Admittedly, my essay about how different they were does not age entirely well… and it took me too damn long to start writing this follow-up.
I still think Jake Paul is more toxic than Jeffree Star because, unlike the former, the latter does not deliberately target young children with age-inappropriate content. But, after what the James Charles scandal, I realised that understating Jeffree’s toxicity was a big mistake on my part.
And the realisation made me aware of their similarity: Shane Dawson.
He made documentary series for both of them and, regardless on how you perceive his documentary-making skills, you have to admit he has the skills to depict his subjects as actual human beings instead of mere personas.
And the humanisation successfully made those two personae non gratae far more likeable, as shown by the surges of positive Youtube comments right after the series’ conclusions were uploaded. Shane Dawson had successfully cleared up their images.
Because of the increasingly positive reception they had been receiving, less people wanted to cancel them and there was more opportunity to redeem themselves. Jeffree could have tried maintaining his sassiness without being mean-spirited. Jake could have either start making age-appropriate content or stop marketing himself as a children-friendly creator. They could have tried to become better.
Of course, we know fucking damn well that is not true.
Jeffree? Helped Tati slandering James Charles. Jake Paul? Openly scammed his young viewers. Both of them? Still snake-like.
I am sure you can already see the similarity between the two. Shane successfully sanitised their public images even though they didn’t ask for it and they were not entitled to it…
And yet, instead of using this golden opportunity to become better, they simply saw it as a cooling down period in which they stopped themselves from spewing venom fucking temporarily.
The question is: do they deserve a third chance? If they consciously buggered their second chance, why the hell do we need to give them a third one?
Oh, and if Shane is as predictable as I think he is, he would definitely give people their hundredth chance. As he is infamously and consistently chummy with problematic personalities, my cynicism is warranted.
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