- YouTuber James Charles has lost almost 3 million subscribers since fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook posted a video claiming he uses his celebrity status to try to sexually manipulate straight men.
- James made a video apologizing to both Tati and his fans in response.
- Several YouTubers have spoken out, including PewDiePie, Shane Dawson, and Jeffree Star.
- A waiter who Tati says James tried to manipulate also posted a video sharing his story.
Feud Between James and Tati Begins
James Charles has lost millions of subscribers following Tati Westbrook’s “Bye Sister” video, where she explains why she is ending her longtime friendship with James.
The feud between James and Tati publically began on April 22, when James did a sponsored post for Sugar Bear Hair vitamins, a product that is a rival competitor to Tati’s Halo Beauty.
After James did this, Tati posted a tear-filled Instagram story where she did not mention any specific names, but said she felt alone in the industry.
“I’m just so upset,” she said. “I feel really used and that’s the bad part of Hollywood. Welcome to show business. Everybody says what they need to say and uses who they need to use to get ahead. And I’ve had about enough.”
James apologized in an Instagram story, saying that he did not make any money from the post, and that he still takes Halo Beauty daily.
“I want to publically apologize to my close friend Tati,” he wrote. “She has been like a mother to me since my first days in this industry…I did not think about the competition, which was a major oversight. I’ve supported Tati both online and off like she has done for me and I am devastated that I hurt someone that I truly love and have endless respect for.”
A fellow beauty YouTuber, Gabriel Zamora, talked about the drama one of his videos, where he said the situation had been overblown.
“And it’s not even just her crying over vitamins,” he said. “It’s the fact that all these channels are continuously making videos on it, talking about it, making this a thing, like really? Over vitamins?”
Tati’s “Bye Sister” Video
All of this build-up led to Friday, when Tati posted a 43-minute-long video called “Bye Sister.” In the video, she declared her years-long friendship with James over. While she did address the Sugar Bear Hair post, she said that the core of the problem was much deeper than that. She claimed that fame had dramatically changed James.
“Obviously so many of you guys understand this is more than just a sponsored post. It has layers,” she said. There is so much going on with James Charles right now that I do not support. That I do not agree with. Fame, power, and a fat bank account will change almost anyone.“
She then began to directly address James and told him that their relationship was over.
“I don’t think there’s any getting through to you.,” she said. “I don’t want to be friends with you. I don’t want to be associated with you. And I need to say that very publically so that this chapter can be closed.”
Tati went into detail about the help she and her husband offered James when he first moved to Los Angeles, and how they stepped in as parental figures early on in his career. However, she feels that he is not grateful for what they have done for him and has disrespected her and several others in the community. She went on to say she found this behavior especially concerning because of his young audience.
One of the biggest revelations that came out of Tati’s video was the way James Charles uses his fame to talk to men. She said specifically that he uses it as a catalyst to get straight men interested in him.
“Oh my god, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he’s gay yet again, and somehow, you’re the victim,” she said. “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.”
“You are using your fame, your power, your money, to play with people’s emotions. You are threatening to ruin them. You are threatening to embarrass them. And you are doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor even if they are straight. And you know what, that’s not okay.”
She then gave an example and claimed James made comments about the waiter at a restaurant during her birthday dinner.
“You were talking in detail about the things you wanted to do to the waiter.,” Tati explained. “And when I said, ‘James, he’s straight.’ You’re response was. ‘Doesn’t matter, I’m a celebrity.’ So freaking gross.”
She closed the video by saying that ending her friendship with James was painful, but that she has said her peace on the situation and wants to move forward.
James’ Apology Video
Later that day, James posted an eight-minute-long apology video.
“To Tati and James Westbrook, I’m sorry,” he began. “For everything that is going on, for everything that I’ve put you through over the past few weeks.”
He said that Tati, along with her family, gave him support and love starting at an early point in his career. He then told his fans that he was sorry to have disappointed them.
He addressed the vitamin situation, saying he feels bad for having been disloyal to Tati. Then he moved on to discuss the allegations she brought up about the way he interacts with men.
“I’ve learned the hard way about ways that I interact with the boy’s I’m interested in, and also ones that I should or should not be talking to,” he said. “This is a conversation I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with and something I should have been more careful with bringing it to the public eye.”
He also thanked his mother for being a strong figure for him but said he did not want her to defend him, as he feels he should handle this situation on his own.
