CoverGirl ambassador James Charles has lost 3 million followers since fellow beauty Youtuber posted a 43-minute video against him
Makeup artist and YouTuber Tati Westbrook is explaining why she posted the 43-minute tear-down of her former mentee, fellow beauty YouTuber and CoverGirl Ambassador James Charles, that has torn the beauty community apart.
In a new video uploaded on Thursday entitled “Why I Did It…”, the Halo Beauty founder, 37, said that she made the video as an attempt at a “wake-up call” for Charles.
“This was really a wakeup call, and it was me trying to reach someone who I found completely unreachable,” she said. “I had been trying to deliver the same message so many times because this wasn’t just about one thing.”
Westbrook continued to say that the video was about “respect” and “honesty,” and about behavior on Charles’ part that she didn’t agree with. “I think the message was heard,” she said.
The feud began in April, when Charles posted to his Instagram stories about Sugar Bear Hair, a competitor to Westbrook’s Halo Beauty line. Westbrook’s immediate response was also on Instagram. Without naming Charles directly, Westbrook said she felt “betrayed” and “lost.”
But it was in the lengthy video posted last Friday that Westbrook accused Charles of betraying and spreading lies about her, making negative comments about other beauty influencers and allegedly sexually harassing straight men.
Charles did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the allegations, but last week he posted a YouTube video acknowledging he should have been “far more careful” in his interactions
“I knew this would cause a lot of controversy, I know that,” she said of the “Bye Sister” video. “But I didn’t think it would get to this magnitude. I didn’t think it was possible.”
Charles has lost three million subscribers to his YouTube channel since Westbrook’s “Bye Sister” video, including stars like Kylie Jenner and Shawn Mendes. Westbrook didn’t intend or expect the intense wave of backlash to hit the 19-year-old.
“I thought that I would be the one that would take the hit,” Westbrook said in the video uploaded Thursday. Her channel has more than 10.3 million subscribers, while Charles’ had 16.5 million before the scandal. His subscriber count now sits at about 13.4 million.
Westbrook continued to explain that she wishes no ill-will on Charles: “I do really want the hate to stop. I want the picking sides, and the abusive memes and the language, and all of that, I really hope on both sides it can stop. That’s not why I made the video.”
“I’m so disappointed in myself that I ruined our relationship,” he continued. “Throughout all of this, what sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back.”
“In regards to the boy situation, boys have been a topic that I’ve talked a lot about on my social media journey, and it’s a topic that I wish I hadn’t,” Charles said in the video. “I’ve been involved with a lot of unique and strange situations that have left people confused or upset. And I’ve learned the hard way about ways that I can interact with boys that I’m interested in, and also ones that I should or shouldn’t be talking to.”
He added that it’s a topic he should have been “far more careful with.”
Despite the video posted Thursday, Westbrook said she’s still taking a break from social media.
“I’m not back,” she warned subscribers at the beginning of the video. “I needed to hop on, answer some questions and at least do that for you while I take a time out.” She added that while she has some pre-filmed videos she might upload she won’t be filming any new content for the time being.
“I’ve always said I want my channel to be an escape and like a good place to play with makeup and fun stuff like that,” she said. “And I still want my channel to be that, but right now, you know, I need to take a time out.”