Over the last month, social media apologies have been a regular occurrence as celebrities, media personalities, reality stars, and the like have faced heightened scrutiny for problematic behavior. These revelations about insensitive behavior seem to be affecting different industries in waves, and now, it’s YouTube’s turn in the hot seat. The YouTube community is generally known for being a breeding ground for drama and messiness, but racist content goes a step above the usual beauty guru feuds. In the past week, several of the platform’s top creators have been taken to task for their problematic content, but none has come under fire more than Shane Dawson.
Shane Dawson has been one of YouTube’s top creators since the site’s early days, and his videos have racked up over four billion views. In the last few years, Shane has mainly been known for his documentary series about other YouTube personalities like Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star, but a decade ago (we’re old), it was his over-the-top sketch comedy that made him a YouTube star. But those videos were littered with racist characters, racial slurs, and even blackface, and in 2020, they’re finally catching up with him.
Last Thursday, another megastar of YouTube’s early days, Jenna Marbles, announced that she is “done with this channel, for now or forever”, after receiving backlash for several of her old videos. The videos at the center of the controversy included a Nicki Minaj parody, which featured Marbles in blackface, and a rap video in which she used derogatory language about both Black and Asian people. In her apology, she said she wants to “make sure the things I’m putting in the world aren’t hurting anyone”, and will be taking an indefinite break from YouTube.
After Jenna Marbles uploaded her apology video, social media turned its attention to Shane Dawson, calling out similarly problematic content in his videos. On Friday, Dawson uploaded a 20-minute video titled “Taking Accountability,” which he said was inspired by seeing Jenna Marbles’ video.
Right off the bat, he addressed apology videos he’s made in the past, saying that they were made out of “fear” that everyone was mad at him, rather than a desire to actually hold himself accountable. In the video, he apologized for using “stereotypes of Black people, or Asian people, or Mexicans, or pretty much every race.” He added that he is also sorry that he “added to the normalization of blackface, or the normalization of saying the n-word.”
The video is pretty standard YouTube apology fare—thankfully without any fake tears—but it’s not for me to accept or reject. Shane Dawson has lost around half a million subscribers in the last week, but one very famous family has made their disapproval extremely clear. Along with all the other problematic content on his channel, a clip surfaced in which Dawson pretended to be aroused by a picture of Willow Smith, who was 11 years old at the time. In his apology video, Dawson apologized for making jokes about pedophilia, but didn’t reference this specific clip. The day after the apology video, Jaden Smith and his mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, made their thoughts known on Twitter.
SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU. YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!! IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.
— Jaden (@jaden) June 27, 2020
To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) June 27, 2020
Look, all I’ll say is that you know you’ve f*cked up when Queen Jada is dragging your ass on Twitter. Shane hasn’t publicly responded to the Smith family.
It’s unclear where Shane Dawson will go from here, but given that he still has over 22 million subscribers, I’m sure he’ll figure something out. And in just a few short days, the tide of YouTube anger has already turned to a new subject: Liza Koshy. Another creator whose video views number in the billions, she and her ex-boyfriend David Dobrik were called out for a 2016 video in which they “imitated Asian accents while tasting candy from Japan and Hawaii.” In the video, Dobrik specifically says, “It’s not racist, that’s like the sounds I hear when they talk,” which like, no. And in a second video with the same concept, they not only imitated the accents, but “pretended to speak Japanese.”
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On Sunday, Koshy shared a lengthy statement on Instagram, which conspicuously featured no actual mention of the videos in question. She said that she “unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas” through her content, and that going forward, she is “taking note that my impact and influence will weigh greater than my intention.” So far, David Dobrik hasn’t made any public statement about the controversy.
Considering the amount of messiness in the YouTube community, there will almost certainly be more of these apologies, and hopefully they’re sincere. But in the meantime, why not freshen up our feeds with more BIPOC creators? There are so many, but here are a few of my favorites that you should definitely check out:
One of my personal favorite beauty gurus, Jackie Aina is beautiful and hilarious, and usually steers clear of the drama in the YouTube beauty community.
Rachel Ama makes amazing vegan recipe and lifestyle videos, and even if you’re not into cooking, her videos are beyond soothing. Just trust me on that one.
My number-one weakness is watching luxury handbag videos, and Mel in Melbourne basically unboxes a new Hermès bag every other week.
