Now Reading: Shane Dawson Dismisses Child Pedophilia Accusations


Shane Dawson Dismisses Child Pedophilia Accusations

January 11, 20185 min read

Content warning: this article mentions child pedophilia.

Popular YouTuber Shane Dawson was accused of being a pedophile on Twitter after a few videos surfaced showing he had said some pretty problematic things in the past. The tweets shown below quote what he apparently says in the video.

People began agreeing that they found this disturbing. Soon, many were taking to Twitter accusing Dawson of being a child pedophile.

Dawson quickly acknowledged what was happening, and responded to the tweet above.

Dawson apologized for his actions after noticing the video and the tweets about him.

While I agree Dawson’s comments were disturbing, we have to realize this video was from six years ago. I know that I definitely am not the same person I was six years ago. That’s a long period of time for someone to change and realize their mistakes. Dawson acknowledges that what he said years ago is wrong.

He also called out Twitter for making a Twitter moment named “People are accusing Youtuber Shane Dawson of Pedophilia.” This moment included several tweets calling Dawson out, as well as his own tweets and people supporting him.

After several other tweets, Dawson decided to make a YouTube video further explaining the situation. It’s called “Regarding the rumors about me today” and it’s just over 14 minutes long. It opens with him playing the audio from the original video posted six years ago. We can hear that the tweet calling him out (the first embedded tweet in this article) is very different than what he actually says. In short, he does say that the naked baby picture is “sexy”, but then quickly follows up with “I’m kidding.”

Although pedophilia is something that should never be joked about, that’s what happened in that video. He claims he didn’t really mean that a picture of a naked baby is sexy; it was all a joke for a skit. He admits he never actually Googled a picture of a naked baby because that’s weird and wrong. Dawson realizes now that pedophilia is not a joke.

However, it is concerning that he made these comments in the first place. In his YouTube video, he mentions that he was trying to shock people into laughing. He says he was too self-conscious to make jokes that were actually funny, so he almost had to force people to laugh with insensitive jokes. It was disgusting for him to think people would get a laugh out of joking about a topic like pedophilia.

Dawson needs to realize that what he said six years ago can still be held against him. Yes, it’s important that he knows what he did in the past was wrong. But it’s also important that he knows people are going to call him out for his mistakes. If no one called him out for this one, he may have never apologized for this specifically. And although calling him a pedophile wasn’t necessary, it was necessary to inform Dawson on why what he said was wrong.

I think we all can admit Shane was mistaken. But I think he also proved he can learn from his mistakes. If we keep “canceling” celebrities and social media influencers for mistakes they made years ago, there won’t be anyone left to stan. Everyone has made mistakes in the past. Everyone has done things that are problematic. Now, of course, anything that may be toxic or hurtful is inexcusable. But in cases like this, when it was merely a joke that shouldn’t have been said, there is room for forgiveness. If they are able to own up to it and give a sincere apology, there is little to no reason to “cancel” them. Although I don’t agree with everything Shane Dawson does, and I definitely don’t agree with him making inappropriate jokes in the past, he shouldn’t be viewed as a pedophile. We can forgive without forgetting.

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Molly Cuddy

Freshman at the University of Maryland. Obsessed with chai lattes, the color yellow and Timothée Chalamet. Her Twitter is @mollycuddy.

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