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Why YouTube is a ‘natural home’ for Demi Lovato's ‘dark moments’ revelations

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Google-owned platform YouTube shelved plans for a Demi Lovato documentary after the pop singer’s 2018 drug overdose.

Lovato, who entered rehab following her hospital stay, was in no position to face the glaring media spotlight. She had experienced brain damage, multiple organ failure, temporary blindness, three strokes, and a heart attack.

However, nearly two years later, when Lovato decided that she wanted to reveal to the world what really happened, she turned once more to YouTube, the home of her 2017 documentary “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,” which got over 36 million views.

Although Lovato had talked about her drug addiction and mental health struggles in 2017, she was only revealing “the tip of the iceberg,” says Michael D. Ratner, director and executive producer of the new YouTube Originals documentary “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” which debuts on March 23.

demi lovato
Credit: OBB Media

It was Justin Bieber’s YouTube Original series “Justin Bieber: Seasons” which inspired Lovato, 28, to drop her guard even more, Ratner told Yahoo Finance. “She saw the impact that had and was interested in doing her version, her own documentary that was extremely truthful,” said Ratner.

Bieber’s documentary, which Ratner directed and executive produced, shattered records for YouTube when it debuted on Jan. 27, 2020. It brought in more than 32 million views in its first week and was seen in more than 97 countries. Ratner produced both the Bieber and Lovato documentaries via his company OBB Pictures. (YouTube reportedly paid more than $20 million for the docuseries with Bieber.)

The platform was “a natural home” for Lovato to open up about her 2018 drug overdose, Ratner said. “She’s a massive global musician and YouTube is the biggest home for music content.” YouTube pulls in more than 2 billion users each month, and more than 1 billion hours of video are consumed on the platform every day, according to the company.

“The very fact that she’s willing to talk about those dark moments in her life and be so vulnerable is admirable in and of itself,” said Ratner. “If we could take the stigma away from talking about our lowest moments, and using that for growth and not being ashamed of them, then this doc could do a lot of powerful things.”

YouTube is making the documentary available to users for free.

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