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James Charles’s Controversies Go Way Beyond His Feud With Tati Westbrook

Updated August 18, 2020 45k views12 items
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Drama between YouTuber vloggers, social media influencers, and internet celebrities is essentially the bread and butter of the industry - stars get "canceled" with increasing regularity, and feuds pop up left and right. One of the biggest and most attention-grabbing of these internet conflicts was sparked between beauty vloggers James Charles and Tati Westbrook in May 2019.

The battle began when Westbrook released a lengthy video accusing Charles of betraying their friendship and accusing him of predatory sexual behavior, all of which Charles vehemently denied. Fellow YouTubers like Jeffree Star, Shane Dawson, and Nikkita Dragun all weighed in and chose sides as Charles began losing millions of followers per day. The feud got so out of hand, media outlets that rarely report on social media personalities were jumping to get coverage, including The New York Times. Then, after several tearful apology videos and calls for civility, it all dissipated as quickly as it begun.

However, this dispute wasn't the first headline-grabbing fiasco Charles has found himself in over the course of his relatively short career. From making racially questionable jokes to releasing allegedly hives-inducing makeup products to picking fights with child actors, here's a look back at all the biggest dramas that have plagued Charles's career long before his infamous feud with Westbrook.

  • November 2017: He Apologizes For (And Brings Light To) Racially Charged Remarks From His Past

    Mere months after the heat from his "Ebola joke" subsided, Charles posted an apology video on Instagram to address some racially questionable tweets he had posted (and since deleted) when he was 13. The comments - screenshots of which are still floating around the internet - included terms like "stupid Indian man" and "Mexican Instagram slave."

    Charles's apology addressed his "racist past" which, according to Charles, "should’ve been done a very long time ago." However, it mostly just drew attention to years-old remarks most people didn't know about in the first place. His attempts to proactively apologize only shined an even brighter spotlight on his past actions.

  • April 2018: He Calls Ariana Grande Rude

    Video: YouTube

    While filming a makeup tutorial with fellow YouTubers Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams, Charles was asked who he thought the rudest celebrity was among those he'd met. He responded with an anecdote about singer Ariana Grande.

    Charles said that while he liked her music, he had a "really crappy experience with her." He attended one of her shows and exchanged messages with her over Instagram, and she subsequently followed him on Twitter. However, after fans began pointing out his questionable comments from several months prior, she unfollowed him, which seemingly offended Charles.

    In the wake of Charles's complaints, the wrath of Grande's devoted followers was swift and unrelenting, with many fans slamming the beauty vlogger for his remarks and others dredging up screenshots of his problematic tweets.

  • November 2018: He's Accused Of Faking His Swatches

    When Charles released his first beauty product, the James Charles x Morphe eyeshadow palette, the beauty vlogger posted a video swatching the colors on his forearm. However, some aspects of the video appeared suspicious. For example, when he showed off the black shade "Spooky," eagle-eyed viewers noticed that he appeared to be running his finger over an already existing swatch of color.

    Some viewers accused Charles of faking the swatch to hide the poor quality of the product, which he vehemently denied. According to Charles, "A few shades I layered twice because the first swatch wasn’t good or because I had to re say my sentence and wasn’t going to continue washing my arm, or that would REALLY mess them up. Not hiding anything." Despite his efforts, his explanation failed to curtail allegations of fraud.

  • November 2018: His Palette Is Accused Of Causing Hives

    Shortly after the release of the James Charles x Morphe eyeshadow palette, Charles found himself under attack from a very unhappy and vocal customer who goes by @kodeerants on Twitter. She claimed in a lengthy video that the pink shade "Skip" had semi-permanently stained the skin around her eyes and caused hives. Charles responded in a less-than-sympathetic manner:

    Most pinks, purples, & reds all stain certain skin types. This is common knowledge to all makeup lovers. you accusing me of lying to fans & not caring about people is a ridiculous cry for attention. if you have hives, consult your dermatologist, not me for likes on twitter.

    While @kodeerants didn't accept this answer and called his lack of sympathy for her "truly shocking," many of Charles's fans and followers vocally supported the vlogger, agreeing that the unhappy customer should have known the risks of skin staining.