Subscriber Counts Shift
Since Friday, the fallout for James has been pretty severe. Before Tati’s video, James had around 16.5 million subscribers. As of Monday afternoon, his number had dropped to 13.7 million.
People dropping from James’ circle include big names like the Kardashian and Jenner family, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Shane Dawson, who have all unfollowed him on social media.
Tati, on the other hand, has seen the opposite effect. Before her post, she had about 5.9 million subscribers. By Monday afternoon, she had over 9 million.
Boys Speak Out
Since this massive falling out, which is considered to be the largest subscriber loss in YouTube history, many people have spoken out about James
A boy named Gage said he interacted with James at a point where he was dealing with confusion about his sexuality. He says he told James he was straight, but James still put pressure on him.
“As you all know, this person, 99.9, maybe even 100 percent of the time, goes after heterosexual men,” he said.
Another prominent testimony comes from a boy named Sam Cooke, who appears to be the waiter that mentioned in Tati’s video.
In a recent video, he told the story of his interactions with James starting the night of the dinner party. Cooke said that James tried to get his number several times from other staff members, but it didn’t happen. Cooke then messaged him on Instagram, saying he was bi-curious at the time, but had never done anything with a man before.
James allegedly invited Cooke to his hotel room on his last night in Seattle, where they made out. He says the two stayed in touch after James left.
James eventually invited Cooke to visit him in Los Angeles, saying that he would cover the expenses. However, by this time, Cooke says he felt confident that he was straight, so he declined, which he says upset James.
“His response to me was that he did not think that I was straight,” Cooke said. “He told me that I’m not straight.”
He then showed a message from James, where the YouTuber told him, “You’re not straight no matter how many times you tell yourself.”
Cooke claimes they stopped talking after this, until James invited him to LA again, still trying to tell him he was not straight.
“He still went on to say he thought I was bisexual or gay and attracted to him when I told him different,” Cooke said. “And that kind of went on until we ended it at, I’m legitimately not feeling anything, please stop talking to me.”
Cooke also mentioned Gage, who he says James was talking to at the same time.
“I didn’t want anything to do with him after that,” he said. “After finding out that he was kind of playing two guys, two straight guys, at the same time.”
He then played FaceTime footage showing James admitting to talking to both guys at once, and playing it off like no big deal. When Cooke asked if he had been speaking to Gage, James responded by saying, “Yeah, we were. It’s like, why do you care?”
Cooke ended the video saying he did not post it for fame, but that he felt he needed to share his side of the story.
The story also elicited attention from prominent YouTubers. PewDiePie made a video called “James Charles is canceled.” In it, he declared James had “the biggest oopsie” of 2019 and goes over Tati’s video.
However, he ended up taking a stance more sympathetic to James than most. He said he did not understand why this event specifically would cause James to lose so many subscribers.
“He’s facing the biggest sub drop that has ever happened on YouTube,” he said. “Look at all the controversies that have happened on YouTube. Is this really that comparable?”
He also added that while he does not feel that he fully has a grasp on the whole situation, he did not see why Tati could not have handled the situation privately. PewDiePie brought up the fact that James was allegedly reaching out to drama channels, then showed a screenshot of what he reportedly said to them.
“Until Tati feels comfortable and ready to talk to me in private, I don’t feel comfortable commenting about her publically,” the message read.
Because James allegedly said this, PewDiePie claimed he questioned Tati’s motives.
“I’m not here to defend James Charles, I just don’t think what Tati did is that justified,” he said.
Other YouTubers Side With Tati
Other YouTubers had different takes. Jeffree Star has been tweeting to congratulate Tati on her subscriber count climb since the video was posted.
He also sent a tweet calling James “dangerous.” In another, he addressed James’ brother to say that James was a predator. Both of those tweets have been deleted.
Shane Dawson also spoke out, though he did not take as strong a stance as Jeffree. Dawson, who has recently appeared to be close with Tati, sent out a tweet praising her Halo Beauty line.
YouTube Family Vlogger Petitions FTC Ahead of 2020 COPPA Enforcement
- YouTube will soon remove personalized ads from children’s content after the Federal Trade Commission determined that it had violated children’s privacy laws by placing targeted ads over kids’ content.
- Following YouTube’s announcement, creators like Jeremy Johnston of J House Vlogs are now bringing their concerns directly before the Federal Trade Commission during their open window, which closes Dec. 9.
