If you've been on the internet at all since about 2016, there's a good chance you know the name and the face of beauty influencer James Charles, the 19-year-old makeup guru known for his campaign with CoverGirl, his many Twitter scandals and his palette collaboration with Morphe just to name a few things.
The social media world burst into flames after Tati Westbrook posted her video titled “Bye Sister." Tati's video went into detail, with receipts, about a series of events and allegations that ultimately led her to end her long-term friendship with James — and to accuse him as a sexual predator who will use anyone in the beauty industry to climb his way to the top.
Tati's YouTube subscriber count skyrocketed—increasing by about 3 million over a period of less than a week. Meanwhile, James' fell by about the same. Countless other influencers and celebrities unfollowed James, including Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner and even Jeffree Star (who was previously friends with both Tati and James).
James posted an apology video within the following 24 hours. James' video was a mere eight-minute response to Tati's 42-minute video. Alas, James posted a new video a week later to cover in detail what Tati said in her video, attempting to clear his name.
I cannot speak for everyone, but I think that canceling James Charles was a long time coming.
Tati just gave us enough reasons to finally do so. James has had a history of issues with being racially prejudiced, being anti-transgender and just being discriminatory in general, along with a long list of predatory behaviors towards straight boys, which Tati gives a rundown of in her video.
But, we cannot simply applaud Tati for exposing him and switch our attention to her, praising her for being a queen. How long did Tati know about the behaviors she accused James of and looked past them? In fact, Tati was friends with James and is still friends with Jeffree Star, who is a lot more offensive with his racial slurs and who also has Tweets of predatory statements towards straight men, which everyone embraces and supports despite attacking James for.
Tati still publicly and excitedly promotes Jeffree's brand and channel despite the controversy that surrounds him to this day. I think that's problematic enough not to be singing her praises on high. Let's not forget to look at both sides of the issue and remember pretty much everyone in the makeup community has some insane controversies that are just a Google search away.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." — Desmond Tutu