KarenBritChick is possibly the most chic person on the planet, and her mix of high-end and thrifted fashion is enviable. If you like fashion content, she’s a must-watch.
If you like knowing about YouTube drama but don’t actually know who most of these people are, As Told By Kenya is essential viewing. She breaks down YouTube scandals and pop culture messiness better than anyone else, and she’s also funny AF.
Those are just a few of my favorites, but the best part of YouTube is that you can easily spend hours going down a content rabbit hole. And with that, I’ll be spending the rest of the day watching handbag reviews if you need me.
Images: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com; Shane / YouTube; Jaden, jadapsmith / Twitter; lizakoshy / Instagram
I swear I don’t spend all of my time thinking about the Kardashians, but sometimes I just can’t help it. A few weeks ago, we were all surprised and delighted by the news that Ginger and Scary Spice hooked up once upon a time. In response to that news, I wrote an article about other random celebrity hookups you forgot about. I rediscovered some seriously wild vintage celebrity couples, and among them was Nick Cannon and Kim Kardashian. It still sounds fake when I say it, but it really happened. This got me thinking: what other random famous men have dated a Kardashian?
We all know the obvious ones, like Kanye, Tristan, Kris Humphries, etc., but Hollywood’s most famous family has lots of celebrity skeletons in their hookup closet. Even the younger Jenner sisters have some surprising flings that you’ve probably forgotten about by now. Here are some of the forgotten famous men that hooked up with a Kardashian—and I promise these are true, no matter how crazy it seems.
Let’s start with Kim Kardashian’s many exes. Gabriel Aubry is a Canadian model, but he’s better known as Halle Berry’s ex-husband. He and Kim dated for like, 10 seconds in 2010, right after he and Halle got divorced. Kim and Gabriel were spotted together at a Lakers game and were a hot tabloid topic for a few weeks, but then they went their separate ways. This was immediately before Kim started dating Kris Humphries, so maybe it wasn’t a great decision-making time for Kim.
It’s a tough call, but Nick Lachey is probably my favorite random Kim Kardashian ex. Kim and Nick dated for one week (lmao) in 2006, shortly after he and Jessica Simpson divorced. Wow, what a time to be alive. In 2013, he said that he thinks Kim used him to get famous. According to Nick, they went to see a movie together, and when they left, there were dozens of photographers outside the theater. If I had to guess, Kris Jenner 100% called TMZ to tip them off, but I’d also say that Kim didn’t need to use a guy from a washed-up boy band to get famous.
Okay, if you’re reading this article, I doubt you’ve forgotten about Kim’s iconic late-2000s relationship with NFL player Reggie Bush, but I’m mentioning it here for one reason: I’m immature, and I really wanted to say “Bush and the Tush” again. That was their celebrity couple nickname, btw. Ah, simpler times. Okay, now that I have that out of my system, let’s move on.
If Joe Francis’ name doesn’t ring a bell, you might just know him as the founder of Girls Gone Wild. The Kardashian family has a long history with Joe, and they’ve vacationed at his home in Mexico for nearly two decades. While Kim is one of Joe’s closest friends, Joe dated Kourtney Kardashian for a few months back in 2005, right before she got with Scott Disick. Interestingly enough, Kourtney and Scott actually met at a party hosted by Joe Francis, but everyone moved, and they’re all still friends.
Buckle up, because Khloé Kardashian has a lot of exes. Khloé dated NBA player Rashad McCants in 2009, and it went about as well as all her other relationships with NBA players. Seriously, maybe she needs to get a new type. You might recall that in an episode of Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami, Khlo finds out that Rashad cheated on her. (Feel familiar?) Later, Rashad claimed the whole thing was made up for a TV storyline, but that sounds a lot like something he would say after being exposed as a cheater on national TV. He also blamed his disappointing on-court performance on his relationship with Khloé, so like, f*ck outta here. But also, wow, I am overcome with a crazy sense of déjà vu.
For a brief period in 2013, Khloé switched sports and began dating baseball player Matt Kemp. The relationship didn’t last very long, reportedly because Khloé was still dealing with her and Lamar Odom’s divorce. The most notable thing about Matt Kemp (idk anything about baseball) is that he also dated Rihanna for a while way back in 2009. I don’t know what this dude’s deal is, but he is very lucky.
