Deep Dive: Shane Dawson’s Documentaries Puts Critical Eye on World Of YouTube

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Remember when YouTube was a place where creators could go to share their creative talent or where people could talk to a camera and vent to a couple of hundred people, without the fear of having to impress millions of people a day? Well that was the old YouTube, and the times have changed significantly on the video sharing website, and the original ‘YouTubers’ such as Jenna Marbles and GloZell, are now in a realm where if you don’t aim to please, aim to attract attention and don’t aim to cause controversy, then you might as well kiss your dream career goodbye.

However, Shane Dawson, who has been known for his conspiracy theory video series, and for being one of the most controversial web-stars to bless this world, has begun to realize this issue of fake YouTube, soon after the downfall of a recent event that brought it all into the light: TanaCon.

TanaCon was an event created by popular YouTuber, Tana Mongeau, and was due to take place on June 22nd 2018. Tana wanted to create the event, due to not being invited to VidCon, despite most of her friends being invited. Mongeau made a video exclaiming ‘f**k VidCon, f**k anyone who created VidCon’ and mentioned that all the unwanted people should host their own event, aka TanCon. Unfortunately, for Tana, the other creators who were planned to attend, and most importantly, the fans that showed up to the event who were expecting to see their favorite YouTube stars, the event turned into a complete disaster, with casualties coming out of the convention centre left right and centre. We’re not sure what Tana was expecting, as entry was free, and with stars like Miranda Sings, Bella Thorne, and our main star of this story, Shane Dawson, listed on the line up, it’s no wonder things got a bit out of hand.

Due to the event completely collapsing, and with TanaCon being cancelled after just a few hours, fans were infuriated, and Shane Dawson took to Twitter to announce his thoughts on the event, whilst also mentioning that he’s going to make it up to fans, either by hosting another event, or giving out refunds for any expenses fans made for the event.



Even though these series of tweets show sincere apologetic behavior from Shane, he still had a lot of explaining to do. This is when the video ‘the truth about TanaCon’ was made. The video begins explaining what must have been going through Tana’s mind at the time when she made the initial video about planning a free event on the same day as VidCon, including a few clips of Philip De Franco’s video, who tried to explain the situation of TanaCon and how unrealistic it is. But then Shane says the line, that sparked the beginning of a string of issues that all point back to one thing: Fake YouTube aka ‘The Kardashian Effect.’

Shane began saying how TanaCon had suddenly become a reality overnight, whilst still interjecting clips from De Franco’s video, and adding in his own commentary on all the aspects of this event, that has suddenly turned from a silly idea, into a seriously dangerous event. Shane uses the term ‘reality’ in a very controversial manner in a way that we know as reality television. There are tonnes of these shows out there, that really do not live up to realistic expectations. This is where The Kardashian Effect comes into place, as YouTubers, like Tana, feel as though they have this sense of reality where they can do anything they want, whenever they want, and everything will go to plan, because it’s their life within YouTube. They vlog on YouTube, they lie about their daily life on YouTube, and subsequently, they portray a life that isn’t real. Much like the reality shows we know and love today.

After this video, there were two more parts to this docuseries, which discussed the truth about Tana, and the opinions that others hold about her. The 26-minute long video focused on TanaCon, and what was going through Mongeau’s head at the time. The video opens up to a clip of Tanacon, and then switches to a black screen with the text ‘Part 2: The Other Side.’ As many people know, YouTubers are just average people, with seemingly normal lives, and although everything they put online may seem like a fantasy life, there is always another side to the story, that no one gets to see. Near to the end of the video, Tana appears, and she quickly reaches out to Dawson to give him a hug, whilst fighting back tears. She keeps saying, “I’m so sorry, for everything.”

The final episode of the series carries on from Tana crying and pictures the two sitting on the couch ready to discuss their emotions. However, shortly after the conversation starts, the two break down as they begin to realize how much damage all of this situation, and perhaps the importance of their career, has caused.

After the video received such widespread attention, the question of whether this issue of a fake reality is the reason why so many YouTubers become so lost in themselves and begin to struggle doing day-to-day things.

In the next three-part docuseries, Dawson focuses on self-made billionaire, Jeffree Star. In ‘The Secret World of Jeffree Star’ Shane takes a look at some of the make-up gurus most controversial moments, such as racist comments, feuds with Kat Von D and Kim Kardashian, and many other things that make him one of the biggest names on social media. Shane looks at switching lives with Star, but doesn’t go without mentioning how rich Jeffree is, like “so rich, I don’t even know how it happened rich, I mean he’s got a drone following him around.” In fact, Shane was actually scared about going to meet the viral-star, which says a lot.

As soon as Shane enters Jeffree’s home, he’s entered into a world that he has never seen before. Rooms upon rooms of designer clothes, bags, and accessories, some rooms totalling up to $6,000,000 on their own, cars worth $450,000 being parked outside and living on the same street as The Kardashians, proves that Jeffree lives a life that is far outside anybody’s reality, but his own. However, Jeffree is not a reality star, everything is not perfect, no amount of money and designer clothes can make life how it seems on camera, and Jeffree begins to open up about his business, and how quickly everything grew for him, as if it were an overnight success. Although this might sound great, the reality behind this, is that Jeffree has started to become so accustomed to having money, that he doesn’t even know where he’s spending it. They discuss the expenses for having his business office, and the outcome is around $175,000 A MONTH. Let that settle in.

The majority of Jeffree’s businesses although successful, aren’t run by him. As he begins talking about his other business ventures, such as property, he mentions about owning a few apartment complexes with property managers, so they effectively run themselves, and he sees the money popping up in his account every month. Although this may sound like a really well thought out business model, and of course it is, it is also scary how big Star’s empire has become so quickly, and with that, he has become out of touch with reality.

Shane Dawson is a very kind-hearted man, and even though the docuseries may seem somewhat intrusive, he asks the questions everybody wants answered, spills the tea, whilst still being a good, level-headed friend to the people that need him most. Dawson has created a completely new genre and definition to YouTube and shows the lives of people that we thought we knew.

Although Dawson has explored the lives of other YouTuber’s before, such as Bunny Meyer, aka, Grav3yard girl, when she opened up to him about her anxiety and depression, these documentaries give a real feel to what YouTube has become and how there is always another side to every story.

Do you think Shane has opened up a are realm of YouTube? Do you think he is finally answering the questions that we all needed answering? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.

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