- Over the weekend massive beauty YouTubers Tati Westbrook, James Charles, and Jeffree Star all posted their own videos further addressing the fallout since Tati’s original video ending her friendship with James.
- Tati said she regretted the way the situation unfolded after her initial video prompted millions to unsubscribe from James and caused many to accuse him of being a “sexual predator.”
- James released several screenshots to defended himself against a variety of topics, including the Sugar Bear Hair vitamin situation and the allegations against him involving the way he treats straight men.
- Jeffree said he regretted inserting himself into the situation and both he and Tati said they want the public drama to end and will no longer comment on the situation.
- James’s subscriber count has been steadily increasing since his video, with him now back up at 14.8 million.
Tati Says She Never Expected This Reaction
Tati Westbrook, James Charles, and Jeffree Star have all posted videos addressing the massive scandal in the beauty community, which was initially started by Tati’s “Bye Sister” Video, where she ended her friendship with James.
On Thursday, Tati posted a video called “Why I Did it …” where she explained her reactions to the fallout that has happened since she “exposed” James. She said that she did not expect the story to blow up to the degree that it did and expected most of the backlash to be directed towards her.
“I thought that I would be the one that would take the hit,” she said. “I thought I was going against millions and millions of subscribers…If I could give all of the success back and all of the subscribers back, I would.”
She also said that she did not want people to attack James, adding that it is hard for her to see a lot of negativity on the internet targeted towards him.
“I want you guys to know that I don’t hate James Charles,” she said. “I don’t want you guys hating on him. I can’t even go online right now. It’s painful to see someone that you have cared about be dragged.”
James Brings Receipts
Then on Saturday, James posted a 40-minute video titled “No More Lies.”
He started it off by standing by his initial apology video, which received a lot of backlash from viewers. He then went on to address all of the allegations that Tati made against him, using a lot of receipts.
First, he dove into the Sugar Bear Hair controversy and fully explained his decision to do a post for the company. While at the VIP section of Weekend Two at Coachella, James said he was getting bombarded by fans. For his safety, he wanted to be in the Artist section, which is more secure and secluded.
He reached out to fellow beauty influencer Nikita Dragon who connected him with Sugar Bear to see if they had any Artist passes they could offer him in exchange for a sponsored Instagram post. He said he did so, seeing that this was his only option if he wanted to stay at Coachella.
In Tati’s video, she claimed that she did not receive a warning text about the post. Also, she said that James had “nine days” to message her about it, so it appears she thought James and Sugar Bear Hair during the first weekend of the festival.
However, James says all of this went down on weekend two. He posted screenshots of texts he sent before he posted the Sugar Bear Hair Instagram video. He also showed texts that he sent to Tati and her husband after Tati posted on her Instagram that she felt very upset and isolated from the community.
The next major topic that James tackled was boys. In her video, Tati claimed that James used his status as a celebrity to manipulate straight men into behaving sexually in his favor.
“First of all, I am a 19-year-old virgin,” James said. “I just thought I’d put it into the universe that I don’t get a lot of action. You probably guessed that at this point. That being said, I have never, would never, and will never, use my fame, money, or power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting.”
He then went on to discuss the waiter from Seattle, Sam, whom Tati brought up in her video. Sam also made a video of his own, where he discussed his relationship with James. But according to James, Sam’s story had gaps, so he tried to fill them in.
He said the whole thing unfolded at Tati’s birthday dinner when he was discussing a waiter at the restaurant he thought was cute. While the word “famous” was used, James never said that he could get the guy to like him because he is a “celebrity,” as Tati said.
Rather, James said that his friend group has an inside joke where they call each other “famous,” said he was using the word in that context.
As far as his personal interactions with Sam, James pulled up screenshots of their conversations. In those texts, Sam told James he was bi, despite the fact that Tati said he was straight, and that James always went after straight guys.
James also said when he invited Sam to his hotel room, he told Sam that there was no pressure to do anything, and emphasized that everything that happened between them was consensual.
James continued the story by saying that they kept in touch, but it started to get rocky because he thought Sam was still figuring out his sexuality. But eventually, Sam used his friend’s phone to text James saying that he was gay. But James said that this was not real, and just a ploy to get him to respond.
