Shane Dawson's silence on Trisha Paytas is glaring, and it may hinder his comeback

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Lindsay Dodgson
·6 min read
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Trisha Paytas Shane Dawson
Shane Dawson and Trisha Paytas were close friends until this week. Shane Dawson / YouTube
  • The decade-long friendship between YouTubers Shane Dawson and Trisha Paytas has fractured amid a feud involving controversial beauty mogul Jeffree Star.

  • Paytas posted two emotional videos, and appeared on podcasts, to speak about her disappointment and sadness that Dawson did not stand up for her, when she fiercely defended him when he was "canceled."

  • Dawson's silence at Paytas' distress on social media is deafening, and may damage his reputation even further.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

In this week's "Frenemies" podcast, Trisha Paytas' and her cohost Ethan Klein discussed why her friendship with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson is on the rocks.

Paytas has been friends with Dawson for over a decade. She was one of the few famous faces who didn't partake in the "canceling" of Dawson over the summer, when he faced fierce backlash for his old content that featured jokes about the sexualization of children and animals, racial slurs, and dressing in blackface.

But their once strong bond now lies in tatters since Paytas has complained that Dawson didn't stand up for her in a feud involving controversial beauty mogul Jeffree Star. If it isn't repaired, Dawson's lack of public support for his old friend may be disastrous for any plans he may have had to return to his YouTube throne.

Read more: Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson privately plotted to cut ties with each other, their former friends say

The drama between Paytas and Star has been brewing for about a year

Dawson and his fiancé Ryland Adams connected with Star when Dawson made a documentary about him. Paytas was brought into the fold as a long-term friend of the couple. But Star and Paytas fell out about a year ago during a weekend trip to Las Vegas.

Paytas has publicly claimed several times that Star acted like a "mean girl" on the trip - alleging that he made fun of her skin, bullied her about her weight, and threw away her expensive Balenciaga sweater - but the two stayed out of each other's way since then for the most part.

The drama was brought back up again, though, by Star's hairstylist who was on the trip, "Hair by Jay." In a recent livestream, he appeared to threaten Paytas after she alleged that he overcharged her for wigs. He made fun of her weight and skin and showed private details about her business. Paytas then posted a series of YouTube videos and TikToks claiming that Dawson and Adams' weren't loyal friends and were siding with Star and his entourage even after Hair by Jay's screed against her.

Star's appearance on Adams' podcast "The Sip" on January 13 upset Paytas even more. She turned on Dawson this week, saying she had expected him to reach out to her about having Star on the show, as he edits it together for Adams, but he didn't. It was Hair by Jay's emergence that appeared to confirm a lot of what Paytas had previously claimed about the trip, and it sent her off.

Paytas said Dawson had chosen Star over her, and had thrown away their friendship for money (Dawson and Star collaborated on a makeup palette in 2019 that reportedly made them both millions of dollars).

Paytas continued to lash out at her former friends as Dawson remained silent

Despite numerous statements from Paytas expressing frustration with her former friends, Dawson remained publicly silent.

Adams briefly mentioned the controversy on his latest podcast, published Wednesday, saying he was confused and saddened by the situation, but it only seemed to aggravate the situation more. Paytas said in a series of TikToks that she had always been clear about the clash between her and Star, and was angered by the fact Adams did not mention on the show where he stands on Star.

Wednesday evening, Paytas posted a video titled "Shane and Ryland are literal SCUM OF THE EARTH," and called the couple "fake," saying they were terrible friends, and that she regretted ever standing by their side. She also posted a string of tweets saying she had ignored many of the rumors she had heard about Dawson and Adams, and now believed they had been speaking negatively about her behind her back.

Jeffree Star Shane Dawson
Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson at the height of their popularity. Shane Dawson / YouTube

The breakdown of a long-term friendship may form an irreparable crack in Shane Dawson's reputation

Dawson suffered a popularity hit over the summer, but he still has a YouTube subscriber count of over 20 million. There are plenty of fans who will still support him, if ever and however he decides to make a comeback.

However, refusing to address one of his closest friends publically is likely to deliver a significant blow to his already tarnished reputation.

According to Adam McIntyre, a YouTuber with over 140,000 subscribers who makes videos about drama on the platform, Dawson's fans have typically explained away his old, racist content by saying he was a good person behind the scenes.

"Their main argument always was 'He's not a horrible person, he's changed, he has long time friends,'" he told Insider. "They were like, 'Trisha is still a friend and defending him, and Trisha knows the real person.' But now that Trisha has dropped him, they're all silent."

He said people are siding with Paytas in this situation, despite having a chaotic, problematic past of her own, because betrayal is something everyone can relate to.

"Especially as it's such a long friendship," he said. "I don't think you have to agree with anything she does to realize you can relate it in some way to yourself, and how you would react."

Paytas has referred to Dawson's old content in her latest TikToks and videos, but it's far from the main focus.

"She's saying that she disagrees with him being canceled for his old stuff because she believes he has changed, but then in the same breath says that he's an evil person, he's money-hungry, and he's sold himself out," said McIntyre. "She's giving a whole new set of reasons that he should be put under the microscope."

Read more: A timeline of Trisha Paytas' turbulent history with H3H3's Ethan Klein, from body-shaming, to the failed attempt of 'The Bachelorette', to dating his brother-in-law

Disloyalty doesn't sit well with the YouTube community. It was one of the reasons beauty YouTuber James Charles lost 3 million subscribers in one week in May 2019 as part of an incident known as Dramageddon 2.0 where his friend and mentor Tati Westbrook accused him of collaborating with a rival brand to her vitamin company.

Subscribers and followers are probably going to stick around for the remainder of what has been dubbed Karmageddon, but Dawson's carefully crafted persona of the caring, faithful empath has seemingly crumbled. The way people see him has been damaged, and the fanbase he built may not want to buy his merch and makeup anymore.

Whatever happens, McIntyre believes Paytas may wait until Dawson is firmly back in the public eye before everything that has gone on behind the scenes is laid out in the open.

"She is the person who could put the final nail in the coffin," he said.

Read the original article on Insider