The first part of Shane Dawson’s Jake Paul documentary officially dropped on Tuesday.
There are few YouTubers more controversial than Jake Paul. Though his subscribers are almost all children, the 21-year-old vlogger is known for posting overly sexual videos that borders on softcore porn, peddling his merch, and being related to the guy who filmed the body of someone who died by suicide.
In addition to all of that, Paul and his vlogger friend group/mansion roommates (who call themselves Team 10) have been criticized for subjecting their neighbors to their wild on-camera stunts.
Paul seems to feel absolutely zero remorse for his actions. Whenever he gets backlash for his behavior, he’ll release an apology, and then do something equally outrageous for his next vlog. His ex-girlfriend and ex-roommates, who used to collaborate with him in videos, have publicly accused him of abuse, bullying, and assault.
Which is why Dawson wants to answer what we’re all wondering: Is Jake Paul a sociopath?
In the first episode of The Mind of Jake Paul, Dawson gives us context in his interview with iNabber, a fellow vlogger who’s famous for his on-camera rants that unpack YouTube drama.
iNabber questions whether Paul’s cohort of influencers who share his mansion are actually his friends. He brings up the fact that everyone who lives there, or who previously lived there, didn’t start out as a YouTuber — they were all aspiring actors, models, and influencers. He addresses rumors that Paul’s roommates are all paying to not only live there, but to be part of Paul’s life.
“Having someone paying to be your fake friend, that’s like next level,” Dawson responded.
When Paul’s ex-girlfriend was kicked out of the house for “cheating” on him, she revealed some juicy details of the Team 10 house. She claimed that she had to sign a five year contract to make content with him, guaranteeing Paul a steep 20 percent of whatever revenue she made. Alcohol was banned from the Team 10 house, and anyone who lived there was subjected to dorm-style rules like getting approval from Jake for visitors. There, she alleges that she was subjected to daily abuse from Paul. At its worst, she alleges that Paul dragged her down the stairs.
iNabber also brings up the Martinez twins, who frequently appeared in Paul’s videos until they were kicked out of the Team 10 house. In a later video, they called his “pranks” and casual racism as bullying.
“Why would these people quit Team 10,” iNabber asks. “If they were so upset about that, why would they stay?”
“Because of the contract,” Dawson responds.
Dawson makes it clear in his narration that he doesn’t want to give Paul a platform to defend his bullshit — instead, he seeks to sit down the young vlogger and get him to take accountability for his actions. In one of the opening scenes of the documentary, Dawson plays a voicemail from Paul, who acknowledges his controversial reputation.
“I don’t even think I have to warn you but people hate me, like literally,” Paul says in the message. “If there’s anything we can do to avoid you getting hurt we should do it.”
Is it possible that over the course of Dawson’s project, Paul finally realized how toxic his behavior has been? In a video released shortly after Dawson’s first episode drops, Paul beseeches his viewers — fans or not — to watch the series “without any preconceived things or thoughts about me and Shane.”
“I would say just clear your mind,” he tells his viewers. “And just watch it.”
Paul’s extreme actions could just be a clickbait-y act for the sake of getting views, and that he’s capable of feeling remorse. Paul admits that the series is bound to cover aspects of his life that “irritate” him.
“But the only way you can get better is if you acknowledge those things and learn from those things,” he says in the response video. “And accept who you are.”
Then he immediately plugs his merch, so who’s to say?
Dawson’s The Mind of Jake Paul is slated to be an eight-part docuseries, so if the rest of the seven episodes are anything like the first — strap in.