Meanwhile, as James Charles' followers have gone down, Tati Westbrook's have gone up
Nearly 3 million people have unsubscribed from beauty influencer James Charles’ YouTube page over the weekend, amid backlash over his feud with fellow YouTube beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook.
The 19-year-old saw his follower count on his popular page drop from 16.5 million subscribers on Friday to 13.8 million (and counting) by Monday morning, with critics keeping the hashtag #JamesCharlesIsCancelled trending on social media.
Trouble started for Charles back in April, after he posted a sponsored advertisement from Coachella for Sugar Bear Hair vitamins to his Instagram Story.
To the unknown eye, the content didn’t seem at all unusual. But it turns out, the company is a direct competitor to Westbrook’s supplement brand, Halo Beauty.
Upset about it, Westbrook, 37, lashed out on Instagram, explaining in a video that she felt “betrayed” and “lost” (without naming names).
Charles attempted to apologize with his own statement on Instagram, but Westbrook wasn’t having it — especially after Charles’ friend Gabriel Zamora posted a YouTube rant of his own, dragging her and calling her “fraudulent.” In response, she uploaded a 43-minute video on Friday titled ‘BYE SISTER’ in which she accused Charles of being unsupportive, attacked him for spreading lies about her, slammed him for alleged comments he made about other beauty influencers, and claimed he had a habit of sexually harassing straight men.
Westbrook met Charles before he found fame and helped guide his career alongside her husband. Though she was let down by Charles’ lack of loyalty, said that she had never asked him for “a penny,” nor asked him to help promote her brand.
“My relationship with James Charles is not transactional,” she said. “This is me having someone who I mentored, someone who I cared for, really not care for me. … I wrapped so much love around this kid. … I absolutely loved James Charles. My husband loved James Charles. He had an open door here in my home, anytime he had a problem, anytime he needed life advice, business advice, we were here for him.”
“This is more than just a sponsored post. It has layers,” Westbrook added. “There’s so much going on with James Charles right now that I do not support. That I do not agree with. Fame, power, and a fat bank account will change almost anyone. And if you don’t have people who will tell you to your face that you’re doing the wrong things, you will change. I tried to be that person for you, I really tried. I don’t think there’s any getting through with you and I don’t want to be friends with you. I don’t want to be associated with you. And I need to say that publicly so that this chapter will be closed.”
Charles, for his part, didn’t fight Westbrook’s claims.
While traveling in Australia, he posted a tearful 8-minute video on Saturday to his own page titled “Tati,” in which he admitted “there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back.”
“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,” Charles said. “That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry for everything that is going on, everything that I’ve put you through over the past few weeks,” he continued. “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.”
Meanwhile, as Charles’ followers have gone down, Westbrook’s have gone up. Live subscription trackers have shown that she’s gained over 3 million followers, going from 5.9 million on Friday to 9.1 million (and counting) on Monday.