Shane Dawson’s new two-part series investigates different popular conspiracy theories, including whether Chuck E. Cheese’s serves reused leftover pizza to customers. Now, following the success of Dawson’s documentary, a Chuck E. Cheese’s spokesperson told The Verge that claims made by Dawson are untrue.
“The claims made in this video about Chuck E. Cheese’s and our pizza are unequivocally false,” the spokesperson said. “No conspiracies here — our pizzas are made to order and we prepare our dough fresh in restaurant, which means that they’re not always perfectly uniform in shape, but always delicious.”
Dawson’s theory, which has popped up online before, suggests that because of the oblong slices and slice lines that don’t add up, the pizza is comprised of different pizzas. Examples can be seen below. Dawson alleges that Chuck E. Cheese’s employees bring unused pizza back into the kitchen, combine it with other pies, and use extra cheese as a way to blend it all together. He adds at one point in the video that a friend from high school who worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s once admitted they reused pizza slices, but acknowledges she might have lied.
The Chuck E. Cheese’s portion of Dawson’s video takes up approximately 30 minutes of the 1.5-hour video. It ends with Dawson bringing a pizza home and trying to recreate it, only to determine there must be missing pieces. Although Dawson’s video goes over three different stories, other YouTube creators have uploaded their own videos that focus on just the Chuck E. Cheese’s portion.
Dawson’s video, which amassed more than 7 million views in less than 24 hours, led other popular creators and viewers to address Chuck E. Cheese’s on Twitter, demanding answers. Other people tweeted jokes about the situation.
@shanedawson made me hate the fact that I ever stepped foot in a Chuck E Cheese as a kid. It makes me sick
— shay❄️ (@_shayyleee_) February 12, 2019
Even Jeffree Star, a frequent collaborator of Dawson’s, popular YouTube creator, and beauty guru, tweeted about the conspiracy.
Although Dawson’s videos are made for entertainment purposes, according to the creator, they have arrived at a time when YouTube is supposed to be fighting conspiracy theories on the platform. Following Dawson’s first entry in the series, a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge last week that “as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the user experience across our site, we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content or videos that could misinform users in harmful ways.” A previous explanation of possible harmful conspiracy theories given to The Verge last month included flat-Earth documentaries, anti-vaccination videos, or 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Essentially, YouTube is trying to figure out how to determine the difference between series like Dawson’s, which isn’t presenting an idea as fact, and shows like Infowars, which promoted the PizzaGate conspiracy theory as actual truth.
Still, Dawson’s video could be seen as potentially libelous against Chuck E. Cheese’s, suggesting Dawson’s video could be harmful to the business and deterring viewers who may have planned to visit. The Verge has reached out to YouTube for further comment.