- Among other concerns, creators are asking the FTC to provide a better definition of “child-directed” content out of fear that they may still lose ads on video that may be deemed “attractive,” but not necessarily directed at children.
YouTubers Lobby FTC
Children’s content creators and family bloggers on YouTube are lobbying against upcoming changes to an online child privacy law, which they say will affect the quality of their videos and how those videos make money.
As of Thursday afternoon, a Change.org petition arguing against the changes has attracted more than 38,000 signatures. The petition was started by Jeremy Johnston who, along with his wife Kendra, run the family vlogging channel J House Vlogs.
In September, YouTube announced that it would be changing the way it displays ads on children’s content. The changes are meant to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act after the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James accused YouTube of illegally collecting personal information from children to show them targeted ads.
Regarding ads, YouTube uses two types: general and personalized ads. General ads appear regardless of a user’s viewing history, but personalized ads look at a user’s viewing history to present products or services a user may be more interested in.
Because of the changes to COPPA, YouTube said it will remove all personalized ads on children’s content in January. The FTC also said it would hear public comments until Oct. 23 before enforcing new COPPA guidelines.
As a result, Johnston has lobbied the Federal Trade Commission in an attempt to add exceptions to children’s content creators.
Johnston Speaks with Rogue Rocket
In an interview with Rogue Rocket, Johnston said he filed a request to extend the FTC’s public comments period until Dec. 9, which was later approved.
Johnston told Rogue Rocket he made the filing after meeting with the FTC. During the meeting, he said the commission was unaware that personalized and general ads paid different amounts to creators.
While Johnston said he thought the FTC was legitimately trying to do what’s best for children, he also said FTC was largely unaware of creators’ concerns beforehand.
Regarding his own channel, Johnston said he and his wife have already decided to pull the plug on a planned children’s channel called J House Jr.
While he said big creators can find other ways to generate money, through brand deals or other projects, he also said losing personalized ads can be devastating for channels.
“That isn’t going to be available for the small creators in the future, and that’s a big reason why I’m speaking out,” he told Rogue Rocket. “I wouldn’t be doing all of this if it was just about my channel. But I’m considering other people like me or other people five years, 10 years from now who want to get going. I’m so grateful that when I took that leap of faith to say ‘I’m going to do YouTube full-time’ that ad revenue made that possible.”
Although Johnston said he understands the need for parents to have control in their kids’ privacy online, he said the new changes won’t do that.
“We care about children’s privacy,” he said. “We are just saying that this regulation is going to do more harm than good. I think it’s really important that we all recognize that the majority of parents are letting their children watch YouTube main.”
“We’re wanting parents to continue making that choice with the government coming in and overriding the parents’ decision,” he continued. “If parents were really concerned with personalized ads, it raises the question, why are they all letting their children watch YouTube main?”
What’s in the Petition?
Specifically, the creators and supporters who’ve signed that petition are asking the FTC to provide a statement on how COPPA will be enforced against creators, as well as clarify the definition of “child-directed” content.
One major concern for creators is the specific use of the language “child-directed.” Currently, the FTC is debating whether or not to add “child-attractive” content, ie. content that is marketed to a general audience but could still be considered friendly for children to watch.
The petition also requests that the FTC delay enforcement any changes until it finishes reviewing COPPA.
It ends by asking the FTC to encourage parents to use apps like YouTube Kids instead of forcing creators to turn off personalized ads.
According to Bloomberg, YouTube Kids currently only attracts about 1% of YouTube’s total audience even though kids’ content is the most-viewed on YouTube.
Why Is This Important to Viewers?
While some viewers find ads annoying, many creators make money by placing ads in front of their videos.
According to Tubefilter, general ads can bring in anywhere from 60 to 90% less than personalized ads. Creators fear that the loss of revenue could, in turn, hurt the quality of their videos.
In fact, Johnston says a lot of the money made from J House Vlogs videos goes back into making quality content on the channel.
In addition to that, creators also worry their content could be fined for violating COPPA, with that fine being up to $42,530. Creators like Johnston and Derral Eves say that these concerns could also result in more mature content on YouTube.
See what others are saying: (Bloomberg) (Tubefilter)
Shane Dawson Accused of Using Tati Westbrook and James Charles Drama as Clickbait Amid Success of Massive Beauty Launch
- Shane Dawson’s collaboration with Jeffree Star officially launched online and in stores Friday.
- Fans crashed the website within seconds and stood in line for hours to get their hands on the products, which have since completely sold out.
