known streamer on the platform.
Reaction and Apology
Much of the video includes streamers raising money for various Black Lives Matter-related charities. Shortly after Twitch posted it, the video was met with swift condemnation from Black streamers and BLM allies.
One Black creator, Tanya DePass, blasted the platform and accused it of silencing Black voices.
“This is a whole bucket of fail,” DePass said. “There’s a WHOLE LOT of Black Creators on here who not only speak out on this ALL THE TIME, but don’t get any credit for it. Y’all are speaking over us. Highlight Black folks doing the work already.”
Notably, some also pointed out that DePass would have been a prime candidate for the video, as she raised over $140,000 during a 10-hour Animal Crossing live stream on the platform last month. Her original goal had been $500.
On Thursday, the same day the initial video was posted, Twitch removed it and issued an apology.
“We hear you,” the platform said. “Our goal was to demonstrate the importance of allyship—a message we didn’t make clear. Only by working together can we create a positive change.”
Creators in the Video Speak Out
A number of creators featured in the video have spoken out since Twitch deleted that video and apologized, including BlissKai and Zombaekillz.
“It sucks that Twitch deleted the tweet but it had to happen,” BlissKai said. “I want to see black gamers succeed & make a difference as well. My first ever huge thing from Twitch & I’m glad I even got a opportunity to see myself up there. Disappointed but Twitch just delivered the wrong it the way.”
Meanwhile, Zombaekillz commended the video for using lesser-known Black streamers, adding, “it also celebrated the actual and very real allyship of some creators during this time. AND AND… white people listen to white people.“
While she noted that the video could have featured more Black voices, she said, “this is about incremental changes. Dismantling supremacy doesn’t happen immediately.”
“The reality is this video was about working together to uplift voices and showcasing people who are,” she continued. “People have missed the point.”
“Also, while you’re here and SO outraged over the lack of diverse voices.. make sure to go to my channel and support this very diverse voice. Put some of these words to ACTION…”
Also on Twitter, Charalanahzard said she had no knowledge of Twitch even using a clip from one of her streams until after Twitch posted its video.
“Well, I had no idea this happened until just now, but want to be clear: I had absolutely no idea @Twitch was going to use a clip of me in the #BLM video they took down and am not cool with it at all,” she said. “I guess they own all content on their platform, but I’m shocked I wasn’t asked.”
Twitch Had to Revise a LGBTQIA+ Tweet, Too
Thursday’s video is not the first social media controversy of the week for Twitch. In fact, on Sunday, it posted a video that was meant to show support for queer rights that was partially captioned, “When the G in LGBTQIA+ also stands for Gamer.”
“I don’t in any way shape or form want to take away from the amazing humans in this video, the clips are wonderful,” creator Spofie said. “But can we remove this part?”
Wow! It’s already hard enough to teach people what it stands for. Twitch come on, do better. Are there no LGBTQIA+ on their Social team? How is that possible?— ✨ Charice Gomez (@ChariceArzellG) July 5, 2020
While the platform deleted the original video and quickly posted another without the controversial slogan, it did not publicly address its misstep.
The US is “Looking at” a Potential TikTok Ban, Pompeo Says as the Company Pulls Out of Hong Kong
- Early Monday, TikTok announced that it would be leaving the Hong Kong market over fears regarding China’s new national security law, which would require the company to hand over user data.
- Later in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the U.S. is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
- The Chinese-owned app has long been accused of giving data to the Chinese Communist Party, which it has repeatedly denied.
- If put in place, an American ban would just be the latest national-restriction against TikTok. India banned the app on July 1 over similar fears that it gave away user data to Chinese authorities.
Could TikTok Face an American Ban?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Monday night that the United States was “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including the popular video-sharing app TikTok.
When speaking to host Laura Ingraham about potential plans to restrict the app, Pompeo said, “We’re taking this very seriously, but we’re certainly looking at it. We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time.”
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too,” he added.
Despite his claims, there haven’t been any concrete efforts made public yet. Still, when asked if he’d recommend for people to download TikTok, the Secretary of State replied, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok has adamantly claimed that despite its parent company ByteDance being based in China, TikTok itself isn’t controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, nor does it have deep ties with the party.
