James Charles Faces Backlash for Impersonating Latin TikTok Character, Rosa
- Fans of the beloved TikTok star known as Rosa are slamming James Charles for uploading an impersonation that included the Latin character’s stereotypical accent.
- Some felt it was wrong for a non-Latino person to impersonate the character, while others argued that it’s commonly done across the app.
- Amidst the drama, Adam Martinez, the creator behind the character, seemingly tried to calm fans by saying that his videos are meant to bring joy to people around the world.
James Charles Posts Rosa Impersonation
After much backlash, YouTuber James Charles took down a Snapchat video of himself impersonating Latin TikTok star @adamrayokay’s alter ego, Rosa.
For those who aren’t aware, 20-year-old Adam Martinez’s Rosa character is essentially an exaggerated comedic stereotype of a young Latina. Rosa videos are usually filmed as if she were speaking to someone, which allows room for viewers to upload their own take on the scene using TikTok’s duet feature or the original audio.
The specific Rosa video that James was attempting to recreate is captioned: “POV: Rosa finds out her 8th period partner is gay.” It features Rosa explaining to her fellow classmate why she suspected he was gay.
POV: Rosa finds out her 8th period partner is gay😭😂 #fyp #viral #foryou♬ original sound – adamrayokay
In his Snapchat, James attempted to replicate that TikTok while putting on Rosa’s accent, a move that many felt crossed a line.
Some called the impersonation disrespectful and even racist. Others noted that there is a major difference between a member of a community making jokes about stereotypes as opposed to outsiders doing it.
fact that most of us know ppl who are like rosa and marlene etc. we grew up with them in the neighborhood or in family, in school. for us its all love but james charles is just icky so im not about it. feels more like mocking and rejoicing in stereotypes tbh— jenna vélez (@northernbruja) February 25, 2020
Rosa is pretty well-loved on the app and has quickly helped Martinez shoot to over 2.5 million TikTok followers since first posting as the character in December 2019. Latin creators who post Rosa duets have also been met with support and have been affectionately dubbed members of the “Rosa Cinematic Universe” by viewers, so it’s not uncommon to see people upload their own responses or takes on the character’s scenes.
Because of Rosa’s popularity, many have defended James for recreating a character that tons of others online also impersonate.
However, some argued that James’ version is slightly different in nature, aside from the fact that he isn’t Latino. Rather than mouthing over the original audio of the clip or responding in his normal voice using the duet feature, James specifically used an accent.
The conversation then shifted to whether or not impersonating the character’s accent was any different than lipsyncing the audio. Others said any non-Latino’s impersonating Rosa is wrong and should stop.
Each and every single non-Latin doing this impression are wrong, he just so happened to be the one with the biggest following. This is problematic as the fake thick accent he did as a WHITE person is the same Hispanic speaking people are bullied, harrased and even killed for…— flujo laminar (@TitiMtz) February 26, 2020
Adamrayokay Attempts to Calm Fans
Without specifically mentioning the drama, Martinez tweeted about the purpose of his videos in an apparent attempt to alleviate the tension. “My videos are made to bring JOY to people all around the world,” he wrote. “Let’s remember that keep the positivity going!!!”
“Love u,” James responded to the post.
James later sent out a tweet that many assumed was, at least in part, related to all of the backlash. “I get that a lot of people don’t like me. I’ve learned to accept & understand it – but the extent that some people on this app are willing to go in attempt to ruin my life is truly sad,” he wrote.
“I hope one day people find a way to feel validation without having to bash others for likes.”
See what others are saying: (DailyDot) (Seventeen) (PopBuzz)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.