“Sam texted me saying he was fully gay, but it was a trap to get me on FaceTime,” said James, “so he could illegally record the conversation to include in the video he was planning later on…Later on, he told me he was confirmed bi. This is why, in Sam’s video, he included a screenshot of me telling him I did not think he was fully straight.”
As far as James’ alleged consistent interest in straight men, he admitted that he has slid into the DM’s of straight guys before. However, he said that whenever he learned someone was not interested, he stopped messaging them immediately.
He also spoke about the rumors people were starting about him and how that perpetuated negative stereotypes about gay men. He specifically mentioned Zara Larsson, who tweeted that James had messaged her boyfriend multiple times while knowing he was straight.
James showed that he had only messaged him once and also said he had no idea he was messaging someone with a girlfriend. Larson did end up deleting her tweet, but James said it had close to half a million likes before she did so.
He then showed a tweet Zara posted about her boyfriend before she met him and asked a question.
“Why is it okay for Zara Larsson, a woman with a public platform to tweet these photos of a shirtless man and say ‘Who are you where do you live how old are you why are you so fine how do you like your eggs cooked in the morning?’ But for me as a gay man, to DM the same person in private with a simple compliment, is predatory? he asked.
The last big point he talked about was Jeffree Star. He said that he and Jeffree had been trying to figure out a time to talk before Tati’s “Bye Sister” video dropped. They never scheduled a time to chat and on the day the video made waves throughout the internet, James said he got a harsh text from Jeffree. The text references Sam, Grayson Dolan, Jeffree’s brother Zack, and a boy named Cameron who James claims to not know.
“Grayson is going on camera shortly to finally tell the world how you tried to molest him and touch him in his sleep…And made him uncomfortable for months you sick motherfucker,” the text reads. “Next, Zack will be going on camera to tell how twisted and sick you were, trying to get him to like you and then make him feel bad when he didn’t wanna send you photos back. Then Sam from Seattle will be joining me and Cameron, to talk about you trapping him in the hotel room. You need to be locked in prison for a very long time. You need the Internet taken away from you, you are a danger to society.”
James then addressed Jeffree’s tweets that he later deleted. One was aimed at James’ brother Ian.
James clarified that Ian went home to New York for a number of reasons. In addition, to having his wisdom teeth removed and a few gigs in the city, he was struggling with depression and wanted to be with his parents.
Jeffree also tweeted that James was not allowed in his home, and James said he was totally unaware of this. He also said that since they last saw each other in February, Jeffree had reached out to him saying that he missed him.
James then closed his video by saying that Tati, Jeffree, and Sam were all working on reaching out to him to address the matter privately.
Jeffree Bows Out
The saga did not end there, because, on Sunday, Jeffree posted a video called “Never Doing This Again.” In its 14-minute run, he says that he does not want to be involved in the drama anymore and confesses that he wishes he had never inserted himself into this situation in the first place.
“This has to stop,” he said. “I’m embarrassed by my own actions.”
He addressed James directly and said he wishes he never sent those texts.
“There were a lot of rumors, and sadly I let that get to me,” said Jeffree. “So James, I want to let you know that I should have never sent you those messages.”
Jeffree also apologized to Ian about his tweet.
“So Ian, I just want to let you know I am so sorry for ever sending that tweet. If I could take it back I would.”
He closed by saying that he does not want to talk about the situation anymore and said that everyone involved needs to take time to heal.
On Sunday, Tati sent a tweet saying that she has been communicating with James through an intermediary. She also said she no longer wishes to address this situation publicly.
The “Bye Sister” video has also been removed from Tati’s channel.
As far as subscribers go, Tati still has over ten million, though her count is no longer experiencing a steep incline. In fact, her number is gently trickling downward.
James, who lost three million subscribers as a result of this fallout, is starting to gain them back. He now has 14.8 million subscribers. He is inching his way back up to being the most popular beauty vlogger on YouTube. He just has to edge out Jeffree, who has 14.9 million subscribers.
See what others are saying: (Fox News) (Cosmopolitan) (The Verge)
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.