After a string of scandals, influencer Jeffree Star refused to be cancelled. He's not the only one.

Cancel culture isn't what it used to be. 

And getting cancelled and staying cancelled are two very different things. 

Sure, badly behaved influencers experience backlash... but it ends up being more like whiplash, and it's far from career ending, as they disappear for a while only to reemerge, more influential than ever. 

Some simply move to a new social media platform and carry on. Others down tools for a couple of months and then reappear like nothing happened. And then there are those who refuse to get off the fame train at all, while we're just over here trying to remember how they became famous in the first place.

Watch: The definition of cancel culture, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/Scripps News.

Jeffree Star.

Makeup artist and YouTube veteran Jeffree Star has experienced multiple fallouts over the course of his career. Yet despite controversy after controversy (not to mention the subscribers and contracts lost along the way) he seems to bounce back without so much as smudging his lipstick.

At the height of his popularity, the Orange County native had more than 20 million subscribers across his social media platforms, and in 2019, he was the fourth-highest paid creator on YouTube. But he also courted a string of scandals, cancellings and comebacks to rival any other influencer.


In 2016, Star was involved in a feud with makeup artist and beauty influencer Kat Von D, with the latter sharing on social media that she was ending their friendship due to "drug use, racism, and bullying", and later accusing him of stealing her artwork for his cosmetics line. This resulted in a public fallout between the two, with both parties airing their grievances on social media.

That same year, Star got into an argument with fellow beauty influencer MakeupShayla, allegedly threatening that he would "beat you to the f**king ground and mean it". In response, Shayla tweeted that people should "never be okay with or support a man that expresses interest in beating a woman".

Another controversy arose in 2017 when Jeffree faced backlash for resurfaced videos and tweets in which he made derogatory comments about women of colour. In response to the backlash, Star issued an apology on Twitter (now X), acknowledging his past behaviour and expressing remorse for his words.

"I am so sorry for my words from my past. I am so sorry if I offended anyone. I am a huge believer in equality and it breaks my heart to see the things that I said in the past," he wrote, before continuing to thrive in the online space.

He also posted an apology on YouTube: "In these videos I say some really disgusting, vile, nasty and embarrassing things... Those videos were 12 years ago and I look at them and it just makes me sick to my stomach because I don't know who that person was."

In 2020, Star was embroiled in drama surrounding his former friendship with beauty guru James Charles, who accused Jeffree of spreading rumours and trying to sabotage his career. This led to a public feud between the two influencers, with both sides presenting their perspectives to their respective followers.


Yet amidst all of these ongoing controversies and more, Jeffree has continued to maintain a significant presence in the beauty industry – and while his reputation has been marred by ongoing scrutiny from both fans and detractors, he still boasts almost 16 million subscribers on YouTube.

In 2022, Star declared that YouTube was "over", sold his Los Angeles mansion for $16.7 million, moved to Wyoming to "sell makeup and meat", and shifted his presence to TikTok – where today he hosts makeup lives and touts Jeffree Star Cosmetics via TikTok Shop.

When Star announced his move to Wyoming, many assumed this would mark the beginning of a more reserved and humble era. After all, Star himself said that his days of getting involved in "drama" were over, and that he'd begun therapy. However, in early 2023, he was in the news again for making disparaging statements, this time around gender identity.

"You're not 'they' and 'them,'" Star said on podcast Bussin' With the Boys. "You're trans, you're male or you're female." 

The openly gay content creator and beauty guru went on to claim that non-binary pronouns were something people "made up" during the pandemic lockdowns because they were "bored" – a statement that angered a lot of people.

Never one to steer clear of the spotlight for too long, Star again sent his fans into another frenzy at the end of 2023 when he was pictured brandishing a gun alongside Aussie adult creator Girthmaster in Wyoming – and reactions were mixed.


While some commented that Star and Girthmaster linking up was "the collab I did not see coming", others were unhappy with the beauty influencer for seemingly promoting firearms on his platform.

"What the world needs now is more rich white people with guns," wrote one sarcastic commenter of the star, who's openly shared his collection of guns in the past.

And yet... receiving upwards of 20 million views on one reel is still all in a day's work for the veteran influencer – and despite being barely active on YouTube these days (his last video was posted three months ago – years in influencer world!), his is still the second most popular beauty channel on the platform.

"The Star family is very loyal," he told Glossy in 2021, referring to his fans, adding that he doesn't consider himself "cancelled".

