Right now, the world of YouTube, particularly the beauty community, is in shambles. Over the years, plenty of creators have been canceled for various transgressions, but now it seems like almost every major creator is involved in a scandal in one way or another. In case you’re confused or haven’t caught up on the drama, we’ve put together a list of some of the major players of Karmageddon to help you understand exactly what’s going on.
The main player in YouTube’s current drama is Shane Dawson, a YouTuber who’s been on the platform since 2008. Dawson has been a big time creator for many years and his most recent claim to fame was a three part documentary series with Jeffree Star. The first episode of this series aired on August 1st, 2018 and led to the pair creating the Shane X Jeffree Conspiracy Collection for Star’s popular makeup brand. This collaboration made Dawson more popular than ever before, but led many fans to expose some of his controversial behavior from his past.
There are many reasons Dawson is getting backlash for his older content, but the drama primarily revolves around his videos in blackface and some of the questionable comments he’s made toward minors. Between 2008 through 2010, Dawson created offensive caricatures of black and Hispanic women—which at the time helped him gain subscribers. Fans have also exposed a number of inappropriate comments Dawson has made toward minors, including a then 11-year-old Willow Smith. He’s also been called out for his involvement in Star’s drama with James Charles and Tati Westbrook, which first became public in May of 2019.
Following the recent backlash, Dawson made a public apology for his past wrong doings on his YouTube channel. His apology got mixed reviews from viewers and many critiqued his excuses in the comments section. From the controversy, Dawson’s books have been pulled from the shelves at Target and on June 30th, YouTube announced at all monetization had been removed from Dawson’s channels.
Jeffree Star is arguably one of the most controversial YouTubers of all time, sparking feuds with beauty gurus such as Kat Von D, Manny MUA, Laura Lee and Nikita Dragun. His drama with Charles first began in May of 2018, after Star alleged that he had receipts of Charles being sexually predatory. However, despite many requests from fans, Star never came forward with these receipts and has repeatedly reopened the drama, first in a teaser trailer for a video he made with Shane and later while appearing on Keemstar’s podcast, “Mom’s Basement” in April 2020. On the podcast, Star claimed that he has a voice recording from Charles alleged victim and in June 2020, many drama channels revealed that Star had personal sent them messages with information about Charles that could be used in their videos.
James Charles, another beauty guru was friends with both Dawson and Star for a number of years—even making an appearance in Dawson’s 2018 documentary series. Then, in April 2019, Charles was accused on preying on straight men by fellow beauty guru Tati Westbrook. Initially, drama sparked between the pair after Charles promoted Sugar Bear Hair at Coachella 2019, a competitor to Westbrook’s hair vitamin company. Westbrook’s video stirred up the beauty community and not long after, Star announced that he had receipts on Charles, calling the then 19-year-old “a danger to society” over Twitter. Charles responded to the accusations with a video titled “No More Lies,” in which he claimed that Star had tried to ruin his career in multiple ways. The backlash of Westbrook and Star’s allegation had a tremendous impact on Charles’ personal and professional career, causing him to lose multiple millions of followers. Charles was able to regain his lost subscribers over time and ultimately reunited with Kylie Jenner, who made him one of the faces of her 2019 skincare line. He was also able to rebrand on TikTok, embracing the platform and earning 18.6 million followers. And let’s not forget his beauty influencer competition series, “Insant Influencer,” which has been suggested will get another season.
Westbrook was a close friend of Charles prior to the “Bye Sister” video and with that video, she surpassed her 10 million subscriber milestone and used it to promote her beauty line. Then, after Charles released his “No More Lies” video, Tati lost 200,000 subscribers and her channel sunk back down to 9.4 million. Westbrook has since apologized to Charles, first in 2019 and now in 2020, after the drama has resurfaced with a video called “Breaking My Silence...” In that video, Westbrook claims that Star and Dawson manipulated her into making that video against Charles. She also shared that Star has enough blackmail to destroy the entire beauty community, leading for even more people to call for his cancellation.
Trisha Paytas is one of YouTube’s most infamous creators, stirring up controversy over videos about her views on religion, Donald Trump, her sexual orientation, gender identity and alleged struggles with dissociative identity disorder. She’s ruffled many feathers over the years and on June 30th, she came out against Westbrook in a video titled “Tati dumb as hell.” In the video, she says that she doesn’t condone Dawson’s past inappropriate jokes, but mainly criticizes Westbrook for getting involved in the 2019 Dramageddon scandal. Many have called out Paytas for her continued support of Dawson, with one user tweeting “Just because he was kind to you and others doesn’t mean he hasn’t been manipulative or toxic to somebody else. People aren’t just good and evil, we can behave differently depending on who we’re surrounding ourselves with.”
Although Mongeau has connections to Star, Charles and Dawson, her canceling was brought on by Kahlen Barry. On June 15th, Barry exposed Mongeau of gaslighting and ignorance over a period of several years, which he believed was racially motivated. Many have also brought up a series of tweets Mongeau made about her friend Imari Stuart in 2014, where she called him a cotton picker, a “Cuban piece of shit” and told him to go back to the plantation. Mongeau has been called out in the past for using the n-word, with fans digging up a live video she made in high school. Mongeau made a public apology, calling her behavior “disgusting” and “unacceptable,” thanking her fans for holding her accountable and promising to be better. It’s rumored that Mongeau’s MTV show, “Tana Turns 21” may be canceled due to these allegations.
Lastly, while Jenna Marbles had no part in the Dramageddon, she came forward on her own accord to apologize for some of her past videos. She discusses some of her older videos, such as a parody of Nicki Minaj, a song that including a derogatory lyric toward people of Asian descent. Marbles not only explains that she deeply regrets her older content, which she’s made private, but that she’s stepping away from YouTube indefinitely. “I don’t want to hurt anyone, I don’t want to offend anyone,” Marbles shared in her video. “I just want to have a good time and I’m not having a good time.” Many of Marble’s fans have been upset by her decision to quit YouTube, however they understand that she’s doing what she can to hold herself accountable and truly be a role model.
This will by no means be the last of YouTube’s drama and from what I’ve learned today, I’d say we’ve only just begun. What do you think of the YouTuber drama? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.