Well-known beauty influencer James Charles, 19, has recently found himself dug 6 feet deep. He's lost over 2 million YouTube subscribers in less than 48 hours, now the largest unfollowing spree in YouTube history... But what caused this tragic scandal?
Internet Mom Tati Westbrook shocked the Internet when she dropped her infamous YouTube video called "Bye Sister..." It got millions of views overnight and sparked heated controversy. She has since deleted the video, but thousands of tweets fueled the fire she started when she claimed James Charles tried making straight men gay "yet again," made inappropriate comments in front of family and friends at a birthday dinner, and finessed her and her husband, James, who is educated in contracts and helped the teenager make his come-up. The video emphasizes Tati bringing James into the beauty community and how her husband helped him monetize his videos and secure better deals with companies.
Tati's video started #jamescharlesisoverparty on twitter, along with countless memesbout James's career ending, a multitude of drama channel videos analyzing texts and tweets, and namely two live streams following James's and Tati's subscriber counts.
Tati later uploaded a video "Why I Did It ..." and explained the controversy in the beauty community and how she shouldn't have made private issues public.
In my opinion...
Tati explains that she didn't resolve her issues privately with James Charles because she found out he was reaching out to drama channels to give his side of the story before talking to her first. She mentions "TeaSpill," a YouTube channel dedicated to sorting out drama for the layman, but when I looked on their Twitter, I saw a screenshot of a DM from James Charles saying, "Until Tati feels comfortable and ready to talk to me in private, I don't feel comfortable commenting about her publicly." I think they have since deleted the post, but this screenshot can be found in numerous drama channel videos. I really don't get it. I'm not here to defend James Charles, but why did she get mad and think he was going to expose her to the channels when he explicitly said he didn't want to comment about her? I don't think her expose was that justified...
She says fame changed James Charles and that she's been this mentor for him ("Fame, power, and a fat bank account will change almost anyone" --Tati, "Bye Sister..."). She said she tried to be that person for him; I think it's worth noting here that Tati is 37 and James is a teenager. Yes, he's 19, and yes, this doesn't explain his behavior, but for a "mother figure" to completely drag this kid over something that could've been resolved over text is disrespectful. Does no one have a problem with this, or is everyone just obsessed with spilling tea? I personally can't imagine choosing to sit in front of a camera and making a video about someone's faults rather than talking about it with them in person. The same way she didn't want drama channels exposing whatever she thought James was saying about her, why did she do it to him?
This whole thing feels very manipulative. Maybe other people don't think that, but I have a few more points.
The way Tati talks about her brand is almost like she's trying to advertise it or put it on a pedestal. If you were to ask anyone what James Charles actually did, they would say, "He tried manipulating people's sexuality." That was the big drama, right? So what does that have to do with Tati's brand ("It's doing good enough on it's own, and we're selling like hotcakes, like I don't need to at this point. As we grow, maybe I will, but that's not where my spend is. Like I'm not gonna put $100,000 into an Instagram post for someone to jam a pill in there mouth and smile that's not taking it. I'd rather put that $100,000 into research and creating a really dope product that people really love and that's why they come back for more" --Tati, "Bye Sister...")??? THIS IS AN AD! "People see me as a good person" and "I know I'm a role model"... It seems like James Charles, bad, Tati, good. She claims to have big plans for Halo Beauty's future, but she needs to back that up with action rather than repeated droning. DO SOMETHING, don't just say you will.
She seems fine with putting her brand on a pedestal all while "exposing" James Charles. Like, those minutes about Halo Beauty could've been saved for a smokey eye tutorial intro. It doesn't need to be broadcast to the millions you know are watching this iconic video. It seems like James Charles's sexuality manipulation is thrown to the wayside, almost as if...as long as he had promoted Halo Beauty over SBH, the video never would've been made and the scandal never exposed! These issues only arose well after the SBH ad and her tearful Instagram stories.
Why did Gabriel Zamora upload an entire Snapchat story broadcasting his irrelevant opinion about Tati and James's beef? Is this Dramageddon Part 2? Whatever happened to his video, "My Truth?" His opinion shouldn't have been released. I don't even KNOW the kid. I don't understand why someone so out of the picture tried to insert himself, but I know he lost a handful of subscribers per his own doing. Can't say I'm sad.
