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Shane Dawson has owned up to his past racist actions in a 20-minute video posted to his Youtube channel on Friday night.
In the video, titled “Taking Accountability,” Dawson apologized for doing blackface in racist videos during his early YouTube career because "I thought it was funny".
Dawson affirmed to his 23 million subscribers that he is now aware of the history surrounding blackface and recognized the harm his videos did.
“I am so sorry to anybody that saw that and also saw that people were lifting me up and saying, ‘You’re so funny Shane,'” Dawson said. “I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black and see this white f—ing guy doing blackface and the whole Internet at that time being like, ‘LOL.'”
He also apologized for using the N-word while in blackface.
“I’m sorry that I added to the normalization of blackface or the normalization of saying the N-word,” Dawson said. “It’s not a funny word. Especially for a white person to say.”
"I'm sorry I added to the normalization of blackface or the normalization of saying the n-word," he said. "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 he was "inspired" by a similar video from YouTuber Jenna Marbles, who on Thursday apologized for the racist videos she had made and announced that she was quitting vlogging for the foreseeable future.
Dawson has been making videos on YouTube for more than 10 years and is no stranger to public apologies. He has had to apologize for his videos featuring characters built on racist stereotypes, as well as his past comments about mental health issues and pedophilia, which he addressed in his latest video.
How others react to Shane Dawson's Racism
An old clip of him pretending to masturbate to a photo of Willow Smith, who was 11 years old at the time, resurfaced Saturday, prompting criticism from Smith's family.
Jada Pinkett Smith called out Dawson on Twitter after he posted his apology.
Dawson's video was roundly criticized on the internet, both in the YouTube comments section and on Twitter.
Dawson did not say he would quit vlogging, but told his followers he is willing to lose everything for his actions.
"At this point, realizing how many people I've hurt or how many people I've inspired to say awful things or do anything awful too, finally just own up to this and be accountable is worth losing everything to me," he said in the video.
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