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Watch: After Feud with Beauty Guru, YouTube Star James Charles Loses Nearly 2M Followers

Monday May 13, 2019

Makeup vlogger James Charles has reportedly lost nearly 2 million followers on his YouTube channel following the fallout he had with beauty guru Tati Westbrook, CNN reports.

On Friday, the 19-year-old YouTube star had 16 million subscribers but as of this writing has just under 14 million followers. The huge drop-off comes after Charles and fellow beauty expert Westbrook became locked in an intense feud over the weekend that blew up on Twitter.

Here is a recap of how we got to Charles in follower free-fall: Charles and Westbrook have been friends for some time as Westbrook mentored Charles as he rose to fame on YouTube for his makeup tutorials. But back in April during the Coachella Music Festival, Charles shared a sponsored post to his Instagram Stories for Sugar Bear Hair supplements — a rival company for Westbrook's brand Halo Beauty.

Westbrook said she felt betrayed and said Charles was being unsupportive of her and her brand. Charles later apologized to her in another post to his Instagram Stories.

But on Friday, Westbrook fired back with a 43-minute video calling out Charles on a number of things, revealing she had decided to sever times with him. She accused him of lying and saying hurtful things about other beauty vloggers and accused Charles, who identifies as gay, of making sexually inappropriate comments towards straight men and having no regard for men's sexual orientation.


"Oh, my god! You tried tricking a straight man into thinking he's gay yet again, and somehow you're the victim," Westbrook said. "You know it's really disgusting to manipulate someone's sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don't have everything quite figured out.

"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 embarrass them," she added. "And you're doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor, even if they're straight. And you know what? That's not OK."

After Westbrook's video went viral, singer Zara Larsson retweeted a clip of Westbrook's video where she discussed Charles' alleged sexual behavior. Larsson added her own comment, writing, "I'm cackling because he hit up my boyfriend in the DMs several times knowing damn well he's straight."

Larson since deleted her tweet but Paper magazine reports that she later clarified her tweet, saying Charles sent a direct message to her boyfriend once but commented on his photos.

"I feel like deleting this cause I checked and it wasn't several times, only one DM and some comments under pictures," she wrote.

Larsson deleted that tweet as well.

Charles shared his own video Friday, apologizing again to Westbrook and her husband.

"To Tati and James Westbrook I'm sorry for everything that is going on, everything that I've put you through over the past few weeks," he said. "Most of my career over the past few years has been about me making mistakes and trying to learn and grow from them. I haven't always done the best job of that, I can admit that. But I have always tried."


CNN notes most people on social media have sided with Westbrook over the drama as her YouTube subscriber count is climbing and Charles continues to drop. There's even a live YouTube video that's keeping track.

This isn't the first time Charles has found himself in the headlines. Back in 2017, Charles, who was 17 years old at the time, came under fire for joking he could catch Ebola while he travels to Africa. Later that year, he got into a feud from the kid actors in the horror remake of "It."

In 2018, he apologized to singer Shawn Mendes for comments he made during an Instagram Live session. Charles wrote he was "sorry if [Mendes] felt sexually harassed." Mendes later responded and said he "never said I don't like you or that you make me uncomfortable. Your comment actually make me laugh and I love them! Hope you're all good xx."

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