Is Shane Dawson returning to YouTube?
The 32-year-old content creator hinted at the possibility in his first Instagram post in six months.
"Dads left the house," he wrote on June 9 alongside a photo of himself on vacation with Ryland Adams. "Ps. I know I haven't posted a video in a long time and I promise it's not because I don't want to. I'm just trying to stay in a good mindset and be happy. I promise I'm not going to abandon my channel after 15 years of creating. Just been re-evaluating my life the last year and figuring out what I want to do with it. Life is short and I'm grateful for every second of it. Hope you guys are doing well! I miss you! :,)"
It's been almost a year since Dawson last shared a video to YouTube. The hiatus began after he received backlash for his past behavior, which included wearing blackface, saying the N-word and portraying characters who perpetuated stereotypes.
In a video posted to YouTube last June titled "Taking Accountability," Dawson spoke about and apologized for "all the racism that I put onto the internet."
"Me, as a white person, wearing a wig, and playing a character, and doing stereotypes and then saying the N-word is something that I should have probably lost my career for at the time," he said at one point. "And there's no amount of apologizing that can take it away."
He also addressed jokes he made about pedophilia by creating a "child molester character." In 2020, an old clip of Dawson pretending to masturbate to a poster of then 11-year-old Willow Smith resurfaced online.
"I swear on my life I am not somebody who would ever talk about a child, like in seriousness, I would never talk about a child in any way that was inappropriate. That is disgusting," Dawson said. "That is gross. It is not something I would ever do. It is something I did do for shock value or because I thought it was funny or, like, 'Oh my god, my child molester character.' Whatever, it's all gross and I promise that is not real. That is not me."
At the end of his video, Dawson acknowledged he might not be forgiven. "I'm ready to own up to this stuff and I'm ready to hopefully show you guys that it's OK to admit when you're wrong," he said. "It's OK to be upset at your past self for making mistakes. But also, it's OK if people don't want to accept your apology or if people don't want to support you anymore. That's OK, too, and I understand."
He then made a vow. "I promise that whatever I do next will be putting good into the world and it won't be putting hate or drama or anything negative," Dawson concluded. "And I'm going to stick by that."