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James Charles Loses Millions of Subscribers After Tati Westbrook Ends Friendship

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  • 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.

PewDiePie Responds

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.

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Mashable) (Elle)

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Onision Calls 911 on Chris Hansen, Files Court Order

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  • YouTuber Onision, who has long been accused of predatory behavior, recently called 911 when journalist Chris Hansen showed up to his door. 
  • Hansen has been extensively covering the accusations against Onision, and Onision told the dispatcher he was his “internet stalker.”
  • No arrests were made once police arrived, but Onision has filed a court order against both Hansen and another YouTuber, Repzion, who has also been covering the allegations.
  • Hansen posted another video saying that he obtained police records showing that Onision’s daughter fell from a window and that Onision recorded the aftermath.

Court Order Filed 

YouTuber Onision is filing a court personal protection order against journalist Chris Hansen, who has been covering the series of accusations of grooming and predatory behavior levied against him.

Hansen said in a video on Monday that Onision, who is also known as Greg or James Jackson, filed the order in Washington state. Jackson also filed the order against YouTuber Repzion, or Daniel Sulzbach, who has also posted several videos about the long-standing allegations.

Many have claimed that Jackson, along with his partner Kai, grooms young women, often minors who are fans of his, to become sexually intimate with him once they turn 18. Others have also brought up potential cases of other inappropriate, predatory behavior. Several girls have spoken to Hansen on his YouTube channel to explain their claims. Some have described a system of control and manipulation, such as a list of rules Jackson and Kai force the girls to follow. 

Jackson has regularly denied the allegations. Rogue Rocket reached out to him to discuss them back in December. He asked for $10,000 in exchange for an interview. 

Hansen Attempts to Reach Out to Onision

This was not the first time Hansen had attempted to reach Jackson to hear his side of the story. Hansen has claimed that he too was asked for monetary compensation in order to ask Jackson questions. On January 13, he posted a video of the 911 call Jackson made when he knocked on his door in an attempt at a face-to-face conversation. 

In the call, Jackson refers to Hanson as an “internet stalker.” Hansen is seen standing outside of his door, knocking and sometimes speaking. He was accompanied by a camera crew and his attorney, Mike Morse. Police did arrive and no arrests were made. 

In another video Hansen uploaded about his trip to speak with Jackson, he said that it appeared that Jackson was no stranger to officers. 

“It quickly became clear that Greg was not unfamiliar to the local law enforcement authorities here,” Hansen explained to the camera in a video that has amassed over one million views.  “They were aware of his YouTube antics, the allegations of inappropriate contact with young women.”

He also added that Jackson declined to speak to him when given the opportunity, something Hansen noted was typical behavior in his experience investigating child predators. 

Hansen confirmed the court order in a video week later.

Police Report on Onision’s Child

In the video where Hansen explained the court order, he also gave a disturbing update he found in regards to Jackson and Kai’s children when working with police. 

“We’ve now obtained Pierce County Sheriff’s reports about a 911 call in September of 2019,” Hansen said. “According to the transcripts, Onision and Kai’s young daughter fell from a second story bedroom window landing in the driveway.” 

Hansen also added that this report notes that Jackson actually took a video of his young daughter in the driveway while she was injured, and panned up to the window that she fell from. As for the details of what happened, many have been sharing what appear to be screenshots of the records of the incident. Rogue Rocket requested the records, but has not received them yet, therefore we cannot confirm them. Some of the information in the screenshots shared does line up with what Hansen described in the video. 

One screenshot came from Good Citizens Records, which said they obtained the police report. They redacted information to protect Jackson’s daughter and said that the accident was in fact an accident.

According to the screenshots, the police had previously done welfare checks at Jackson’s home and they had received calls about him “possibly sexually abusing young girls.”

As for why he recorded his child in the aftermath of the fall, Jackson said he wanted to be able to show the doctor what happened. According to the screenshots,  Jackson referenced an event in 2011 when a friend allegedly threatened to kill herself and make it look like he did it, and he wanted the video to show police he was not responsible. The report calls this explanation “strange.”

Another unconfirmed screenshot goes into the details of the accident and the injury obtained from it. It appears his daughter suffered from skull fractures as a result of the fall. 

The fractures did not initially seem life-threatening, though that could rapidly change. Hansen said he will be covering more on this later in the week.