- Amid all the craze surrounding the launch, Dawson is also facing criticism from viewers who say he used the Tati Westbrook- James Charles drama for clickbait in the trailer since it has yet to be mentioned in the series.
Shane Dawson Beauty Launch
Shane Dawson and Jeffree Stars’ highly anticipated makeup and merchandise collaboration finally launched Friday and quickly took over the internet, meanwhile, fans are still wondering if YouTube beauty drama will be included in upcoming episodes of his series.
The YouTubers released two eyeshadow palettes, a collection of liquid lipsticks, a line of merchandise, and more. But fans had completely overwhelmed the website before the company behind it, Shopify, could even finish listing each item for sale.
Minutes after the scheduled launch time, Star tweeted that the site had crashed, adding “Shane’s in a ball crying on the floor.”
Issues persisted for hours, with many users complaining about the site crashing, error messages, missing confirmation emails, and other problems.
Those who chose to purchase the palette at their local Morphe stores also had to wait in huge lines to get their hands on any of the products.
As many people expected, the Conspiracy palette was completely sold out by the middle of the day, with the rest of the line selling out shortly after.
Although we don’t know the exact figures just yet, it seems the launch has already broken records according to Jeffree Star, who said the statistics will be released in the coming days.
Fans Accuse Shane of Clickbait
The build-up for the release was of course set up by each installment of Dawson’s docu-series, “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star.” Of the six parts that have been released so far, the lowest viewed episode sits at over 14 million views, while all of the episodes combined make up over 110 million views.
Despite the success of the episodes so far, some fans are upset that Dawson has not included any footage from the infamous Tati Westbrook and James Charles drama.
As you might remember, massive beauty influencer James Charles lost nearly 3 million subscribers in May after his former mentor Tati Westbrook posted her infamous “Bye Sister” video, publicly announcing the end of their friendship. One stand out moment in the video involved her claim that Charles uses his celebrity status to sexually manipulate straight men.
Star and Dawson both publicly expressed their support for Westbrook during the whole ordeal, with Star even going so far as to call Charles a predator. After apologies and explanations from Charles, Star, and Westbrook, the drama eventually blew over and Charles’ subscriber count bounced back.
Fans were hoping to see more about Star and Dawson’s involvement and opinions on the situation in his series and it seemed like they were going to get exactly that. In his trailer for the docu-series, Dawson included footage of him reacting to Westbrook’s initial video and Charles’ subscriber loss.
As of now, the series has seemed to move in chronological order without any mention of the drama, which has left some fans feeling disappointed. Some have even accused Dawson of using the incident as clickbait for views.
Some suggested that Dawson excluded the drama out of respect for those involved, especially since Westbrook and Charles both recently released products last month. Others said it would be harmful to bring it all back up again after everyone has seemingly moved past it.
They probably took it out due to respect for Tati because she wants the drama to be over— dory (@SingingMUA) October 31, 2019
Also, James and Tati both had releases. Even if they are competition and even though they may not all be friends anymore Shane probably did not want to bring all that up and mess with everyone’s launches. There is still an unknown number of episodes left.— Tyler Hauser (@Smokes4harris) October 30, 2019
In a way I hope they don’t bring it back up. That was such an ugly time. I’m not interested in seeing it all over again. I’m loving the in depth look of the makeup world more. Far more interesting than past drama lol— Justin Glenn (@ImJustinGlenn) October 30, 2019
Fans also said it was likely a decision to focus on the business aspect of the beauty industry rather than the drama. They specifically pointed to a poll Dawson posted early on in the series asking viewers what they wanted to see more of, though viewers seem to be split on what the results actually were. Meanwhile, others pointed out that there are still more episodes set to come.
He did a poll on his Insta and asked if we wanted to see more drama or business and business won. Personally. I'm glad he didn't include all the drama in this because it would have cheapened the series. But to each their own.— Denisia Nelson (@DenisiaNelson) November 4, 2019
Aren’t we all. A week or two ago Shane even posted an Instagram poll asking if we want more drama or business. Drama was voted over 90%. So I’m trying to wait patiently but it will probably be episode 9 or not in the series at all.— Jillian (@fakingperfectly) October 29, 2019
Also, if you watched Shane's Instagram story right after part 2 was posted, you'd see that he did a poll, asking if people wanted more drama or more business in the series, and 57^% voted business, so they might not even post about it, and if they do, it may not be a whole part..— Kayla Tackett (@LassyLagoon1324) October 31, 2019
After the launch of part 1 Shane mention that he was surprised how interested everyone was in the business side of things so he’s kinda geared the episodes more towards that than towards the drama, but he also did an insta poll recently “drama or business” and drama won so— dev (@dsbales_) October 30, 2019
See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (PopBuzz)(Mashable)
YouTuber Jaclyn Hill Defends “Canceled” Halloween Costume
- Critics are slamming beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill for appearing at her Haloween party this weekend as a “canceled” version of herself.
