YouTube and social media has always been a source of entertainment with a plethora of content readily available for us. Recently, a different side of YouTube in particular has unravelled. Hidden somewhere between the profusion is the dark side of youtube.
Numerous youtubers and influencers have been ‘cancelled’ or in other words culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform or career. The public boycotts the influencer in hopes of revoking their career and platform, if they do something offensive or something that is disapproved by their audience.
Celebrity’s like Kanye West, Gina Rodriguez and Kevin Hart have been cancelled for their offensive jokes and moments and have faced public backlash after social media users unearthed their homophobic and racist past.
Youtubers who have been recently facing backlash are Shane Dawson, Jeffree Star, ImJayStation, Tana Mongeau, PewDiePie, Laura Lee, Logan Paul etc.
Creators like Dawson profited from and built a career in part on videos that contained blackface, anti-Semitic and racist language, and disturbing comments about children and animals on several occasions in the past — and audiences have largely given him a pass. Creators like Dawson profited from and built a career in part on videos that contained racist imagery, and even Dawson acknowledges his behavior is deserving of punishment. YouTubers and fans criticized Dawson for not actually committing to any anti-racist actions or taking further responsibility for what he did. Opening with an explanation that he tried to ignore criticism for years by untagging himself from critical posts that popped up ‘shows that you making this video isn’t something you wanted to do.’
Star was accused of racism due to derogatory remarks about minorities. He later apologized for the remarks. A satirical skit between Star and a drag queen was posted on MySpace, in which Star states he wants to “throw battery acid on a black woman to lighten her skin so it will match her foundation.” He has also received hate for including himself in drama between Tati Westbrook and there have been serious allegations about blackmail.
Tana has been receiving hate for her racist behaviour. Tana Mongeau has apologized for her past racist comments and microaggressions after her former friend Kahlen Barry opened up how she used to gaslight him and frame him as an ‘angry Black person’ when he called out her problematic behavior.
Apologies for racist videos have also come from Jenna Marbles and David Dobrik, and responses from viewers have been mixed as fans try to figure out how to hold major creators accountable for their past actions. The timing comes amid ongoing anti-racism protests around America.