UPDATE (12/24, 7:58 a.m.): Michael Gallagher, creator of Totally Sketch, and the director of Shane Dawson's "Blank Space" Parody, sent us the following comment:
Shane Dawson is one of the funniest and most talented comedians creating content today. The original Taylor Swift "Blank Space" Music Video is about a girlfriend who turns crazy on her boyfriend, poisons him and destroys a very nice car with a golf club. In the Shane Dawson parody that I directed, we show a Taylor Swift fan who will stop at nothing to be with his dream girl. A number of other music parodies show violence and crazy acts as a way to make a comedic statement and comment on the artist and their creations. If Sony has taken the video down, they are taking a stand against free speech. We should be able to make fun of popular artists in any way we choose... Even if that means showing a crazed fan sitting at a sewing machine wearing Taylor Swift's face.
UPDATE: Sony asked YouTube to take the video down at the request of Taylor Swift's management team:
"Per the terms of our YouTube agreement we reserve the right to issue a takedown due to writer's objection. Given the violence in this video it seems prudent in this instance."
Dawson's tweet, which includes the full text of YouTube's response, is embedded below.
Sony didn't like Shane Dawson's parody of "Blank Space." They made YouTube take it down on copyright grounds, but since dozens of "Blank Space" parodies exist, it's pretty clearly something in the video that they found offensive.
This is not surprising, as Shane Dawson has made a living saying poopy words to the delight of 12 year olds. (Even Zachary Quinto took his name off the film that Dawson made to win The Chair.)
But, all that being said, it doesn't matter what I think about Shane Dawson's material. He is a YouTube artist and has a right to parody like anyone else. Sony's move to censor Dawson is a big mistake — they're right in the middle of a much more publicized scandal involving censorship, though I doubt Sony Music wrote to Sony Pictures to see how this would all look at the same time.
Dawson's video has created a huge stir online, with #shanedawsonsony already a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
Many commenters are also likening the Shane Dawson video removal to Sam Pepper's recent scandal, which took considerably longer to develop.
Dawson has also posted the response he received from YouTube on the reason for the video's removal:
Swift's management's objection seems to have been the "violent" content in the video, which likely refers to how Dawson's character in the video stalks Swift, murders her and wears her face. The original video is still up on a few other channels:
So, Shane, I have to say I'm on your side on this one. Unless it comes out that this is all a big stunt to get #ShaneDawsonSony trending as some sort of holiday prank, in which case you'll be on my naughty list and get a big lump of coal in your stocking.