See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Insider) (Mashable)

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Too Faced Co-Founder Condemns Sister’s Post Calling NikkieTutorials a Liar After Coming Out as Transgender

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  • Massive Beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials came out as transgender in a new video that has been received with widespread praise.
  • However, fans were upset to learn that she was pushed to share her story after unnamed people threatened to leak the information to the press.
  • Too Faced Cosmetics then came under scrutiny when the cofounder’s sister made a snide comment about NikkieTutorials being a liar, continuing a long-running feud between the brand and beauty guru. 
  • The brand co-founder issued a statement condemning his sister’s behavior and said she is no longer employed by Too Faced.

Too Faced Apologizes

Too Faced Cosmetics co-founder Jerrod Blandino apologized Tuesday for his sister Lisa who called beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials a liar hours after she came out as transgender.

“I would like to make sure it is understood that although I love my sister very much, the things she says or does have absolutely nothing to do with me and do not in any way reflect me, my opinions, thoughts, or feelings nor speak for me or Too Faced in any way shape or form,” Blandino wrote in a post on Instagram stories.

“I am sorry for the hurt she has caused…I do not tolerate this behavior and she is no longer an employee of Too Faced,” he added before expressing how proud he was of NikkieTutorials for sharing her truth.

His post was later shared across the brand’s official social media accounts.

“I’m Coming Out” 

The backlash against Too Faced came shortly after Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, came out as transgender in an emotional 17-minute video posted Monday.

“I can’t believe I am saying this today to all of you, for the entire world to see, but damn it feels good to finally do it. It’s time to let go and be truly free,” de Jager said in the video titled “I’m Coming Out.”

“When I was younger I was born in the wrong body, which means that I am transgender,” she continued. 

The 25-year-old from the Netherlands, who has been posting on YouTube for 11 years, opened up about her childhood, explaining that she identified as female for as long as she can remember and began transitioning at a young age with the support of her mother.

De Jager said she had grown her hair out at the age of 6 and was wearing only girls clothing a year or two later. She started hormone treatments and growth stoppers at 14-years-old and “fully transitioned” by the age of 19. 

“I transitioned while on YouTube,” the beauty guru said. “And saying that right now seems so crazy to me because I have literally grown up and transformed into me in front of all of you.”

De Jager, one of YouTube’s top beauty creators who has amassed over 12 million subscribers, said she kept her story private for so long because she wanted to live free of labels and wanted her channel to focus on her art. 

However, she wanted to assure her fans that she is the same person they have loved and supported for years. “I am me. I am still Nikkie. Nothing changes about that,” she said. “The last thing I want in my life is for you to not trust me anymore, or to look at me with different eyes, or look at me in a different manner, or think that I have changed.”

Blackmail Attempt

While de Jager explained that she has always wanted to share her story with her audience, she admitted that she was doing so now after someone had threatened to pubically out her. 

“So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something,” she said before making her announcement.

Without ever naming who was behind the blackmail attempt, de Jager talked more about how it made her feel. 

“I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press,” she said. “And at first it was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity. It is vile. It is gross and I know you are watching this.”

She claimed that those blackmailing her wanted to leak her story because they said she is lying and “too scared” to tell people who she really is. 

“I’m not scared,” she said directly to the camera before holding her middle finger up to the people who, “thought they could really mess up my life with that.” 

Praise from Fans 

De Jager’s announcement was met with widespread support from celebs, fans, and fellow YouTubers, many of whom were outraged at the fact that someone else had tried to leak her story.

Lisa Blandino Sparks Outrage

However, not everyone was supportive of the beauty guru. Twitter users and YouTube drama channels ready to defend de Jager against hate screenshotted a snide comment allegedly made by Lisa Blandino.

The screenshots showed that on her Instagram account @makupprincess, under the name Dani California, she changed her bio to: “Transgender huh? That’s not the only thing she’s been LYING about.”

Image
Source: @makupprincess

The comment appeared to signal a continuation of the long-running feud between the beauty star and Too Faced Cosmetics. 

In Shane Dawson’s docuseries about his collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Star once again accused Too Faced of massively underpaying de Jager for her 2016 makeup collaboration with them. According to Star, she received a $50,000 flat fee for a palette that brought them in over $10 million.

While de Jagger has not openly discussed much about her profits on the palette, she has previously mentioned frustrations over the quality of the product.

After screenshots of Blandino’s comment spread across the internet, many became upset that someone would take such a sensitive moment as an opportunity to tear de Jager down and felt that regardless of any feud, the comment was insensitive.