The app claims that the executives and managers who actually make decisions about its business and make its content rules are all outside of China. The company also states that Chinese authorities have no say in what is and isn’t allowed on the app, and lastly, that user data isn’t stored in China.
American authorities doubt these claims, as the company is owned by ByteDance, which is based in China and like most large Chinese companies, is thought to have close ties to the ruling Communist Party. Adding to the fuel that TikTok complies with Chinese authorities is the fact that ByteDance also owns its sister company, Douyin, which is essentially a Chinese version of TikTok.
A U.S. ban would be a massive loss for the company, which is home to some of its biggest creators. The app has also faced hurdles in India, where a ban went into effect on July 1 that blocked TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps. The nation of over 1 billion is among its largest markets.
Australia has also floated the idea of banning the platform over concerns it inappropriately shares data with the Chinese government.
Pulling Out of Hong Kong
Aside from promising that it isn’t controlled by Chinese authorities, TikTok has also made recent moves to distance itself from the country. Hours before Pompeo spoke to Fox News, TikTok announced that it would be pulling out of the Hong Kong market over fears about a sweeping national security law imposed on the city by China on June 29.
According to TikTok, the app would be inoperable within Hong Kong in a few days. Additionally, it wouldn’t process data requests from China or Hong Kong police, although some current residents already say they can’t download the app.
Hong Kong authorities used the new national security law to release strict new rules regarding online posts. If police suspect an “electronic message” endangers “national security,” they can ask the publisher, platform, host, or network provider to remove or restrict access to it. Those who publish messages and don’t comply face a $100,000 fine and upwards of six months in jail.
Users who actually make the posts face a similar fine and up to a year in jail.
According to multiple reports, the rules explicitly allow authorities to jail employees at internet companies that don’t reply, regardless if they’re based in Hong Kong or not. It should be noted that punishment would only be applicable if one was to actually travel to Hong Kong or China, as most nations wouldn’t comply with another country claiming extraterritorial authority.
However, it still puts companies in an awkward position; comply with Chinese authorities and face backlash for caving on free speech, or disregard the rules and potentially risk employee safety and losing market access.
It wasn’t just TikTok that responded to the new rules, other tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Twitter all said they would temporarily halt data requests from Hong Kong authorities as they decide what to do in the long run. All three had spokespeople and statements that were remarkably similar.
A Facebook spokesperson told Reuters, “We are pausing the review of government requests for user data from Hong Kong pending further assessment of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts.”
“We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions,” the statement continued.
Even though at face value it may seem like a hollow gesture, considering the fact that these companies are banned in China, it’s actually a big risk to a massive revenue stream. All three of those companies have major advertiser programs in China.
While they debate whether to comply with the law or not, it’s interesting to note that TikTok went further than the rest by actually pulling services out of the city. That might be because Hong Kong wasn’t a huge market for the company.
It consistently lost them money and only about 150,000 Hong Kongers used the app. Another facet that may limit the impact of “losing” Hong Kong is that TikTok’s sister app, Douyin, is still usable and popular in Hong Kong, despite not officially being available in the city.
See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (The New York Times) (CNN)
“The Rock” Surpasses Kylie Jenner as Highest-Paid Star on Instagram
- After coming in at No. 6 last year, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has now skyrocketed to the top of Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List, with it estimating that he earns $1,015,00 per sponsored post.
- Kylie Jenner, who he dethroned, now sits at No. 2, charging $986,000 per post.
- Kim Kardashian West ranked No. 4 with $858,000, just a day after it was revealed that she sold 20% of KKW Beauty to Coty Inc. The deal values KKW Beauty at $1 billion and makes her net worth around $900 million.
- TikTok stars Charlie D’Amelio and Addison Rae also captured attention for making it into the top 10 highest paid per post in the Lifestyle category, after rising to fame in under a year.
Instagram’s Highest-Paid Users Revealed
Kylie Jenner was officially dethroned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the highest-paid person on Instagram, according to Hopper HQ’s fourth annual “Instagram Rich List.”
Hopper HQ, the social media planning tool behind the list, announced its new rankings Tuesday, which estimates how much high profile figures charge per sponsored post. According to the company, it uses “publically and privately available data to create the most accurate list possible.”
