James Charles loses millions of subscribers in YouTube feud


james charles met gala instagram
Photo: Instagram

Gay YouTube star James Charles has shed 2.7 million of his subscribers in just three days after a public spat with a fellow beauty vlogger.

The US-based 19-year-old posts makeup tutorials and beauty reviews to YouTube and had amassed a following of over 16.5 million subscribers.

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In 2016, Charles became the first male ambassador for beauty brand Covergirl at age 16.

But Charles’ feud with fellow beauty vlogger and former mentor Tati Westbrook has seen subscriber count dramatically plunge to 13.9 million.

It started on April 22 when Charles posted a video to his Instagram for a gummy vitamins brand while at Coachella.

The supplements are a direct competitor of Westbrook’s own brand and soon after she shared a video of her own to Instagram, in which she said she felt “lost” and “betrayed” by someone she didn’t name.

Charles quickly responded with a public apology to his “close friend” Tati.

“She has been like a mother to me since my first days in this industry and has given me more love, support, resources and advice than I could ever ask for,” Charles said.

“This weekend I did an Instagram story for sleep vitamins that I’ve been taking because the brand helped me with security when the crowd around me at Coachella became unsafe.

“I did not accept any money from this post.”

‘Somehow you’re the victim’

On Friday, Tati uploaded a 43-minute video to YouTube explaining why she will no longer work for Charles and accusing him of inappropriate comments and behaviour around other men.

“You tried tricking a straight man into thinking he’s gay yet again, and somehow you’re the victim,” she said.

“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.

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“You’re threatening to ruin them. You’re threatening to embarrass them. And you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favour, even if they’re straight.

“And you know what? That’s not okay. That behaviour’s not okay.

“I don’t want to be friends with you. I don’t want to be associated with you.”

‘I haven’t always done the best job’

Charles was in Queensland opening a pop-up store at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast when the video went live and responded with his own emotional apology video.

“To Tati and [her husband] 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.

He continued, “Boys have been a topic that I’ve talked a lot about on my social media journey, and I wish I hadn’t.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of very unique and strange situations that have left people confused or upset.

“I learned the hard way about ways I can interact with boys I’m interested in.

“This is a conversation that I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with, and it’s something I should have been far more careful with, bringing into the public eye.”

Charles’ followers are appearing to take sides in the social media spat, with millions unfollowing him and subscribing to Tati, who has gained 2.9 million fans in just three days.

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