Enraged social media users began calling Too Faced disgusting and transphobic and soon after, the @makupprincess account changed its bio to read: “Let’s be clear, I love trans people & dislike anyone who lies to hurt others! Period!”

Source: @makupprincess

The comment further enraged internet users went on to call for a boycott of the brand. Some even accused Too Faced of possibly being responsible for blackmailing de Jagger.

See what others are saying: (NBC News) (Insider) (E! News)

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Two of YouTube’s Highest Earners Are Kids

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  • Forbes released its annual list of top-earning YouTubers, placing 8-year-old Ryan Kaji at the top spot with $26 million and 5-year-old Nastya Radzinskaya at No. 3 with $18 million. 
  • The stars have brought new attention to the popularity of kids’ content on the platform just ahead of new policy changes that will impact ad revenue for it. 
  • Several familiar faces were also on the list, including Pewdiepie and Dude Perfect, however many were surprised to see Jake and Logan Paul edged out of the top 10.

Kids Earn Big 

Two of YouTuber’s highest-earning creators of 2019 are under the age of 10, according to the annual YouTube creator estimates from Forbes. 

8-year-old Ryan Kaji, star of the massively popular YouTube channel Ryan’s World (formerly Ryan ToysReview) earned himself the top spot for the second year in a row with an estimated $26 million, based on pretax figures from June 2018-June 2019. That’s a jump from the $22 million that put him at the top of last year’s list.

The second-biggest earner of the year is Dude Perfect, the sports entertainment group known for various trick shots, stunts, and battle videos. 

But 5-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya is one creator on the list who is arguably turning the most heads. Radzinskaya, who moved to the U.S. from Russia in 2018, was born with cerebral palsy and doctors feared she might never be able to speak. To document her development through treatments, her parents decided to post videos of her so friends and family could watch her progress.

The videos started off as fairly ordinary child experiences like playdates with her dad or her pet cat, but she quickly gained a following from internet users all over the globe. Radzinskaya, who goes by Nastya or Stacy, now has a total of 107 million subscribers across her six different channels. Her most popular one, “Like Nastya Vlog” has 42 million alone. 

Nastya’s impressive following helped her bring in six-figure deals with brands like Legoland and Dannon, according to Forbes. Now she sits at No. 3 on their list with a whopping $18 million. 

Creators like Nastya and Ryan have opened people’s eyes to just how huge children’s content is on YouTube. Eyal Baumel, CEO of Yoola, a management company that specializes in digital stars including Nastya told Forbes, “YouTube is the most popular babysitter in the world.”

According to a Pew Research Center study done this year, videos with kids in them average almost three times as many views as other types of videos from high-subscriber channels. A separate study showed that 81% of parents with kids under 11 let them watch YouTube.

These young internet superstars, their parents, and the teams that represent them have made sure that their popularity transcends YouTube. Ryan for instance now has his own line of branded toys, clothing, and home goods that you can easily find at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. He also landed his own TV show on Nickelodeon and has a deal with Hulu to repackage his videos.

Nastya too will soon be launching a line of toys, a mobile game, and a book. 

Plans to expand to platforms outside of YouTube is probably a great idea of these child stars, especially as the potential for massive earnings on YouTube changes. 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.

YouTube said it will remove personalized ads on kids’ content starting next year, but now many creators are worried that, along with their income, the changes could also impact other factors, like search results and recommendations. Others feel the FTC has not been specific enough about what YouTube should consider child-directed content and are worried about the future of their content. 

Who Else Made the List? 

As far as the remaining top earners, the list includes a comedy duo, several gamers, and one beauty mogul. Here are the remaining creators who made the top 10. 

  • #4 Rhett and Link – $17.5 million
  • #5 Jeffree Star: $17 million
  • #6 Preston (Preston Arsement) $14 million
  • #7 (tie) Pewdiepie (Felix Kjellberg)  $13 million
  • #7 (tie) Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) $13 million 
  • #9 DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) $12 million 
  • #10 VanossGaming (Evan Fong) $11.5 million 

As some have pointed out, Jake and Logan Paul are notably not on this year’s list, both of whom made last year’s top 10. Jake’s absence was particularly surprising since the YouTuber held the No. 2 spot in 2018 with $21.5 million while his brother placed 10th with $14.5 million. 

However, the Paul brothers have earned themselves a reputation for controversy and both stopped daily vlogging in mid-2018 to pursue other projects, so that likely had a huge impact on their annual YouTube revenue. 

See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (Variety) (BBC)

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