- Beauty influencer James Charles posted a YouTube video titled “holding myself accountable” on Thursday to apologize for engaging in sexual and inappropriate communication with minors.
- The 21-year-old claimed he initially wanted to defend himself but said, “I realized that the receipts and the screenshots and the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter because I f**ked up, and I needed to take accountability for my actions, and most importantly, apologize to the people that were affected by them.”
- James still claimed his accusers lied to him about their age, which they have denied, though he ultimately admitted it was his responsibility to verify their ages.
- He said he now understands the power imbalance that exists when he speaks with others, adding that he missed “red flags” and trusted “too quickly” because he is so “desperate” to be in a relationship.
Allegations Against James Charles Grow
Massive social media star James Charles published a YouTube video Thursday apologizing for his inappropriate and sexual communication with teen boys after weeks of growing allegations.
Several underage boys have come forward this year to share their alleged experiences with the 21-year-old beauty influencer. Some accused him of flirting while others said he solicited nude photos from them and sent explicit pictures of himself, along with other sexual messages, when they were under the age of 18.
James addressed one of those accusers in February, claiming the teen had an ulterior motive and had lied to James about his age. That accuser, however, denied James’ claims and said his true age was listed on his social media.
More people then came forward to say that James also allegedly flirted with them after connecting through social media, including a 17-year-old.
Two other 16-year-olds also shared screenshots detailing their alleged experiences with James.
These growing accusations eventually prompted people to become increasingly frustrated, calling this a clear pattern of behavior on James’ part. Others also pointed out that the first 16-year-old’s age was again easy to determine after looking at his public social media posts.
James Issues Apology
In his response video, James appears to only address the two instances that caught the most attention: the one he initially responded to in February and the accusation from the first 16-year-old.
James said his instinct was to come out and defend himself, but added, “As I did more research on these topics and self-reflected, I realized that the receipts and the screenshots and the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter, because I f**ked up, and I needed to take accountability for my actions, and most importantly, apologize to the people that were affected by them.”
He admitted that none of these conversations should have ever happened. “I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself,” he added.
He also said there was “no one to blame for this other than myself,” claiming that he was especially embarrassed because doing research into his accusers’ public social media pages would have revealed their true ages.
“To the guys involved in this situation, I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I added you [on social media], I’m sorry that I flirted with you, and I’m really sorry if I made you uncomfortable. It is completely unacceptable. I was being reckless,” he continued.
As far as why he feels he was so reckless, James said, “It sucks and it is ridiculously embarrassing to admit this, but I think I have to and that is that I’m desperate.”
He said he understands why it looks like he is searching for younger people to be in a relationship with based on all of these accusations, but he denied that this was the case. Instead, he claimed that he seemed to miss “red flags” and trust “too quickly” because he was so focused on finding a relationship.
He admitted to treating his social media as a dating app and said he did not previously understand the power imbalance that exists when he speaks to people. He even brought up 2019 accusations from Tati Westbrook, who at the time accused him of using his money, fame, and power to sexually manipulate men.
James initially denied ever doing that but has now said, “What I wasn’t getting before is that the excitement that comes with talking to a celebrity is literally enough to make somebody do or say something that they normally wouldn’t. Even if that celebrity isn’t intentionally weaponizing their fame, money, or power. And that’s the concept that I just wasn’t getting, but I now do.”
James promised to ask for proper identification from people he chooses to pursue romantic relationships with moving forward. He closed his video by saying that he would take a break from social media to “reflect and further educate myself on these topics.”
“Emancipation” Producer Apologizes, Hopes He Did Not “Distract” From Film’s Message By Bringing Photo of Enslaved Man to Premiere
He said he plans on donating his collection of historical images to appropriate institutions.
McFarland Brings “Whipped Pete” Photo to Premiere
“Emancipation” producer Joey McFarland apologized on Sunday after facing backlash for bringing the original 1863 photo of the enslaved person the film is based on to the premiere.
“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the Emancipation premiere,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today.”
The photo, frequently dubbed “Whipped Peter,” is one of the most famous images depicting the gruesome realities of slavery in America. He is facing away from the camera, revealing the severe scarring all across his back. According to the Library of Congress, the formerly enslaved man was actually named Gordon. Will Smith plays him in “Emancipation,” which follows his escape from slavery.
While walking the red carpet of the film’s premiere, McFarland carried the photo with him.
“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863,” he told Variety. “I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”
While lamenting the fact that so many historical artifacts have not been properly preserved, McFarland told Variety that he “took it upon [him]self to curate and build a collection for future generations.” He said his collection will be donated after he dies.
His remarks were met with swift criticism from those who thought it was inappropriate for McFarland to not just own the picture, but to bring it to a Hollywood event.
“Why do you own the photograph? Why did you bring it to a movie premiere if the intent is to preserve it respectfully?” The Black List founder Franklin Leonard tweeted.
“I don’t know, man, but bringing ‘a piece of Peter’ that you ‘own’ to the red carpet of a movie that’s personally enriching you so that you can collect more slave memorabilia that you’ll keep until your death,” he added along with a giphy of Kenan Thompson saying “yikes.”
McFarland Acknowledges Historical Photos “Belong to the World”
Others argued that the photo should belong to Gordon’s family.
“Being in possession of a symbol that reflects our trauma is exactly what our oppressor would do. He is his ancestor’s child,” another person added.
In his apology, McFarland said that he hopes his actions “don’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”
Throughout the development of “Emancipation,” McFarland said he discovered many photos of overlooked individuals with important historical stories. He said he always planned to donate them and believes “there is no better time to begin that process than now.”
“These photographs, which existed before me, will be around long after I am gone; they belong to the world,” he wrote.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Daily Beast)
Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022
Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show.
For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.
Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed.
Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end.
There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets.
It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.
Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.
Pressure on Beckham
Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup.
Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death.
Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine.
In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.”
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”
Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”
Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.
“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.
Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit.
Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event.
Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage.