YouTuber Shane Dawson has lost more than 700,000 subscribers over a few days after releasing an apology video about offensive content, and amid a backlash over one clip involving Willow Smith.
A number of actors, musicians and social media stars have either owned up to or been called out for previous offensive behaviour amid the Black Lives Matter movement and widespread calls for change in the entertainment industry.
Dawson apologised for his actions including wearing blackface, using racist slurs and joking about murder victims.
“This video is coming from a place of just wanting to own up to my s***, wanting to own up to everything I’ve done on the internet that has hurt people – that has added to the problem, that has not been handled well. I should have been punished for things,” he said.
While Dawson said he had removed any videos he could find that were offensive, a number of other clips began recirculating on social media after his apology aired.
One video shows Dawson appearing to pretend to masturbate in front of a Disney poster of Willow Smith, then 11, while referring to her hit song “Whip My Hair”.
Willow’s brother, Jaden, and their mother Jada Pinkett-Smith, both tweeted their disgust at the video on Satuday 27 June.
Jaden accused Dawson of “sexualising” his sister and pointed out his history of using blackface. Rapper CupcakKe, who has made videos with Dawson, said she would no longer work with him over the Willow clip.
Dawson has been losing subscribers at a rapid rate over the past few days. He currently has 22.6m followers on his main YouTube channel.
At the time of writing, his apology video had been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube.
He has yet to address the backlash over the video involving Willow.