Just over a week ago, beauty influencer James Charles was YouTube royalty. Now, he’s lost three million followers (and counting), with growing allegations of predatory behaviour levelled against him.
In case you missed it – James has been embroiled in a feud with fellow YouTube star and influencer Tati Westbrook, his former friend and mentor who posted a 43-minute video titled “Bye Sister” in which she lists the reasons she has ended her friendship with Charles.
While it began as a stoush over James endorsing Tati’s direct competitor, the issues run much deeper.
“Fame, power and a fat bank account will change almost anyone,” the 37-year-old said of James.
You can watch a snippet here. Post continues after video.
“How entitled do you have to be to think that you have it rough? You are a 19-year-old millionaire,” Tati, who has nearly eight million subscribers herself, added.
“Get off your high horse and have some respect. You don’t have any for the people who are in this industry and that’s the sad fact.”
One of the reasons Tati lists for “cancelling” the friendship was James’ problematic sexual comments about straight men.
During the video, she condemns Charles for his propensity to try to trick “straight men into thinking they’re gay” so he could sleep with them.
“Oh my god! You tried tricking a straight man into thinking he’s gay yet again, and somehow you’re the victim,” she said, adding, “You know, it’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don’t have everything quite figured out.
The Quicky deep dives on the world of beauty YouTuber feuds. Post continues after podcast.
“You are using your fame, your power, your money to play with people’s emotions. You’re threatening to ruin them. You’re threatening to embarrass them. And you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favour, even if they’re straight. And you know what? That’s not okay.”
In a matter of days, James’ Instagram following has fallen from 16.2 million to 15.3 million, with a slew of celebrities including Kylie Jenner unfollowing him.