"Being cancelled means that someone should go away forever because they're the worst person on the planet, so I definitely don’t relate to that.

"I think I’m uncancellable, and the term is just so overdone."

Tana Mongeau.

Influencer Tana Mongeau is another internet-famous face who's turned controversy to her favour. 

In 2015, the then-teen joined YouTube and quickly got views for her 'story time videos' – piece-to-camera monologues about ordinarily boring topics but with clickable titles like "My Creepy Stalker Story," and "I Cussed Out My Teacher", and her first video, "Hairdresser from Hell?", which – more than eight years later – has 3.6 million views.


She teamed up with other more popular YouTubers, had her first of many scandals (racist slurs, underage drinking at Coachella and a fake wedding) – and the rest is history. The Las Vegas native has practically dipped her manicured hand into every pie and even had a stint on MTV with her own show, Tana Turns 21 (ironically, her age is somewhat controversial, too, with netizens debating her real age).

Whether she realised it or not, Mongeau had set the scene for a long, successful, and un-cancellable career as an influencer early on. But it was the TanaCon gaff in 2018 that propelled her star. 

TanaCon was inspired after VidCon, an annual convention for influencers, fans, and online brands and execs, dropped Mongeau and banned her for life. However, TanaCon – which was not unlike Fyre Fest for YouTubers – didn't make it to the end of the first day. It was shut down for overcrowding (20,000 showed up to a hotel venue that fit 5,000) and sent thousands of teenagers into a dehydrated frenzy after they were left to stand in the California heat without water. 

The failed event made headlines for months, and a documentary was even made about what happened.

But Mongeau's star continued to rise. She went on to win Creator of the Year at the 2019 Streamy Awards and has amassed more than five million subscribers. She sold nudes to help Joe Biden get elected in 2020. And today, Mongeau is worth more than $6 million – and there's nothing stopping her.

Jordan Cheyenne.

California-based mummy blogger Jordan Cheyenne didn't experience the same drop in her fan base as some other influencers following her (brief) cancellation. Instead, the 32-year-old lost just 2,000 of her 500,000-plus YouTube followers – a drop in the ocean – following an incident involving her then nine-year-old son.


Cheyenne was admired for her life as a single mum to Christian and her relatable YouTube content – affordable beauty product hauls, home decor tips, meal prepping for weight loss and fitness videos, all of which garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

In September 2021, it all came to a grinding halt after a clip known as the "crying video" – now deleted, of course – was posted to her YouTube channel. In the video, officially titled "We are heartbroken", the influencer explains that their pup, Rosie, was at the vet with parvovirus and it was touch and go. 

The good news? The puppy made it and is fine.

Not so good? Cheyenne accidentally uploaded more of the video than she intended, and her followers watched on as she pulled her son towards her and said, "Come closer. Act like you're crying."

Cue jaw drop.

"I am crying," Christian replied. "Mom, I'm actually seriously crying."

Cue gasp.

Cue Cheyenne's apology video. 

In her mea culpa clip, posted shortly afterwards, Cheyenne explained: "I want people to know that I've deleted my channel. People think I deactivated my channel, but I deleted it."

She went on, "In the ending of the video, I was so emotionally worn out... I had Christian on my shoulder, and I was like 'come pose for the thumbnail with me' after the video... I shouldn't have done that," Cheyenne says in the clip.


Cheyenne also added that Christian would not appear in her YouTube videos again.

And for almost five months, the popular influencer all but disappeared. 

In late January 2022, Cheyenne returned with a video titled, "I was cancelled worldwide, and my life changed forever", in which she reflected on the time she spent offline. This video, too, has since been deleted.

And it turns out that apologising, disappearing and returning to her channel never to mention the crying video incident again hasn't bombed her online career, but boosted it.

Today, the self-declared "new and improved" Cheyenne continues to run her social media accounts, where she spruiks everything from Black Friday sales to her social media course. Her videos also focus on weight loss and fitness, and are posted sporadically across her platforms. 

She has kept to her word about her son, though – Christian has not appeared in any of her YouTube videos. But she does post photos of the two of them (with comments turned off) on her Instagram account. Her most recent YouTube vlog was six months ago, and entitled, "What I eat in a Day". 

Over on TikTok, Cheyenne's 123k followers enjoy regular GRWM videos and Sephora hauls – and there's not a crying video in sight.

Clearly, you can't keep a good influencer down.

Feature Image: Instagram @jordancheyenneofficial, @jeffreestar, and @tanamongeau.

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