- Some thought she was making light of her recent lipstick scandal and mocking customers who were upset with her over the failed product launch.
- Hill addressed the backlash, saying the costume was not about her customers or her lipsticks but instead was a comment about the community and cancel culture.
Jaclyn HIll’s Costume
Beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill has responded to backlash over her Halloween costume – a “canceled” version of herself.
Hill hosted a party at her temporary home in Los Angeles, California Saturday night, which was packed with dozens of her friends and fellow YouTubers like James Charles and Nikita Dragun.
But the main talk of the party online was Hill’s costume. The beauty guru wore a black dress with red letters that spelled out “SHE’S CANCELED” and “JACLYN HILL IS CANCELED.” She also sported some fake wounds and blood to add to the Halloween look.
Many found this costume to be a risky choice considering the recent scandal surrounding her lipstick line launch this past June. Customers complained of lumpy lipsticks embedded with hairs or what they thought might have been shards of plastic. Others believed that she might have been selling old lipsticks that were moldy and unsafe to use.
Hill later denied those claims and apologized to her customers. She gave explanations for defective products, like cotton gloves used in production causing the hairs and high temperatures during shipping affecting consistency. The whole ordeal came to an end when she issued refunds, though she never recalled the product as many had asked and promised they were still safe to use.
She wasn’t the only one who was inspired by the lipstick controversy. Drama YouTuber Sebastian Williams even appeared at the event wearing “Jaclyn Hill’s harry lipsticks as horns.”
A lot of social media users saw Hill’s costume as a funny way to own her controversy and poke fun at herself.
Others, however, took issue with her making light of the situation. Some called it tacky, while others argued that it was disrespectful towards customers who had been let down by her lipstick launch.
poor taste..customers are the victims yet shes acting like she is…this tacky costume shows she learned nothing fr lipstickgate & in fact thinks she did nothing wrong..if she put as much concern into properly handling things as she does herself she may not have cancelled herself— ησ ѕнα∂є נα∂є (@No_Shade_Jade) October 27, 2019
Wow, she really out here calling OUT and MOCKING everyone from her fans to paying customers to people holding her accountable?! 🤔 I guess if you ignore wrong doings and pretend it never happened then life is good! #LikeItNeverHappened— Amber Gifford (@ambular1304) October 27, 2019
Jaclyn Hill Defends Costume
After seeing some of the backlash, Hill took to Twitter to explain that her costume wasn’t aimed at her customers.
“This costume has NOTHING to do with my fans or customers,” she tweeted. “It has to do with ‘cancel culture’ that has become so popular. I adore my subscribers & they know that!”
She made a similar statement in another post saying, “A lot of people are missing the point. This has nothing to do with my lipsticks. That’s a whole different situation. This costume was supposed to be about the community. About Influencers & cancel culture. But people can read into it however they want obviously.”
In an Instagram post, she wrote a more detailed caption about the intentions behind her costume, saying, “Over the last several years the internet has become more & more cruel & has developed what we now call “cancel culture” not one day has gone by in over 2 years where I have not seen ‘you’re canceled’ online.”
“I wanted to create a look showing the glam side of this industry & the ugly,” she added. “So here is it. You want me canceled? You got it baby. And I know my “haters” are going to HATE this costume. But that’s okay, I love you anyway.”
Hill also address a less serious element of the costume that critics seemed to also take issue with: spelling. One tweet went viral, slamming the beauty guru for using one “L” instead of two on her costume.
She responded to that with a Google search of the proper way to spell the term, which notes that both are correct, but one “L” is more favored by Americans while two are more commonly used in British English.
In response to the viral tweet, she wrote “OMGGGG! Over 100k favorites??!! Does this mean im famous!!? I love my illiterate ass.” Then in a reply to fan defending her, she wrote “I have to laugh at all these tweets about my ‘misspelling’ people will find anything!! Even when google & the dictionary proves it correct, they still gotta reach.”