YouTube drama has taken over social media and has dominated headlines as of late. James Charles, a makeup artist and YouTuber who garnered 16 million subscribers in about just two years, and Tati Westbrook, one of the site's original makeup artists, have ended their friendship.
Charles and Westbrook had been friends going back to the start of the former's career, with Tati often promoting James' products and discount codes on her own channel. Westbrook was even kind enough to fly the 19-year-old YouTuber out to Los Angeles in 2017 to do her wedding makeup. However, things took a turn this past Friday when Tati posted a bombshell video titled, "BYE SISTER," a play on words of James' signature catchphrase.
The controversy began in April when James shared a sponsored post for Sugar Baby Hair, one of biggest competitors of Tati's brand, Halo Beauty, to his Instagram Story.
Now, that may just sound like a smart business deal by one of the biggest influencers of the past couple of years, but it was actually controversial, because the reason James told Tati he wouldn't promote her brand was because he didn't want to promote supplements to his young audience. And Sugar Bear Hair provides just that.
this whole situation is sugar bear hair’s fault. listen up:— luiza (lol) rainha do flop (@fliphoseok) May 12, 2019
-james said thinking is not fun and fresh
-takes vitamins since he can’t sleep bc he was thinking
-sugar bear made him lose his 2 braincells
-james stops thinking. he is now fun and fresh
-boom scandal pic.twitter.com/Fv09IPPBwr
In Tati's 40-minute video, she detailed how her issue with James wasn't just the betrayal, but also the teenager's multiple controversies over the past years, including his alleged sexual advances towards straight men, which she says she's tired of defending.
tati westbrook just grabbed the sexual predator and manipulator james charles by the neck and DRAGGED him and his career straight to the cemetery. we stan pic.twitter.com/u6EvzlAiBH— vee (@retrokims) May 10, 2019
The controversy has led to James being "cancelled" and losing over a million subscribers and followers across multiple social media platforms in just days. Among those who've unsubscribed from/unfollowed Charles reportedly includes major celebrities such as Shawn Mendes, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, and Kylie Jenner.
Kylie's unfollowing is the most noteworthy because the makeup mogul, and her sister Kim, have been featured on James' channel in the past.
James has been a massively controversial figure and hasn't always taken the proper steps to apologize, though he tried in a video released the same day as Tati's. However, fans weren't buying his expression of regret.
The comments under James Charles’ apology video have me dead ? pic.twitter.com/aF3iwIWSRr— peachy baby (@BayleeWalters) May 12, 2019
James has been involved in so many controversies, but it looks like this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If his fan support continues to dwindle, this will be one of the biggest downfalls in YouTube history.