Khloé dated rapper French Montana on and off in 2013 and 2014, and for a while, they seemed like they might be the real deal. Ultimately, Khloé decided she wasn’t ready for another serious relationship so soon after her divorce from Lamar, but I always liked these two together. Recently, French has denied rumors that he was still with his ex Trina when he started dating Khloé, which would really be ironic, considering the whole Jordyn/Tristan situation.
Khloé dated NBA player James Harden for most of 2015, but things fizzled out after a while. In a move that seems kind of rude and unnecessary, Harden told Sports Illustrated in 2017 that was the “worst year” of his life, because he didn’t like all the attention. Like, obviously the life of a Kardashian boyfriend isn’t for everyone, but he could just not say anything. Much like Rashad McCants, he claimed that his relationship with Khloé hurt his NBA career, and I’ve had enough of these whiney basketball men.
Of all the dudes on this list, self-proclaimed inventor of sex Trey Songz is the one that’s really messing with my brain. For whatever reason, Khloé and Trey’s 2016 hookup sounds like something out of a fever dream. They partied together in Las Vegas in 2016, but weren’t really seen together much after that. Notably, Trey Songz was also friends with Kendall and Kylie at one point, and they all partied together in 2014 with my least favorite person in the world, Chris Brown.
See those legs that Kendall is crouching between? Those belong to A$AP Rocky. Sources differ on whether Kendall Jenner was ever officially in a relationship with A$AP, but they were definitely hooking up, and were seen together over the course of nearly a year in 2016 and 2017. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but if I go to Paris with a boy, he better be my f*cking boyfriend. After things ended for good between the two, a source told US Weekly that they hadn’t been seeing each other much, because “their schedules are really hard.” Funny, that’s the same excuse I’m currently using for skipping the gym six days in a row.
Kendall has been linked to several basketball players over the years, but the first really notable one was Blake Griffin. They started seeing each other in the fall of 2017, and Kendall even spent her 22nd birthday with Blake. This was just a few months after Blake split up with the mother of his two children, Brynn Cameron, but he and Kendall reportedly got pretty serious. They ended things in early 2018, not long before Kendall was first seen hanging out with her current NBA boyfriend, Ben Simmons.
And that brings us to the youngest Kardashian-Jenner, Kylie. Everyone knows about her relationships with Tyga and Travis Scott, so I’m skipping those. But you might not remember that before she moved on to legit rappers, she dated childhood friend Jaden Smith. They were together way back in 2013, when they were both little teenyboppers, but there are rumors that Jaden was part of the reason for Kylie and Tyga’s breakup. I would love to know more about Kylie and Jaden’s dynamic, but I have a feeling Kylie won’t be going on Red Table Talks anytime soon.
Our final stop on the tour of forgotten Kardashian men is Australian pop star and off-brand Justin Bieber, Cody Simpson. Cody and Kylie dated waaaaay back in 2011, when Kylie was just 14 years old. Obviously it’s no big surprise that they didn’t end up together, but in 2014, Cody joked that the reason for their breakup was that he didn’t want to change his name to start with a ‘K.’ After he and Kylie split up, Cody went on to date Gigi Hadid for like, two years, and Jaden Smith even Instagrammed him hanging out with Kylie in 2015, so I think everything is okay.
Phew. That was a lot. To be honest, that’s probably only half of the men who have dated a Kardashian in the past couple of decades, but I decided not to clog this list with more basketball players you’ve never heard of. The Kardashian-Jenner sisters obviously have no problem locking down famous men, so maybe they should start a dating advice podcast or something? Or not, considering how messy some of their relationships have been. Who’s your favorite forgotten Kardashian ex? Lmk!
Images: Shutterstock (2); Giphy (2); @nicklachey, @realjoefrancis, @therealmattkemp, @kimkardashian, @jharden13, @kendalljenner, @blakegriffin23, @c.syresmith (2) / Instagram
If the red carpet segment of the Academy Awards got its own spin-off show with even more paparazzi and less Ryan Seacrest commentary, it would be the Met Gala. The Met Gala, thrown at the Met in New York (obviously), is the one time of year where every A-list guest can act like they give a shit about Anna Wintour and no one can say anything about it. A-List celebs are always invited, but along with your Rihannas and your Kardashians and your Beyoncés (conspicuously absent this year, actually) some people get through Met security that are just so fucking random. Every year there’s bound to be at least one Met Gala guest who shows up tragically underdressed and whom you have to stare at for like, five full minutes before you say, “Wait is that Glen Coco?” Here’s the definitive ranking of the most random guests that somehow made the cut this year:
8. Paris Jackson
People keep telling me that Paris Jackson is an actress and a model, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of this. Does being Michael Jackson’s daughter just mean you’re an actress? What roles has she played? Her IMDB literally has one entry, and it is for a show that has yet to be released that I’ve never heard of called Star, and she is not even the star. I feel like that’s the equivalent of writing “entrepreneur” on your resume when you’re really just unemployed. Is this person famous? Apparently she did one campaign for Chanel in March, but like, if that’s the standard for getting into the Met Gala shouldn’t every ANTM winner also be present?
