James Charles is one of the most influential humans in the world of beauty, and up until this weekend, he was one of the most popular makeup gurus on YouTube. Now however, things are looking a little bit different.
On Friday 10th May, fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook posted a 43-min video to her YouTube channel titled Bye Sister and since then, the beauty community has been going wild. Everyone from Jeffree Star to Kylie Jenner have been getting involved in the drama, and James has lost over 2.6 million subscribers.
So what's all the drama about? Here's a timeline of everything that's gone on so far...
Feb 2017: James posted an offensive tweet
Back in 2016, James made history when he was named as a spokesperson for US beauty brand, CoverGirl. However, the following year his career was damaged when he posted a tweet that many found offensive. On a school trip to Africa, he tweeted "I can't believe we're going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?"
He quickly deleted the tweet and posted a heartfelt apology, explaining that he understood that his remark was "offensive and ignorant" and that he "clearly has a lot to learn."
October 2018: Shawn Mendes drama
James Charles sparked controversy after leaving numerous comments on singer Shawn Mendes' social media accounts, that many deemed inappropriate.
During one of Shawn's Instagram live streams, in which he was showing off some impressive juggling skills (random, we know), James posted a comment saying: "Can you juggle me like that?" Shortly afterwards, Shawn abruptly ended the live stream and many fans speculated that it was James' comment that triggered him to end the stream.
James posted a response on Twitter apologizing to Shawn, who then privately messaged James to clear up any misunderstanding and resolve their friendship.
April 2019: James made an offensive comment about a trans male
In a video called "The TRUTH... My Crush Does My Makeup," James opened up about his sexuality with his friend Jeff. Jeff asked James, "You're not even full gay?" to which James replied, "I mean no, there have been girls in the past that I have felt were really, really beautiful, there's also been like trans guys in the past that I was like really, really into for a moment."
Fans were quick to call James out for putting cisgender women and trans men in the same category. As trans men are men.
James took to Twitter to apologize and explain, "I unintentionally implied that my trans brothers & sisters aren't valid. This is NOT what I was trying to say. You are valid in your identity!! I apologize & should’ve chosen my words wiser!"
April 2019: James was criticized for high ticket prices for his upcoming tour
When James announced that he'd be going on a US-wide tour to meet subscribers, his fans were delighted. However, he quickly received backlash when the ticket prices where revealed. Many fans claimed that the pricing of his tour tickets (which range from $52.50-$500), seemed like a lot for his fans who are primarily young teens.
James replied to the backlash saying: "I am sorry that we disappointed many of you. We have worked very hard to put this tour together and want it to be accessible for everyone & an amazing experience no matter the ticket."
May 2019: The Met Gala
When James Charles landed an invite to one of the most exclusive events of the year, the 2019 Met Gala, he caused controversy with an Instagram post that many deemed insensitive.
Fans called him out for comparing privileged influencers to marginalized groups who fight for representation in literally every field. YouTubers are in the business of media and with millions of followers on his own channel, there's no way that James has to fight for representation.
James responded to the backlash on Instagram stories, saying, "I wanted to say thank you for those who left positive comments on today’s Met Gala video, the reaction is definitely quite split," he explained. “I knew this was going to happen though… Anytime anything like this ever happens, with an influencer doing something new, people tend to be very up in arms about it, but I can see why. But regardless, it was a such a huge honor and I had so much fun being there. I met so many amazing people and nothing is going to take away my amazing time that I had.”
May 2019: His Sugarbear Hair video
This was where the drama started between James and Tati. James posted an Instagram Story promoting the Kardashians' favorite Sugar Bear Hair vitamins, and then just a few hours later, Tati uploaded a series of emotional Instagram stories, where she tearfully explained that she felt "really used."
"When you do things for people in your life and they not only don't return the favor but they don't even see you. I get it, like I fucking get it. I'm just so upset. I feel really used and that's the bad part of Hollywood. Welcome to show business, everybody says what they need to say, and uses who they need to use to get ahead, and I have had about enough. It's not right."
As Tati owns her own vitamin supplement company called Halo Beauty, it didn't take long for fans to realize that Tati was indirectly referring to James supporting her brand's biggest competitor.
In response, James did not take down the Sugar Bear Hair promotion, but instead, he posted a statement directly apologizing to Tati on his Instagram Stories. Claiming that he was not paid for the promotion, despite labeling it #ad.
May 2019: Tati posted "Bye Sister" video
On Friday 10th May, fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook, posted a 43-min video to her YouTube channel titled "Bye Sister" and since then the beauty community has been going wild. Everyone from Jeffree Star to Kylie Jenner has been getting involved in the drama, and James has lost over 2.6 million subscribers.
Tati explained that she wasn't going to address their falling out publicly, but after fellow YouTuber Gabriel Zamora (aka the "keep it 100" guy) uploaded a video criticizing her, accusing her of using James, she felt she had to.
Tati explained that despite being friends with James for years, she no longer wishes to be associated with him.
“There is so much going on with James Charles right now that I don’t agree with. Fame, power, and a fat bank account will change almost anyone and if you don’t have people that will tell you to your face that you’re doing the wrong things, you will change.
"I tried to be that person for you James, I really tried. I don’t think there’s any getting through to you and I don’t want to be friends with you, I don’t want to be associated with you and I need to say that very publicly so that this chapter can just be closed.”
May 2019: James posted a response video
After seeing all the drama exploding across social media, James Charles took to YouTube to post a tearful response video.
Stating that he has made mistakes in his career and "hates" knowing that he has disappointed people that have been role models to him. However he wants to keep "learning and growing, and be the best possible version of me that I can be."