- 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)
JoJo Siwa Fans Caution Against Labeling the Star’s Sexuality
- JoJo Siwa was featured in two TikTok videos Wednesday that many felt signaled her as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- One showed her dancing and lip-syncing to Paramore’s “Aint It Fun,” along with members of the TikTok group Pride House LA. Siwa specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us,” which is also the caption of the post.
- The second video showed her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
- The 17-year-old entertainer has not directly addressed speculations about her sexuality, prompting many to caution against labeling her.
JoJo Siwa TikToks Trigger Sexuality Speculations
JoJo Siwa fans are urging the public not to label the 17-year-old entertainer’s sexuality, especially when she has not explicitly done so herself.
The request came after Siwa became a trending topic Wednesday when many speculated that she had come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The speculations stem from two TikTok videos she was featured in. The first was posted on choreographer Kent Boyd’s account. It features him and other members of the TikTok group Pride House LA, which includes several stars from Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie.”
It showed them all lip-syncing and dancing along to Paramore’s hit song “Ain’t It Fun.” Siaw specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us.” That lyric was also the caption of the post.
Later in the day, Siwa posted a video on her personal TikTok account that featured her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
Part of the lyrics she sang along to were: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgender life / I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.”
These posts really started all the rumors online, and things picked up when influencers like James Charles, Bretman Rock, and others expressed their support.
Many fans also left comments on the videos saying they were proud of her, and journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, “This feels like a big deal if it is what I think it is…JoJo Siwa is hugely popular with kids.”
“And as someone just pointed out, if it is what I think it is, she’s doing it at the height of her fame when she’s selling out arenas,” he continued.
Despite the wave of praise, other fans feel that it’s inappropriate and harmful to make speculations about anyone’s sexuality.
Many have even shared their own experiences coming out, reminding people not to label Siwa as anything until she explicitly chooses to share that information herself.
While Siwa hasn’t directly addressed any of the responses as of yet, she has retweeted a post that features her video, the pride flag emoji, and the caption, “@itsjojosiwa is on the right track, she was born this way.”
Still, others also noted that she has publicly asked Lady Gaga to collaborate with her in the past, so perhaps this is a signal about that happening soon.
Others believe it could also be Siwa’s way of signaling that she is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Metro) (Teen Vogue)
Google Investigates Top AI Researcher Who Was Looking Into a Previous Firing
- Google is investigating the co-leader of its Ethical AI team, Margaret Mitchell.
- While Mitchell has not been fired, her account has been locked because Google said she “exfiltrated thousands of files” and shared them with people outside of the company.
- In a tweet, Mitchell indicated that she had been “documenting current critical issues” related to the firing of another Google AI Ethicist in December.
- Sources reportedly told Axios that Mitchell had been specifically looking for messages that showed discriminatory treatment of that fired researcher.
Google Investigates Margaret Mitchell
On Tuesday, Google stated that it is now investigating the co-leader of its Ethical Al team, Margaret Mitchell.
Mitchell has reportedly not been fired, but her company email account has been locked.
According to Google, its security systems automatically lock employee accounts “when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered.”
In this case, Google said Mitchell “exfiltrated thousands of files” and then shared them with people outside of the company.
Why Did Mitchell Begin Looking Through Files?
Mitchell’s investigation is related to the ousting of another top AI ethicist at Google, Timnit Gebru, who was fired at the beginning of December.
Before Gebru was fired, managers reportedly instructed her to withdraw an unpublished research paper upon her return from vacation. In an email to the internal listserv Google Brain Women and Allies, Gebru then voiced frustration at managers for allegedly making the decision without her input.
“You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company,” Gebru said in a critique of the decision.
Gebru’s firing led to such a massive outcry from Google employees that Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledged to investigate the situation.
On Friday, Mitchell indicated in a tweet that she was also looking into Gebru’s firing, saying that she was “documenting current critical issues from [Gebru’s] firing, point by point, inside and outside work.”
According to Axios, sources have said that Mitchell used automated scripts to siphon through messages that potentially document discriminatory treatment against Gebru.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Trump Ban Was the “Right Decision” But Sets “Dangerous” Precedent
- While defending Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, CEO Jack Dorsey noted the “dangerous” precedent such a move set.
- “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
- Dorsey’s message came the same day Twitter fully reinstated Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Co.) account, hours after locking it for violating Twitter rules. A Twitter spokesperson later described the lock as an “incorrect enforcement action.”
Dorsey Describes Trump Ban as a Double-Edged Sword
In a lengthy Twitter thread published Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey defended his platform’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, while also noting the “dangerous” precedent such a unilateral move sets.
Twitter made the decision to ban Trump on Jan. 8, two days after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol complex in an assault that left multiple dead.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey said in the first of 13 tweets.
Nonetheless, Dorsey described Trump’s ban as “the right decision for Twitter.”
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” he added.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey continued.
“[It] sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Dorsey described most bans as a failure of Twitter to “promote healthy conversation,” though he noted that exceptions to such a mindset also exist. Among other failures, Dorsey said extreme actions like a ban can “fragment public conversation,” divide people, and limit “clarification, redemption, and learning.”
Dorsey: Trump Bans Were Not Coordinated
Dorsey continued his thread by addressing claims and criticism that Trump’s ban on Twitter violated free speech.
“A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same,” he said.
Indeed, multiple legal experts have stated that Trump’s ban on social media does not amount to First Amendment violations, as the First Amendment only addresses government censorship.
“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey added. However, Dorsey noted that such a concept has been challenged over the past week.
This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Trump has now been banned or suspended from a number of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Wednesday, Snapchat announced plans to terminate Trump’s account in the “interest of public safety.” Previously, Snapchat had only suspended his account, but as of Jan. 20, it will be permanently banned.
Addressing criticism of the swift bans handed down by these platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Trump’s bans on social media were coordinated.
“More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” he said.
Twitter Reverses Course of Locking Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Account
Dorsey’s thread regarding the fragile nature of regulating users’ privileges on the platform seemed to play out earlier the same day.
On Wednesday, newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) posted a screenshot to Instagram showing that her Twitter account had been locked for six days. The screenshot stated that she had violated Twitter’s rules and would be unable to tweet, retweet, or like until her account was unlocked.
Hours later, Twitter reversed course and fully reinstated her account.
“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action. The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider.
It is unknown what tweet caused that initial ban, as Twitter refused to say.
The latest tweet from Boebert’s account to be tagged with a fact check warning is from Sunday. In that tweet, she baselessly and falsely accuses the DNC of rigging the 2020 Election, a claim that largely inspired the Capitol attacks.