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James Charles Was Publicly ‘Canceled’ After a 43-Minute Video Went Viral

A YouTube beauty guru faces controversy (again).

Lindsay Wigo

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You may know him as the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl — or the most recent scandal to strike the Internet. Social media beauty influencer James Charles is under scrutiny, once again, after a 43-minute YouTube video about his inappropriate behavior went viral.

The video was posted by veteran makeup blogger Tati Westbrook, 37, who has almost a decade of YouTube experience. Westbrook addressed her video to Charles, as well as her millions of fans, saying she no longer wants a friendship with him.

The video entitled “BYE SISTER…” is said to have been triggered by an Instagram advertisement that Charles posted for Westbrook’s rival vitamin company. Westbrook, a vitamin company owner herself, described his advertisement as a betrayal of their friendship, especially after she offered Charles opportunities to work with her own company.

The conflict did not stop there.

Westbrook also called Charles out for inappropriate behavior toward a waiter at her birthday party after he tried to trick the waiter, a straight male, into thinking he’s gay— a scenario that Charles has publicly performed before. When Westbrook told Charles the waiter was straight, Charles said, “It doesn’t matter, I’m a celebrity.”

“He’s 19 and I’m scared of him,” Westbrook said in her video.

Why such a strong response from a woman nearly double his age? Westbrook has been Charles’ mentor and a mother figure since day one.

According to Westbrook, she and her husband spent countless hours negotiating business deals for Charles when he was a novice in the industry and even flew him out to Los Angeles for her wedding. Not only did she act as a mentor, but she publicly promoted his discount codes, brand, and products numerous times. She included a snippet of just how often she publicly supported him as her video introduction.

Since the video aired, Charles lost over three million subscribers. However, Westbrook’s subscribers have skyrocketed to over five million since her video. YouTube channels have been live streaming both of their subscriber counts.

The backlash against Charles is a prime example of this generation’s idea of “canceled culture,” where loyal fans no longer support a celebrity in any facet— digitally or financially. Former subscribers have taken to social media to show their feelings of Charles’s actions by recording the ways they damage his Morphe makeup palette, which was once extremely coveted.

This isn’t the first time Charles has been shown in a negative light. In 2017, Charles tweeted an offensive joke about getting Ebola in Africa. He later apologized, mistakenly citing Africa as a country.

Many famous names in the social media world have since unfollowed Charles online, like Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Shawn Mendes. Other successful YouTube beauty gurus have posted online in support of Westbrook, one even saying that Charles is a “danger to society.”

The waiter from the restaurant even revealed himself online, telling his truth about the situation in a YouTube video.

Charles posted an apology video on his channel that was heavily criticized by news sources for being phony and insincere.

Charles has since posted a second video where he opened up about the accusations in detail, rebutting the claims made against him. Since this video, he has started to slowly gain back subscribers and their support.

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Lindsay is a journalism student and is excited to be working with College Media Network as a writer/reporter. She hopes to work in the journalism field in the future as a features and profiles writer. For more of her work, visit her website: www.lindsaywigo.com

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