The James Charles Incident

Why this YouTuber is rapidly losing subscribers



19-year-old James Charles has been making beauty videos since 2015, but it’s uncertain how much longer he’ll be doing it.

Over the past few days, there’s been nonstop talk in the school and on the Internet about a recent scandal involving James Charles. You might be asking yourself questions such as “Who is this James Charles person?” “Why is everyone talking about him?” “What is the big deal with this guy?” Here is a brief explanation of the controversy around James Charles.

James Charles is a 19-year-old beauty YouTuber who in the few years he has been vlogging has amassed 16 million followers each on YouTube and Instagram with his DIY makeup looks and was named Covergirl’s first male ambassador. However, everything went south on May 10 when fellow beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook released a 43-minute video titled “Bye Sister” where she detailed the different ways he had betrayed her trust; including releasing an ad for his own brand of beauty vitamins called Sugar Bear Hair, which she suspects are a rival to her beauty supplements, Halo Vitamins; and even accused Charles of trying to pressure straight men into having sex with him.

News spread like wildfire. In the week since Westbrook’s video hit the Internet, James Charles’s subscriber count has dropped to 13 million, with over 1 million leaving in the span of 24 hours. Social media outlets became flooded with negative comments about the vlogger, and former fans of his have been uploading videos on TikTok of them vandalizing his Morphe pallette. On the other hand, Westbrook has gained 4 million subscribers since she called Charles out. Charles dropped an 8-minute apology video directed at Westbrook on that day. The video is currently sitting at 3 million dislikes as opposed to 685,000 likes.

In the wake of the Internet fallout over the Westbrook-Charles feud, Westbrook released an 18-minute video on May 16 titled “Why I Did It” in which she confesses that she didn’t expect her video to blow up the way it did and asks for the feuding to stop. She claims she only made the video to send a message to Charles about his problematic behavior that she could not send any other way. Only time will tell if the controversy will slow down or if this will be the end of James Charles’s YouTube career.