7. Courtney Love
Hard to imagine someone less suited for a classy A-List event than Courtney Love, but here we are. Love got to hitch a ride to the Met Gala on the coattails of her daughter, Frances Bean (name brought to you by heroin addiction), who is apparently modeling for Marc Jacobs now. Honestly, I’m kind of happy Courtney was there, if only as a reminder that she is still alive. I mean, her face looks like she’s been stung by a thousand bees, but she walked the red carpet and kissed her daughter on the mouth and stuff so she appears to be in good spirits. Funny how she could never score an invite to the gala when she was like, relevant.
6. Solange Knowles
A BIT confused why Solange attended this event sans Beyoncé. Look, Solange is cool and all. “Don’t Touch My Hair” is a good song. “Cranes In The Sky” WAS a good song before every radio station stabbed it to death and then stomped over its corpse, burned it, and smoked the ashes. Anyway, Solange had a cool wedding where she wore a cool white cape thing. It was funny when she punched Jay Z in the elevator, and after Lemonade it’s even more so. But when I’m sitting at home
waiting hoping for a doubly pregnant Beyoncé to get carried in by a hoard of male models while angels surround her, having to watch Solange walk the red carpet in her Old Navy winter coat just feels rude.
5. Hailee Steinfeld
Ugh, WHO let this girl in the door? I mean, she stepped up her game at Coachella the other weekend by managing not to look like a 13-year-old playing dress-up, but we’re still kinda confused as to what the hype is with this girl. We get that she was nominated for an Oscar, but that was seven years ago. And she didn’t even win. Is it her voice? Because if I hear another “Starving” mash-up come on in the middle of a SoulCycle class I’ll literally leave, my $34 be damned.
4. Ansel Elgort
Oh great, Augustus Waters is here for a little TBT action. Seriously, this guy totally blew up when Fault in Our Stars came out a couple years ago, but then everyone forgot about him, so why did he get invited to this event? Like, yeah he’s good-looking, but is that all you need for a Met Gala invite these days? Does Anna Wintour even know who you are? Seriously. Raise your hand if you didn’t quite remember who this was until I said he was in Fault In Our Stars. Be honest.
3. Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly might be a major boss in terms of TV journalists, but let’s be real—she doesn’t even go here. The Met Gala’s guest is probably divided into 40 percent Hollywood actors, 30 percent singers, 20 percent models, and then like, 10 percent “others,” and Megyn def went in the last category. Maybe she wants to get more screen time to help her go to war against Kelly Ripa? Either way, this dress looks like she got it from Sears.
2. Jaden Smith
Oh no, NOT Jaden Smith. Can we stop trying to make the Smith children happen, please? This is the kid who said “How can mirrors be real if our eyes aren’t real.” How long are we going to continue to enable this child? Like, yes he’s family friends with Kendall and Kylie but Kendall and Kylie at least know how to behave (kind of). This kid brought his own human hair with him as an accessory. Dude shows up with a literal bouquet of his own dreadlocks and we’re just gonna be like, “Sure, keep being famous! you’re doing great!” No. We should have shut this shit down when he wore a white Batman suit to Kim and Kanye’s wedding. Now we have to live with the consequences.
1. The Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are those twins from The Social Network who say the word Harvard six times per sentence and are still super bitter about Zuckerberg “stealing” their idea. Only, the twins at the Met Gala were the real Winklevi and not even the cleverly edited ones played by Armie Hammer, so we’re doubly confused. I mean, where do we even start with this invite? Did they just send in an envelope of cash and threaten to sue if they didn’t get invited? Plus, why do they even want to be there? For a selfie with Karlie Kloss?