Shane Dawson’s documentary on Jake Paul and sociopaths is being criticised for looking like a 'horror movie'

Shane Dawson/YouTube; Jake Paul/YouTubeShane Dawson and Jake Paul.
  • The second episode of Shane Dawson’s documentary about Jake Paul raises the question of whether the YouTube star – and other influencers – have mental disorders.
  • Dawson is being criticised by fans, as is its horror movie-like tone.
  • Dawson apologised for the tone, but maintained that sociopaths can’t be offended anyway.
  • Jake Paul said he is not a sociopath.

Shane Dawson dropped the second episode of his documentary about Jake Paul Thursday – and it’s taking an unexpected direction that’s upsetting Dawson’s fans.

In the first episode of the series, called “The Mind of Jake Paul,” Dawson introduced viewers to the controversial YouTube star and discussed what he viewed as his attention-seeking behaviour, linking it to mental disorders. In the second episode, titled “The Dark Side of Jake Paul,” Dawson pressed deeper into that subject. He had an in-depth conversation about sociopathic behaviour with Kati Morton, a licensed therapist and YouTube celebrity in her own right.

Dawson was careful not to directly describe Paul and his brother, Logan, as sociopaths. He allows Morton to do most of the talking. But he cuts from his discussion about sociopathy with clips of Paul and other YouTube stars, and asks whether his circle of internet celebrity friends – which includes Paul – may be sociopaths. The entire episode is edited like a horror movie, with creeping music and fast cuts.

Fans of Dawson criticised the approach on Twitter and in messages to him, saying it was insensitive and irresponsibly offered wrong diagnoses. That approach, critics say, ultimately stigmatizes people with mental disorders.^tfw

Dawson had a split reaction. In a series of videos on Snapchat and on Twitter, he apologised if anyone was offended, and said the horror movie-like editing “went overboard,” but was intended as a method to get people to watch the series.

“I never want to offend anybody, hurt anybody, make anybody feel alienated. That’s not what I want to do,” he said on Snapchat. “The reason I made it scary and creepy is so that people would watch it… Yes, it was sensationalised.”

But he also insisted that it’s impossible for sociopaths to be offended in the first place, because people with severe personality disorders “don’t have empathy and don’t care.”

Dawson refrained from offering moral judgment over whether sociopathy,which clinicians generally call antisocial personality disorder, is a good or bad thing, or how it should be treated. The subject may be explored in the next six episodes of the series. But he said he was fascinated by the disorder and wanted to get people talking about it.

For his part, Jake Paul said in a YouTube video that he’s not a sociopath.

“Even though [the documentary] is about this sociopath thing, I know I’m not a sociopath,” Paul said.

A representative for Dawson didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

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