The original beef with James started with a Sugar Bear Hair ad he posted the Monday after Coachella Weekend 2. He specifically promoted their sleep vitamins (probably a strategy to avoid future conflict with Halo Beauty vitamins) and claimed they calm his pre-sleep anxiety. This is BS. He hasn't even tried the product for a month and he's already promoting it? While half-ass ads like these aren't uncommon in the influencer realm, it's still disheartening to see a contract muddy true, honest reviews. After Tati posted a video crying about people "not returning the favor" and "not even seeing you," James posted a direct apology to his Instagram story but DID NOT delete the ad (of course not, because his contract specified it had to be up for 24 hours). In the story, he claims to have been using Halo Beauty vitamins everyday for many months now, but the question still remains: why did James upload a video for SBH after they provided him with Coachella security and a contract, but he never promoted Tati's vitamins out of his own free will? If there was truly no money involved with the SBH contract, then what would've stopped him from honestly promoting Halo Beauty?
Following Tati's first video, James immediately followed with a video called "tati." In the video, he apologized for promoting Sugar Bear Hair, Tati's main competitor against self-made brand Halo Beauty, and reflected on his "closed chapter" with Tati. I thought his 8-minute video deserved an Oscar. He was so bad at acting and conjuring tears. The remarks to his mother should've been saved for a phone call, because Tati was right about her needing to be in LA with her kids rather than lurking on Instagram comments talking smack. James, however, needs to focus on making a true apology--a TRUE COMEBACK to a 43-minute long video--and prove that he is truly sorry in order to get Tati's trust and friendship back.
While I don't agree that certain aspects of Tati's video should've been made public, I think an important issue to address is the "sexual predator" allegation. Tati speculated on James's behavior towards straight boys, providing tweets he's made in the past about straight boys being the death of him and videos where he mentions being famous and therefore irresistible to any sexual orientation. This is damaging to society if this behavior is adopted by younger followers. Having a thick wallet and thousands of followers doesn't make you any more special or desirable than the next person, so sit down.
James later uploaded "No More Lies" in which he discusses the allegations Tati and another influencer Jeffree Star have made against him. He provides numerous tweets and texts to bolster his argument, but falls short of realizing that by the time his video uploaded, the tea was stale. There are larger issues to address than a Sugar Bear Hair scandal which made no sense from the beginning but still happened anyway. There are smaller conflicts we can address, but sometimes things are better left in the dirt.
Speaking of the dirt...
Instagram influencer Nikita Dragun thought it would be helpful to post tweets about Sugar Bear Hair helping James at Coachella. Not only did she spark controversy about which weekend James received the artist pass protection and when he uploaded the ad per his contract, but she missed the mark on when to help a friend out. She literally uploaded two pointless screenshots amidst countless tweets (simulating the #MeToo movement) regarding James's sexual history.
She didn't even help him, in my opinion. Her tweet was pointless.
Never Doing This Again
At the beginning of the inferno, Jeffree Star could be found sleeping in his iconic pink vault, on which he wasted no time uploading a video. He later could be found on Twitter writing indirect messages about soon-to-be exposed tea and two sides to the story. Jeffree is kind of known to lurk around until he thinks the time is right to pounce. I don't think he should've gotten involved, considering he tweeted at James Charles's NOT INVOLVED younger brother asking why he moved back to New York, why his brother was a sexual predator, and to "shut the f**k up." Such behavior is inexcusable, especially from someone with such a big platform. He also tweeted about Nathan banning James from the house for a reason, sending Twitter stans into a frenzy and making James's sub count plummet further.
He uploaded a video titled "Never Doing This Again" in which he reflects on his Twitter behavior. Prior to the video, he had tweeted about the tea he was going to spill. I'll admit, even I was excited to see something stirred up. The video itself was anticlimactic, but showed growth nonetheless. Jeffree admitted to being "in a dark place" while tweeting and said it would be wrong of him to beat a dead horse with more private tweets, texts, and screenshots. Instead, he decided to fall back and not speak further. After the video, James Charles started gaining back his subscribers; at first, he had fallen all the way down to 13 million, but as of May 21 he is at 14.9 million.