In defense of Shane Dawson’s “The Mind of Jake Paul”
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
Shane Dawson has had a long career with YouTube and, over time, he has become one of the most popular creators with more than 17 million subscribers. Over the last few years, his content had matured and gotten more serious. He went from skits with little to no meaning to hard hitting docuseries like “The Truth about Tanacon” and “The Secret Life of Jeffree Star.”
These docuseries have been highly controversial as the people who have been featured, like Jeffree Star and Tana Mongeau, have been the faces of huge controversies. Dawson is continuing this theme with his new series, “The Mind of Jake Paul.”
This has been no less controversial as Jake Paul is one of the most talked-about internet personalities and people have incredibly strong opinions about him.
When Dawson announced that this new series would be about Jake Paul, the internet was set ablaze with opinions about his decision. People took to social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter to express their lack of support for this upcoming series.
Even though people said they would not watch and that Paul should not be given a platform, the first part of the series was released on Sept. 25 and got more than 10 million views within just two days. Part two also got nearly 9 million views within the first 24 hours of being released. Parts three and four have also been released and have followed suit, raking in millions of views.
In the first part, Dawson sits down and directly addresses his audience about the subject matter. He made it clear that the purpose of this series is to look into the mind of Jake Paul, and not to make anyone like him or feel sorry for him. In the second part, Paul has still not even been featured in the video, and Dawson discusses different aspects of the psychology behind Paul’s behavior with a mental health professional.
This trend continues in the following parts and Dawson investigates and does research for four parts of the series, which is half of it. Jake Paul is not even directly in the first half of the series.
In the past, part of the goal of his docuseries has been to humanize the people at the center of the controversy. Tana Mongeau got to explain why her convention was a disaster and why she is at fault and Jeffree Star gave the audience insight into his past and why his personality is the way it is. By the end, after explanations full of tears, they seem more human and worthy of a second chance.
The purpose of this series is, as Dawson stated, not to give Paul a platform—but to look into the mind of one of the most controversial people on the internet. Some people just cannot be redeemed. The end goal is not to make viewers love or hate Jake Paul. What the audience will have at the end of this series is the understanding of why he acts out in the ways he does.
My theory is that this series will focus much more on other people who have been affected by the reckless actions of Jake Paul. So far, it is apparent that Dawson plans to interview at least a few of these people before Paul is even featured in a video at all. The series is also going to display what kinds of psychological conditions cause this kind of behavior, and explore if they do or do not apply to Paul.
The series appears not be about excusing anything Jake Paul has done. It will not humanize him and it will not give him a platform to continue to be an awful person. This series is about the psychology behind personalities like his and Paul just happens to be the example.
Sources: Twitter, Youtube
Images: Twitter, Youtube
Featured Image: Tt Shinkan