Tea in 90 seconds: How YouTuber James Charles lost 2.5 million followers in 3 days
Or: How to lose a career
A new saga is brewing in the west.
If you’re confused yet curious, here’s a quick summary of what’s happening between YouTubers/ influencers/ model/ entrepreneur/ ex-friends James Charles and Tati Westbrook.
Who are they?
James, who turns 20 this year, is a YouTuber, influencer, and model who focuses on makeup and fashion.
He currently has 13.5 million subscribers on YouTube and 15.2 million followers on Instagram.
He’s influential enough to have a collaboration with the Kardashian family and attend the Met Gala, which is one of the most prominent and exclusive social events, ever.
View this post on Instagram
my first met gala 🥺 thank you so much @youtube for inviting me and @alexanderwangny for dressing me! 💕 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!
For close to the past three years, James has also been Tati’s friend and mentee.
Here’s a post from Tati on Jan 14, 2017:
View this post on Instagram
So blessed to have this amazing soul in my life ❤️ @jamescharles Thank you for helping me feel so beautiful on such an important day … your talent is out of this world, but you as a person are even more impressive & special. I'm keeping you close as a friend forever. Love you so much Sister 😘😘😘 Photo Credit: @kaua_wedding_photography
On the other hand, 37-year-old Tati is also a YouTuber, influencer, as well as entrepreneur.
She currently has 2.8 million Instagram followers 9.5 million YouTube subscribers.
Tati owns beauty brand Halo Beauty, a brand of vitamins that claims to improve hair, skin, and nails.
And it is her latest YouTube video “BYE SISTER” that blew up the feud between James and herself.
The 45-minute video:
Since the video was uploaded on May 10, 2019, James has lost almost 3 million subscribers on YouTube, according to tracking site Social Blade.
According to Tati, James had promoted SugarBearHair vitamins on his Instagram, and claimed that he was not paid to do so.
This was *obviously* embarrassing for Tati, whose good friend was now promoting a competitor.
Furthermore, James had previously told Tati that he did not like SugarBearHair, and knocked the other influencers who promoted it.
But Tati says that this is not about money or the vitamins.
Instead, Tati revealed that she and her husband had helped James aplenty over the past three years, taking him in as a friend and mentee when James was not yet popular.
She also accused James of harassing straight men who were not interested in him, as well as making not-so-nice remarks about other influencers.
Tati added that she was tired of apologising on behalf of James, and does not want to be his friend anymore.
As millions flock to Tati’s side, the disgraced James is losing fans almost as fast as Tati is gaining them.
In fact, she has gained about 3.5 million YouTube subscribers since the saga broke.
On the same day (May 10), James apologised in a YouTube video of his own and acknowledged all the help that Tati had given him since entering the industry.
The eight-minute video:
He said in the video:
“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.
I’m not doing that today, I’m not. That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.”
Considering the massive drop in followers, we’re guessing the apology didn’t work.
Here’s a live video of their follower count, in case anyone wants to keep track:
Top image by James Charles and Tati Westbrook
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