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01st Jul 2020

A comprehensive breakdown of the Shane Dawson/Jeffree Star/Tati Westbrook ‘Karmageddon’ drama

Anna Daly

Shane Dawson

Okay, deep breath.

So, before we get into this, we just want to say that this is strictly a breakdown and an explanation of reactions to certain videos/tweets/etc. We ain’t forming any opinions on this because, honestly, there are accusations being thrown every which way and NOBODY is showing up with any receipts.

So, until we see some receipts and proof, we are taking every piece of info with a mountain of salt and a whole load of suspicion. Feel free to do so as well.

Now to begin with a little backstory. 

I think we can say the big part of this scandal all started about a year ago when Tati Westbrook came out with her ‘Bye Sister’ video. (She deleted her original video after being asked to do so by YouTube but here’s a reupload by another user.)

This all followed an incident at Coachella where James Charles promoted the vitamin brand SugarBearHair. Apparently, he found himself without some much-needed security at Coachella. SugarBearHair offered to provide him with security in exchange for a short promotional video on Instagram.

The problem was that James and Tati were best friends and SugarBearHair was one of Tati’s biggest competitors (she also sells vitamins). Tati posted a story on Instagram where she was crying and obviously feeling very betrayed by James. Fair enough, we suppose. That could have been the end. But it wasn’t.

Tati came out with her video ‘Bye Sister’ where she not only ended her friendship with James Charles and called him out for being a bad friend, but she also accused him of sexually predatory behaviour, particularly towards straight guys, with the supposed intention to “turn them gay”.

So all hell breaks loose. James Charles gets cancelled and loses about 3 million subscribers while Tati gains about 5 million.

Then James came out with his ‘No More Lies’ video.

He’d already come out with a tear-filled apology video (‘Tati’) but this is the one where he really hit back at all the accusations that had been made against him. He showed proof to argue his side that Tati hadn’t shown for her side. The tables had turned and Tati basically went silent.

Meanwhile, Jeffree Star had been coming out with all of these tweets and videos in support of Tati and accusing James Charles, even tweeting that he was a “danger to society”. He also implied that there was much worse stuff that had happened that was going to come to light.

Nothing worse ever came out and Jeffree Star made a video apologising to James.

Important to note – in James’s ‘No More Lies’ video, Jeffree sent him a message saying that he and James definitely needed to talk soon and that Tati and Shane (Dawson) had told him everything that James had said over the past six months and that he was heartbroken and disgusted but not surprised. James Charles replied that he hadn’t said anything and that he hadn’t even talked to Shane in the last six months.

The November after that, Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star launched a make-up palette together called the Conspiracy Palette. They made a video series dedicated to it and the trailer for the series included clips from the previous scandal. However, when the series came out, all the drama scenes had been cut from it.


The more recent stuff began happening in drips and drabs. Jeffree came under fire for his affiliation with singer Dahvie who has been accused of sexual assault by several women, including minors. A few years ago, Jeffree alleged that he had witnessed something inappropriate but then recently backtracked and said that he actually hadn’t seen anything.

He also did an interview with Keemstar where he backtracked on his apology to James Charles and said he still thought that James was a predator and that he had proof of it.

Then, in May, Liam McEvoy came out with a YouTube video where calls Jeffree Star out for a LOT of stuff. He digs up old photos and tweets and other things, calling Jeffree out for lying and for plenty of other bad stuff too.

Then one of Jeffree’s former models came out and said that he thought the ‘Bye Sister’ video had been planned by Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, based on how they had been acting shifty for months before the video was released. Some drama accounts also came out and accused Jeffree of providing false information.

Shane Dawson then released a (now deleted) statement on Twitter claiming that he was leaving the beauty world. This came right before a load of his old material resurfaced showing him doing a lot of shady stuff, including blackface and pretending to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith (when she was 11 years old). There were a LOT of dodgy and gross “jokes” as well as inappropriate language.

Shane made an apology video that was not received well at all. He referenced Jenna Marbles in his apology video (she had recently made a video apologising for some of her old content and saying that she believed that the best course of action for herself was to leave YouTube). In Shane’s video, he also said that he’d had a very tough home life and that he had used humour as a coping mechanism.

People took his apology as half-hearted and accused him of only doing it on the back of Jenna’s. He was also called out for not addressing the specifics of a lot of what he actually did. Jayden Smith tweeted Shane, giving out to him for his video that included the poster of Willow and, after Shane’s video had been posted, Jada Pinkett Smith responded that she was “done with the excuses”.

Meanwhile, YouTuber Blaire White released a video accusing Jeffree Star of using the testimonies of alleged victims of sexual assault as gossip and blackmail.

Then, just yesterday, Tati joined in the drama with her own video, ‘Breaking My Silence’, where she essentially accuses Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson of manipulating her into posting the ‘Bye Sister’ video.

They apparently played a voice clip for her from one of James’s supposed victims and this trigged Tati because she is a victim of sexual assault herself. She claims that the video was “not enough to contact the authorities” but it was enough to “scare her”.

She accused Jeffree and Shane of trying to turn her against James Charles and then deserting her when she did. She also said that Shane Dawson had offered to edit her ‘Bye Sister’ video but that she had declined the offer because it was something that she had to do herself.

That video has received a mixed reception. People currently do not have high opinions of Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star so there seems to be little defence of them. However, many people are also calling out Tati on only blaming others for her ‘Bye Sister’ video and not properly owning up to her own part in it.

After Tati posted that video, Shane Dawson went live on Instagram with his reaction to it. He is obviously pretty livid about the video and accuses Tati of ‘fake crying’.

That reaction was also badly received. In large part because of how he responds to her statement that she is a victim of sexual assault by saying that he was also a victim of sexual assault – people accused him of being hypocritical for getting angry at her using that as an explanation when he brought up his own sexual assault in his apology video. And then also in large part because he had literally closed his apology video by saying that whatever he did next would be putting good into the world and that it wouldn’t be “hate or drama or anything negative”.

That’s pretty much where we’re at so far.

Honestly, the whole thing is a big old mess. So the real pressing questions are: what’s going to happen next? And why can we not stop watching the convoluted drama of these grown-ass adults?