Last year, Jenner topped the company’s list, with it estimating that she earned $1,266,000 per sponsored post. At the time, Johnson took the No. 6 spot, raking in about $882,000 for each of his.
Since then, Johnson’s Instagram earning have jumped by 15%, helping him snatch the No. 1 slot with an estimated $1,015,00 per sponsored post. Jenner on the other hand, dropped by 22%, earning her the No. 2 title with $986,000 each.
Jenner’s new ranking comes just a month after Forbes stripped her of her billionaire title when it accused her of exaggerating her cosmetic company’s earning. At the time, Jenner called the claims “inaccurate” and “unproven,” while her representatives said that neither she nor anyone from her team falsified tax returns or lied to claim the title.
But even without the billionaire status, Jenner is still insanely wealthy. Forbes estimated her net worth at $900 million and just a few days after publishing its exposé, it ranked her as the highest-paid celebrity with an estimated $590 million in earnings over the last year.
As far as the “Instagram Rich List” goes, celebrities that follow Jenner include Cristiano Ronaldo, Kim Kardashian West, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Beyonce Knowles, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift, to name a few.
Is Kim Kardashian a Billionaire?
Kardashian West is another standout with her No. 4 ranking, charging an estimated $858,000 per post. That’s because the ranking comes just a day after reports that she sold a stake in her cosmetic brand, KKW Beauty, to Coty Inc for $200 million.
Last year, her youngest sister made headlines for striking a huge deal with the beauty brand, selling 51% of Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million in a deal that valued the company at $1.2 billion.
But Kardashian West’s deal is a bit different. She only sold off a 20% stake in her business, leaving her with 72% and her mother, Kris Jenner, with 8%. According to Coty, she will remain responsible for creative efforts while Coty will focus on expanding product development outside the realm of color cosmetics.
Following the news, Kanye West congratulated his wife for “officially becoming a billionaire” with a bizarre photo of what appeared to be vegetables and flowers.
However, as Forbes pointed out, this deal actually makes her net worth about $900 million and values KKW Beauty at $1 billion.
Other Standouts on the 2020 Instagram Rich List
Aside from “The Rock” and the Kardashian-Jenner rankings, there were some other notable standouts on Hopper HQ’s list.
In the beauty category, Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty made the top of the list with an estimated $91,800 per post. Far behind at No. 2 and 3 were beauty influencers James Charles and Jeffree Star, who charge an estimated $38,400 and $32,700 per sponsored post, respectively.
In fashion, model Bella Hadid ranked No.1 with an estimated $91,900 per post, with Emily Ratajkowski following at No. 2 with $78,300.
In sports, Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his top spot with $889,000 per paid post, followed by other huge names in soccer like Neymar Jr., Lionel Messi, and David Beckham. NBA star Lebron James ranked No. 5 with an estimated $307,000 for each of his.
But perhaps some of the most interesting numbers came from the Lifestyle category, which gave insight into the potential earnings of some popular influencers.
Lele Pons ended up at the top of the list with an estimated $142,80 per sponsored post. She was followed by Sommer Ray, Zach King, and Cameron Dallas.
Others who made the top ten that probably won’t come as a surprise are longtime YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, also known as Pewdiepie, who came in at No. 5 with $72,500 and Viner turned YouTuber David Dobrik who ranked No. 7 with an estimated $69,900 per sponsored post.
But some newcomers to the digital space that broke the top ten in this category are TikTokers 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio and 19-year-old Addison Rae Easterling. D’Amelio actually ranked above Dobrik at No. 6 with an estimated $71,200 per post. Easterling ranked just below him at No. 8 with $69,600 each.
The Paul brothers then finish up the top ten with Logan at No. 9 and Jake at No. 10. However, the success of the two TikTok stars is arguably the most impressive considering how quickly they’ve exploded to popularity and expanded onto other sites.
Easterling, for instance, only joined TikTok in July 2019 and is the second most followed person on the app with 48.2 million followers. Meanwhile, D’Amilio is the most followed person on the app with 66.9 million followers, and she joined in June of 2019.
See what others are saying: (Forbes) (LAD Bible) (Yahoo Lifestyle)
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Cristiano Ronaldo’s name.