Just over a week ago YouTuber, James Charles attended the Met Gala and now he’s facing the biggest scandal of his life. In just a matter of days, James has lost over three million subscribers on YouTube.
For months he’s has been the number one beauty YouTuber in the industry until former friend and YouTuber, Tati Westbrook, posted a video slamming James. The video was a ghastly 43 minutes long, unveiling a side of James the world had no idea existed.
Who is James Charles?
If you don’t know who James Charles is, his career skyrocketed when he was named the first ever male ambassador for CoverGirl at the age of 17. The second he graduated high school he moved cross country to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the beauty industry.
Since launching his channel in 2015, James has grown his YouTube channel to over 16 million subscribers. He has collaborated with big names like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Iggy Azalea. The peak of his career happened earlier this year when he released his own palette with Morphe.
He has been in the industry for only 3 years and has gained more popularity than any other beauty guru.
Who is Tati Westbrook?
Tati Westbrook is an OG (original) beauty YouTuber, who started her career on the channel in 2010. Since then she has gained millions of followers and even started her own company, Halo Beauty. She too has several accomplishments, such as winning the Allure Beauty Blogger Award, and YouTube Breakout Beauty Celebrity.
Tati + James: Their Relationship
James and Tati’s relationship dates back to when he wasn’t making money off of videos. Tati actually showed James how to make a career off of YouTube.
James even referred to her as “mom” from time to time as she served as a mentor to him when he moved to Los Angeles. Tati has always been a huge supporter of James, always posting about his palette and constantly promoting his channel. They have collaborated on many videos and he even did her makeup on her wedding day, as seen above.
Now Back to the Scandal . . .
It all blew up when James posted an Instagram story promoting SugarBearHair Vitamins, that contain biotin, helping your hair grow. Now, Tati has her own vitamin brand . . . so you can see why she would be upset that James is promoting her number one competitor. She responded shortly with her own voicing how upset she was, he quickly responded with another Instagram story saying . . .
I want to publicly apologize to my close friend Tati. She has been like a mother to me since my first days in the industry and has given me more love, support, resources and advice than I could ever ask for.”
For Tati, the vitamin scandal was her last straw. Tati’s 43-minute video exposed James in more than one calling him out on his actions and questioning his character. One of them being that he is a “phony,” he can “easily be bought,” and that a “good time is more important to him than his integrity.”
Long story short, Tati explains that the fast fame James has received has gone straight to his head. After her video went viral, receiving over 44 million views, other influencers have chimed in. Jeffree Star, another prominent name in the beauty industry, shared a tweet confirming everything Tati revealed.
So what do you do when your whole career flashes before your eyes? You use your crisis communication skills and try to figure this mess out.
James decided to respond with an 8-minute video, a fifth of the video Tati put out. He right away admits fault to all and apologizes to both Tati and her husband. He explains that he didn’t go into depth because it “doesn’t matter anymore” and he knows there is nothing he can say or do to win her trust back.
Although getting a response video up in just a few hours seemed like a good way to respond, it did not save his channel. Many argued that James’ response wasn’t well thought out compared to Tati’s. James has lost 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube because of the scandal. Whereas, Tati started at 5 million subscribers and has now reached 10 million as of May 15th. By releasing a response video quickly, James thought he would be beating the media from spreading stories but that is the opposite of what happened.
No other YouTube scandal has picked up as much attention as this one. I believe it is all because of the power of social media. Social media has the power to spin any story and make it go viral. Media outlets that have picked up on this story include big names like The New York Times, CNN and E! News.
We will have to wait and see how James responds next as his following continues to drop. For now, he is laying low and that might be the best option for him.
Once again, this makes us wonder is all publicity good publicity? James needs to think of a game plan for a response and fans wait and continue to jump to conclusions.