YouTuber James Charles has addressed the allegations made against him after he lost two million YouTube subscribers in just two days.
The 19-year-old beauty vlogger has attracted criticism in recent days for his use of the term ‘influencer representation’, which some felt appeared to imply Charles had faced discrimination for being a successful YouTuber.
After attending the Met Gala, Charles wrote the following post on Instagram:
My first met gala thank you so much @youtube for inviting me and @alexanderwangny for dressing me!
[Love] being invited to such an important event like the ball is such an honor and a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media and I am so excited to be a catalyst. video coming tomorrow!
Charles was criticised further after his former friend Tati Westbrook posted a 43 minute-long video which outlined his alleged ‘problematic behaviour’.
According to Westbrook, Charles had ‘used fame, power and money to play with people’s emotions’ and ‘tried to trick a straight man into thinking he was gay’.
In the video – entitled ‘Bye Sister’ – Westbrook said:
You tried to trick a straight man into thinking he was gay, yet again,
And somehow, you’re the victim. You know, it’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they are emerging into adulthood.
You are using your fame, your power, your money to play with people’s emotions, You’re threatening to ruin them.
You’re threatening to embarass them. And you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor, even if you’re straight. And you know what, that’s not ok.
You can watch Westbrook’s video – which has been viewed over 24 million times at the time of writing – for yourself below:
To make matters worse, Charles came under further scrutiny after turning up to an Australian meet and greet almost two hours late. He had also raised prices for his world tour, with some tickets and packages going for as much as $500.
After his YouTube subscribers plummeted, Charles has spoken out about the controversy which has led to a demise in his popularity in a YouTube video entitled ‘Tati’.
Addressing the allegations made by Westbrook, Charles said:
What sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back but I don’t blame them for it,
A lot of the time when I’ve had to address things in the past, I’ve acted out of impulse and I’ve gone off and tried to pull receipts or facts or screenshots and play the victim and I’m not doing that today, I’m not.
That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.
At the time of writing, Charles’ apology video has been viewed over 22 million times.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.