Friday singer Rebecca Black has apologized for participating in an ‘offensive’ video with controversial YouTuber Shane Dawson six years ago, in which the two laughed over a guessing game that referenced the Holocaust.
The clip resurfaced this week as Shane, 31, has faced renewed backlash and allegations of racism.
When a Twitter user posted the old clip with Rebecca — saying that she and Shane were ‘mocking’ the Holocaust in the ‘disgusting’ video — Rebecca, 22, retweeted it along with a heartfelt apology.
Flashback: Friday singer Rebecca Black has apologized for participating in an ‘offensive’ video with controversial YouTuber Shane Dawson six years ago
Making light: A Twitter user posted the old clip with Rebecca, saying that she and Shane were ‘mocking’ the Holocaust in the ‘disgusting’ video
The game: Shane, who was 25 at the time, held a paper to his head with ‘The Holocaust’ written on it, and Rebecca had to get him to guess what it said
Jokes: Rebecca laughed though the upbeat video but did seem quite uncomfortable
The clip in question was from a 2014 video that Shane shared on his channel in which he and Rebecca played a guessing game, with each holding a word written on a piece of paper up to their forehead and having the other give clues to help them guess it.
Head-on: Now 22, Rebecca is tackling the criticism
Shane had written the word ‘Holocaust’ on a slip, and when she saw it, Rebecca struggled to help him guess it.
She started laughing — uncomfortably, it seemed — when she read the word, and when Shane asked her if it was her song, Friday, she replied: ‘I mean, I’m sure it happened on Fridays.’
Twitter user @rarestfenty included the clip in a thread slamming Shane for being ‘racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, etc,’ and in this case called out Rebecca as well.
The Twitter user wrote: ‘@MsRebeccaBlack and @shanedawson Both MOCKING the holocaust. how disgusting of both of you #ShaneDawsonIsOverParty #shanedawsoniscancelled.’
Two days later, Rebecca retweeted the video — and included her apology.
Mea culpa: She apologized, saying she was ‘deeply ashamed’ she participated in the bit
Sorry: She said she was uncomfortable and wishes she had spoken up at the time
‘We must do better & take complete responsibility for how harmful this is,’ she said
‘I am deeply ashamed to have taken part in such an offensive bit,’ she wrote. ‘Yes I was 16, uncomfortable, and didn’t know this was coming.
‘Shane, I know that deep down you are trying to learn and grow. But we must do better & take complete responsibility for how harmful this is,’ she added.
‘I am so sorry to those I have hurt. I wish what I would have done was shut such an offensive joke down, rather than uncomfortably play into something I deep down knew was wrong.’
Many commenters were quick to let her off the hook, saying she was ‘a child’ and ‘a victim of Shane,’ who was 25 at the time.
Several noted that she indeed looked uncomfortable in the video, and also said she has obviously ‘changed’ — though some said that even as a teenager she should have known better.
All grown up: Rebecca is now an adult and still has a music career
Shane, meanwhile, is not being let off the hook so quickly — and he is finally losing money after years of accusations of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other bad behavior.
On Tuesday, YouTube announced that it was demonetizing on three of Shane’s channels so he will no longer be able to earn ad revenue for his videos. The move come after several old videos faced renewed scrutiny on social media, including ones in which he wore blackface and used racial slurs.
Shane, who was born Shane Lee Yaw, has maintained a presence on the video-sharing platform since 2008.
During that time, he has worn blackface on several occasions, used the n-word, mocked people with disabilities, joked about bestiality, and sexualized minors — including a then-11-year-old Willow Smith.
Willow’s mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, hit out at Shane on Twitter this week, writing: ‘To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.’
Not letting go: Shane, 31, issued an apology video this week for years of racist, anti-Semitic, and sexist videos
He has worn blackface on several occasions, used the n-word, mocked people with disabilities, joked about bestiality, and sexualized minors
Willow’s brother Jaden also took to the social media platform, writing: ‘SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU.
‘YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!! IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.’
In another tweet, he added: ‘This Man Was Also Doing Black Face On The Regular. As The Youth We Need To Support Creators Who Support Us And Our Morals. This Is Not Okay.’
Meanwhile, Shane — who had shrugged off the criticism for years — shared an apology on YouTube.
‘I have done a lot of things in my past that I hate, that I wish I could make go away, that I tried to make go away by deleting videos, or un-tagging my Instagram, literally doing whatever I can to pretend those things didn’t happen,’ he said.
‘Because yes, I apologized for a lot of them but I’m 31, almost 32. Those apologies suck. I don’t know who that person is anymore.
‘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,’ he said. ‘I should have been punished for things.’
Speaking out: Jada Pinkett Smith hit out at Shane after an old video resurfaced of him making sexual gestures towards a poster of her then 11-year-old daughter Willow Smith (pictured in 2017)
Not OK: After the old clip resurfaced, Jada took to Twitter and said she was ‘done’ with his excuses
Hitting out: Jada’s son Jaden, 21, said he was ‘disgusted’ with Shane for ‘sexualizing’ his sister
Dawson, who is worth an estimated $12 million, said that he regrets ‘all the racism that [he] put onto the internet,’ including satirical depictions of African Americans, Asians, and Mexicans.
‘Blackface was something that I did a lot,’ he admitted. ‘There’s no excuse for it. I didn’t do the work. I didn’t look into the history of it and why it’s so wrong, and why people were so upset.
‘I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black, and see this white f****** guy do blackface, and the whole internet at that time being like, “LOL!” That’s insane and I am so sorry. I should lose everything for that.
Me, as a white person, wearing a wig, playing a character, doing stereotypes and then saying the N-word is something that I should have probably lost my career for at the time,’ he said. ‘There’s no amount of apologizing that can take it away.
‘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, to finally just own up to all of this and be accountable is worth losing everything to me,’ he said