Tati Westbrook claims Shane Dawson offered to edit her 2019 video that set off a YouTube beauty war

insider@insider.com (Hanna Lustig)
Dawson (L) reacted to Westbrook's (R) video by going live on Instagram.
Dawson (L) reacted to Westbrook's (R) video by going live on Instagram.

Shane Dawson / Instagram, Tati Westbrook / YouTube

In a bombshell video, YouTube beauty guru Tati Westbrook countered Shane Dawson's recent claim that he had no part in planning or orchestrating her 2019 exposé about James Charles titled "Bye Sister." According to Westbrook, Dawson "used, coerced, and manipulated" her into filming the infamous video with the help of polarizing makeup mogul Jeffree Star. Dawson, Westbrook added, personally offered to help her edit and title the video, in which Westbrook alleged that Charles, a superstar in the world of beauty influencers, was a bad friend who'd repeatedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with straight men. 

"He even offered to design the thumbnail and help title it," Westbrook said in the June 30 upload. "I declined his offer, but his gesture reinforced and supported for me that he was telling the truth. Why else would he jeopardize his career? So surely Jeffree was telling the truth, too. Keep in mind that up until this point, I didn't even know I was making a video. So how is it that so many editorial outlets knew that something was coming before I had even made a decision to film?"

The release of "Bye Sister" in May 2019 is widely considered to be a tipping point in the multi-part community-wide flame war known as "Dramageddon" and "Dramageddon 2.0." After the release of "Bye Sister," Star chimed in with unsubstantiated allegations of his own and called Charles a "predator" and a "danger to society." Charles denied these claims in a response video titled "No More Lies."

Nevertheless, lines were drawn between friends and rivals, and across social media, many creators and fans chose sides: that of Charles, or that of Westbrook and Star. Since 2018, Dawson and Star have benefitted from a lucrative joint rebrand that has spawned many successful collaborations, including a docuseries and a best-selling, conspiracy-themed makeup collection. Recently, Dawson published a lengthy statement in which he admitted to knowing Westbrook was "thinking about making a video" but denied having any idea how "intense" it would be. Dawson also denied playing any role in planning or orchestrating the exposé. 

"I struggled with the decision to film my video for days," Westbrook continued in her latest video. 

 

Westbrook called her decision to film "Bye Sister" one of the biggest regrets of her life, and since then, she had made private and public amends with Charles. But at the time, Westbrook said she was vulnerable to the alleged manipulati0n of Star, Dawson, and "others" because she was upset with Charles for doing sponsored content for Sugar Bear Hair Care, a competitor of Westbrook's Halo Beauty vitamin brand. Star, Westbrook said, was obsessed with talking about Charles' supposed indiscretions. 

"Over the course of the next few weeks, he [Dawson] and Jeffree fed me so much information that I felt sick. Almost every day there was more information and new allegations," Westbrook said. "Eventually I believed what they were saying because they said they had evidence. By the time the drama around James Charles' promotion of Sugar Bear Hair reached its peak, I was beyond gaslit."

On Tuesday, Dawson live-streamed his reaction to Westbrook's video on Instagram, in addition to calling her version of events a "f---ing lie" on Twitter. 

"You are so manipulative," Dawson said while watching Westbrook get emotional on camera. "You're fake crying. You are fake crying, that is not real. Oh my god."

 

 

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