James Charles Denies Singing N-Word Lyric in Instagram Story: 'How Stupid Would I Have to Be?'
Fans accused the YouTube beauty influencer of saying the N-word while singing along to rapper Saweetie's song, "My Type"
James Charles is setting the record straight about what happened on New Year’s Eve.
On Tuesday, the YouTube beauty influencer, 20, shared a video of himself on his Instagram Story singing along to Saweetie’s hit, “My Type” while at a New Year’s Eve party.
A few hours after Charles shared the clip, multiple people on Twitter accused him of mouthing the N-word along with the lyrics.
“Why is nobody talking about James Charles SAYING THE N WORD TWO TIMES IN A IG STORY,” one person tweeted along with a screengrab of the video.
The video quickly began circulating online with many fans asking Charles if he had actually said the derogatory word or not.
“no? turn up the volume & listen, I skip over it. how stupid would I have to be to confidently record a video of me singing the n word and still have it up the next morning,” the beauty guru said.
A source close to Charles tells PEOPLE: “If you actually watch the video, it’s clear he skips over the word. James would never, ever utter that word. This is just an attempt of bored Twitter trolls grasping at straws.”
The scandal comes six months after Charles faced intense internet scrutiny after a vicious feud with former friend and fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook. In November 2019, the star admitted he still was dealing with fallout of the drama since the hate online severely impacted his mental health.
“I’m not mentally in a place where I want to be. What’s even harder to swallow is that it’s been six months since all the drama happened,” the star told Paper magazine.
He added, “I thought by this time I’d be completely good — back to normal, if you will — and that’s not the case.”
In a lengthy video (that has since been deleted), Westbrook accused Charles of betraying and spreading lies about her, making negative comments about other beauty influencers and allegedly sexually harassing straight men. Quickly after Westbrook’s tell-all, Charles lost nearly 3 million subscribers, dropping from 16.5 million subscribers to 13.8 million in just three days, while critics kept the hashtag #JamesCharlesIsCancelled trending on social media. He’s since regained nearly all his followers, and is back up to over 16 million YouTube subscribers.
At the time of their feud, Charles fired back at Westbrook’s video in a more in-depth video of his own titled “No More Lies” where he shut down all her sexual harassment allegations. He said: “I have never and would never and will never use my fame, money or power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. It is not me and the fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind.”
Charles also faced backlash in the past for tweeting a racist remark about Africa. In a now-deleted tweet posted in early 2017, he said, “‘I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?’ ‘James we’re fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year.’ …. ?”
After being called out for the ignorant remark, Charles apologized on Twitter.
“I am extremely sorry. Regardless of my intentions, words have consequences. I take full responsibility and will learn and do better,” he said.