Shane Dawson and Jake Paul: two names that, although already influential, have gained incredible and almost unfathomable recognition around the world in only two months.

On September 25, a month and a half after his success with his previous series about the life of the ever-controversial makeup entrepreneur Jeffree Star, Shane Dawson announced that his new series would be an eight part docuseries on the mind of a far more controversial YouTube creator: Jake Paul. This announcement was met with a lot of backlash from the YouTube community. After his short series about Tana Mongeau’s disaster that was TanaCon, fans of Dawson and other big YouTubers, such as Keemstar – a creator focused on YouTube drama – worried that he would use the series to “give Jake Paul a platform” and that he would attempt to “make people feel bad for him”. The YouTube community already had their thoughts on Jake Paul and his brother Logan, who was made worldly famous for his suicide forest video controversy, and they were not about to let Dawson change that. Some tweeted their replies to the docuseries announcement teaser that Dawson posted stating that they wouldn’t even think of watching it because it was about Jake Paul. The public took to Twitter to voice their opinions, with a clear majority of anger and resistance towards the series. Nevertheless, Shane Dawson released the first 40-minute long video of “The Mind of Jake Paul” two weeks after the series was announced.

The first episode of the series has nearly 22 million views as of about a month after its initial upload. The last video, “Inside The Mind of Jake Paul” which was uploaded just over a week ago, has over 19 million views. As for Shane’s subscriber count. Before the series, Shane had about 17.3 million subscribers, whereas now he has 18.8 million. As for Jake, his subscriber count went from 17 million to 17.4 million.

Dawson’s approach to this series made it clear he knew he was dealing with sensitive and highly controversial topics. Each episode focused on a different side of the story. Interview subjects included Paul’s enemies, ex-girlfriend, current girlfriend, coworkers, and even a clinical psychologist. Dawson tried to compile every piece of the puzzle in order to present a complete story. He also clearly made an extreme effort to alleviate his fans’ fears of his defending Paul, as he never clearly stated who or what he believed. As far as YouTube drama journalism goes, Dawson approached the series with a lot of caution, but also gave his fans the “tea” the internet so often craves. The series immediately took off the second the first video was uploaded and Dawson got the world talking. To demonstrate the immense influence of this series, I interviewed a few people and asked them for their thoughts on “The Mind of Jake Paul.”

“Lauren Mezzanotte” taken by Annie Meko

Lauren Mezzanotte ‘22Q: What were your thoughts when Shane Dawson announced his new series?

A: I was shook. I was really interested because I had never watched Jake Paul but I already kind of hated him because of his brother Logan. I wanted to see if Shane was going to make me like him like he made me like Jeffree Star.

Q: Did you know anything about Jake Paul or Team 10 before the series?

A: I had only really heard about the bad things like the girlfriend situation with Alissa Violet and the neighbors thing with the pool fire and the news van, but I didn’t know anything else because I didn’t want to watch his videos or anything.

“Keely Nilan” taken by Annie Meko

Keely Nilan ‘22

Q: What got you interested in the series?

A: I was subscribed to Shane prior to the series. I started watching it because it seemed like an interesting topic. I’ll admit, halfway through the series I thought to myself, “Why do I even care about this person’s life that has no impact on mine?”. And I’m not sure that I really did care, but I think that says a lot about the influential power entertainers have. They have a way to grab your attention for topics otherwise unthought of and make you come back for more.

Q: Do you talk to your friends about the series?

A: There have been many times that I found myself in a conversation about the series. At dinner, my friends and I would ask each other if we watched it and would discuss it for a while. Oh, I also became very aware of sociopaths–maybe a little worried.

“Anthony Brisson” taken by Annie Meko

Anthony Brisson ‘22Q: What were your initial thoughts about the series?

A: I thought it was really cool. I liked when Shane was able to interact with Jake and Team 10. I definitely have stronger feelings now about all of it than before I watched it. At first, I knew who Shane Dawson was, but I wasn’t really into the topic. But I just kept finding myself looking forward to new episodes.

Q: Did you know anything about Jake Paul or Team 10 before the series?

A: I knew about Jake Paul and I knew his controversy. I thought it was interesting taking a real step into his life because it’s so crazy. It’s interesting to see whether he’s really that crazy or whether it’s just for money and views. I also knew about his drama with Ricegum and that’s kind of how I figured out how Jake Paul was kind of wild.

The widespread reach of this series is undeniable. Any time I talk about the series with my friends, even now over a month after the series was released, I think about the millions of other people all around the world talking about the same exact thing. Even just on this campus, if you go up to almost anyone and ask them what their thoughts are on this series, odds are they at least have heard about it. And if you’re someone who hasn’t, maybe you should check it over on Shane Dawson’s channel and leave a comment here to let us know your thoughts!

 

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