The 11 biggest YouTuber scandals of 2019
17 December 2019, 17:46 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 17:49
It has been quite the year in the world of YouTubers.
Remember when YouTube used to be a drama-free video-sharing platform? Nope, we can't either. This year, we've truly seen it all. From Tati Westbrook, Jeffree Star and James Charles' beef to Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul's whirlwind romance, the internet is forever immersed in the latest YouTube drama.
READ MORE: The 20 best TV shows of 2019
Alas, the year is almost up. So, with it being almost 2020, we thought we would look back at all the scandalous and toe-curling YouTuber moments 2019 gave us.
1) Shane Dawson denies having sex with his cat
In March, Shane Dawson was forced to deny rumours that he had ejaculated on his cat and sex with them. It stemmed from an episode of his Shane and Friends podcast in 2015, in which he said: "One time, I laid my cat down on her back and then moved her little chicken legs spread open. I came all over the cat."
The short transcript from the podcast quickly went viral, leaving people absolutely disgusted with the YouTuber and soon #ShaneDawsonIsOverParty started trending on Twitter.
Shane then apologised for the "dumb" sketch idea and confirmed it was, in fact, a fake story. He tweeted: "I didnt fuck my cat. i didnt cum on my cat. i didnt put my dick anywhere near my cat. Ive never done anything weird with my cats. I promised myself i wasnt going to make apology videos after last years thing so im just trying to be as short and honest with this as possible [sic]."
i didnt fuck my cat. i didnt cum on my cat. i didnt put my dick anywhere near my cat. Ive never done anything weird with my cats. I promised myself i wasnt going to make apology videos after last years thing so im just trying to be as short and honest with this as possible. (1/?)— Shane Dawson (@shanedawson) March 18, 2019
2) Olivia Jade is dropped from her Sephora contract after the admissions scandal
At the beginning of 2019, Olivia Jade had a successful YouTube channel and lucrative deals under her belt. Well, that was until she was dropped from her Sephora and TRESemmé contracts after the college admissions scandal broke in March.
Olivia's parents, actress Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to a coach at University of Southern California so that her and her sister could attend. Both were arrested on fraud charges for their alleged involvement in the conspiracy. The public shame led Olivia to drop out of USC and leave YouTube altogether, only returning briefly in December.
3) Tana Mongeau married Jake Paul in Las Vegas
In April, Tana Mongeau announced her split from ex-boyfriend Brad Sousa, who had cheated on her. She then started dating YouTuber Jake Paul – and that's not even the wildest part of it all. The couple got engaged on Tana's 21st birthday and they married in a $500,000 ceremony in July. However, Tana and Jake were accused of putting on the whole wedding for money and clout, and it later turned out they weren't even legally married. Alas, Tana still insists the love was 100% real.
"To everybody that's calling it fake because we rushed into it or because I don't do things traditionally, because I wanted to not do it legally," Mongeau said in a YouTube video. "But any wedding I have, if I have three more fucking weddings, I really wouldn't want to do it on paper because I think that legally binding yourself to someone takes away the love."
4) Kylie Jenner launches controversial walnut scrub
Kylie Jenner decided being a billionaire businesswoman wasn't quite enough, she was going to add YouTuber to her CV too. In May, Kylie shared her skincare routine using – of course – products from her skincare brand, Kylie Skin. One product was a walnut scrub, which has been panned by dermatologists who have said it can cause micro-tears in the skin.
The product received a lot of backlash and after it was reviewed by Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, it was game over. Kylie even disabled comments on the video.
5) Jaclyn Hill lipstick drama
Jaclyn Hill found herself embroiled in controversy when she launched her highly-anticipated lipstick collection on 23 May. When the Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics lipsticks arrived to customers, they reported that they came with "hairs", "metal bumps" and "mould" embedded inside them. That was it, Jaclyn was declared "cancelled" by social media.
Jaclyn was slow to apologise but she did eventually say sorry to her fans, offering full refunds to all and pulled the product, blaming where they had been manufactured.
6) Jeffree Star has $2.5 million worth of makeup stolen
In April, Jeffree Star revealed that one of his Jeffree Star Cosmetics warehouses had been robbed. $2.5 million worth of makeup was stolen, including his unreleased Magic Star concealers. The crooks actually cut a hole through the roof of the building to get inside with the purpose of taking makeup to create black market versions.
The incident was a huge thing and Jeffree detailed it all in Shane Dawson's documentary The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star. He also shared a YouTube video about it all at the time, which received 8 million views in less than 24 hours.
7) Tati Westbrook exposes James Charles
Perhaps one of the biggest scandals of 2019 was the whole Tati Westbrook and James Charles feud. Tati felt betrayed by James, after he promoted a rival business in exchange for Coachella tickets. The YouTuber then dropped the explosive "BYE SISTER" YouTube video, accusing James Charles of being a bad friend and attempting to seduce straight men.
James Charles' subscriber count dramatically plummeted, while Tati's only increased. He initially responded with a tearful video apologising to Tati, but little did he know her video had opened up a huge can of worms…
8) Jeffree Star makes numerous allegations against James Charles
Jeffree Star jumped in on the Tati Westbrook bust-up, basically co-signing what she had said about James Charles and branding him a "danger to society". Jeffree threatened to leak more tea about James and accused him of predatory behaviour.
In response, James released a video of his own, coming with receipts and telling his followers his version of the events. James denied any accusations of sexual misconduct and said that the whole thing had greatly affected his mental health.
In the next few days that followed, the three YouTubers agreed to a truce and apologised for their roles in the incident.
9) PewDiePie's donations scandal
In September, PewDiePie told fans he would be donating $50,000 to the Anti Defamation League, a charity that campaigns to stop hate speech against Jewish people. PewDiePie had been criticised by the organisation in the past because of his previous anti-semitic comments.
However, PewDiePie withdrew his donation and said he would give the money to a different organisation. Now, considering he had been linked with far-right groups and he was referenced by the shooter who killed Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, many thought it was a bizarre move.
"I made the mistake of picking a charity that I was advised instead of picking a charity that I'm personally passionate about, which is 100% my fault," he said in a YouTube video.
10) Danielle Cohn "real age" is revealed
Danielle Cohn fooled her YouTube subscribers into thinking she was pregnant by her teenage boyfriend Mikey Tua – and that wasn't even the most controversial thing she did this year. In September, Danielle's father Dustin Cohn claimed in a Facebook post that his daughter is actually only 13-years-old and not 15 like she says she is.
Danielle's provocative Instagram posts and older boyfriends left the internet worried and itching for truth. Suspiciously, Danielle's boyfriend Mikey's (who is 17) parents even publicly said they did not approve of their relationship and took control of his social media. Mikey's mother also posted an article that showed Danielle was 6-years-old in 2012, which would make her 13 now. She also claimed she had seen Danielle's birth certificate. Mickey and Danielle broke up shortly after.
However, Danielle denied that she is 13 and blasted her father for not being in her life.
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11) Trisha Paytas reveals she's transgender
When Trisha Paytas revealed she is a transgender man in a YouTube video posted in October, it sparked a lot of backlash. In the video, Trisha said she identified as a gay man because she is attracted to other gay men and that she had "penis envy".
People claimed Trisha had done it for views and said she was making a mockery of real trans people. Trisha apologised for offending anyone and said she would not be transitioning because of the money she makes from being a woman.