- The drugstore makeup brand Wet n Wild excited beauty lovers across the internet when it released a first glimpse at its new 40-pan rainbow eyeshadow palette.
- Soon after, beauty YouTuber James Charles and his fans accused the company of copying the 39-pan palette he released with the beauty brand Morphe last year.
- Wet n Wild defended their product as a more affordable dupe and started a fued with the YouTuber on Twitter.
Wet n Wild Announces New Palette
Massive beauty YouTuber James Charles called out Wet n Wild Beauty on Saturday, accusing the makeup brand of copying the 39- pan eyeshadow palette he released last year.
Wet n Wild excited several makeup lovers when it showcased the first glimpse of its new “40 Palette” at RuPaul’s DragCon this weekend. In an announcement post, the company said the product will be available for purchase online this fall.
After the brand tweeted out an image of the palette, beauty fans quickly noticed similarities between the new launch and the James Charles Pallete, which he created with the makeup brand Morphe.
The YouTuber also noticed the striking resemblance and tweeted, “That’s crazy… your “NEW” palette looks extremely similar.”
He later added, “I’m not claiming to “own” specific colors. BUT when you copy the exact shades & layout from my palette without even TRYING to hide it…?”
Dupes in the Beauty Industry
As expected, many fans took to social media to slam the brand, however, others argued that tons of companies have similar rainbow-colored eyeshadow palettes. Others also pointed out that copycat products —known as dupes— are fairly common industry practices. In fact, there are some brands completely dedicated to creating lower-priced versions of more expensive beauty products.
The brand Makeup Revolution, for example, faced similar backlash from Kat Von D in 2017 after replicating her beauty products. Still, the company makes it no secret that their goal is to recreate higher-end products, even giving their versions similar names.
Copycat Beauty’s ambassador Danielle Bregoli, also known as Bhad Bhabie, made headlines earlier this year for her partnership with the dupe brand. She even published a video that featured side by side comparisons of the brand’s dupes and the products they were designed to replicate.
Wet n Wild Responds
Wet n Wild eventually acknowledged the copycat complaints in several tweets. In one post the company wrote, “We do allow people who might not otherwise be able to afford a 40 pan color palette, the opportunity to do so. #affordablebeauty”
“We certainly didn’t copy the price,” the brand wrote in another post before announcing that the product would be priced between $25-$29. For comparison, the James Charles Palette retails for $39.
In response to another critic, the brand said, “I believe its called a dupe…”
Despite calling their palette a dupe, in other tweets, Wet n Wild argued that their product is different. “The colors are different, the order is different, the packing is different and the price is affordable,” it told one user. In another tweet, it said, “We haven’t yet released the palette, Misty and this is the only pic available. I’m having trouble seeing where our packing is the same…”
James Charles Defends His Palette
Others were outraged when it seemed as if Wet n Wild was suggesting that the James Charles Palette wasn’t his own work. The company tweeted that the YouTuber’s palette was purchased by Morphe from Jiaxing Huasheng Cosmetics.
The beauty influencer then hit back at the brand and said it was releasing information out of context. “Jiaxing Huasheng is the manufacturer that produces my palette, which I designed and formulated myself. Every company has a manufacturer that they ‘buy’ their stock from, including you.”
In other posts, he assured his followers that he handpicked every color in his palette and designed it in photoshop himself years before partnering with Morphe.
He then said he was disappointed by their comments and accused the brand of trying to discredit the amount of work he put into his product.
Still, Wet n Wild continued to defend their palette and even started liking tweets from users who were slamming James.
Some tweets the brand liked criticized Morphe’s product, others said the color scheme both brands used is nothing original, and some even called James Charles a copycat himself. In the past, the YouTuber was bashed by social media users who accused him of stealing makeup looks from smaller creators without properly crediting them.
Let’s break it down for the delusional James Charles stans in here. James can’t sue Wet n Wild because James didn’t create his palette with Morphe. He was likely given samples of different palettes from the manufacturer Morphe uses and he chose one. End of story. Get over it!— 💋𝓛𝓲𝓷𝓭𝓼𝓪𝔂💋 (@thepervette) September 7, 2019
I have the james charles palette and it’s not even that pigmented. I bought it bc I love james but I’m going to buy the wet n wild one bc wet n wild is known for how good there palettes are. Colors are colors multiple palettes have the same colors and who care about the order.— Morgan Day (@_morgan_day) September 7, 2019
This palette has been done over and over again by different companies, it’s nothing new so the fact wet n wild came out with this palette shouldn’t be a big deal— The Duchess (@BadGirlBabyJ) September 7, 2019
“Good artists copy, great artists steal, -Picasso” I see you copying smaller influencers all the time @jamescharles. Swim at your own risk James. BTW, I have your palette, I think it’s great. Wet n’wild will be a good one too. Similar but different at the same time.— fmcgraw (@fmcgraw) September 7, 2019
I guess now he knows what it feels like to have his “hard work” recreated without any credit.— maeghan ♡ (@maeghanvictoria) September 7, 2019
can’t wait to buy it babes 💖
Because the product has not yet been released, it’s unclear if the outer packaging or shade names will also be similar to those in the James Charles Palette. Either way, the attention from this entire ordeal will likely help Wet n Wild sell the palette when it launches later this year.
See what others are saying: (Teen Vogue) (CNN) (PopBuzz)
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.