YouTube Temporarily Demonetizes James Charles' Account amid Accusations of Sexual Misconduct

The mega-influencer has 25.5 million subscribers on the video platform

James Charles
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty

YouTube has temporarily demonetized James Charles' account after he admitted to sending sexually explicit messages to two underage boys who he believed to be 18.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that the video platform temporarily removed Charles from the YouTube Partner Program and enacted its creator responsibility policy which states: "If we see that a creator's on- and/or off-platform behavior harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community."

It goes on to say that YouTube may take action against creators who intend to cause "malicious harm to others" or who cause "real world harm" via abuse or violence, cruelty, or fraudulent or deceptive behavior.

In addition, the policy says "severe violations that cause widespread harm to the community may have repercussions beyond standard enforcement actions," including monetization, partner management, and promotional opportunities.

YouTube did not say how long Charles' lucrative channel — which boasts 25.5 million subscribers — would be demonetized.

James Charles
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Charles' rep could not be reached for comment.

Last week, Morphe cosmetics announced on Twitter that it would be cutting ties with the troubled influencer following several successful collaborations.

"In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship and wind down sales of the Morphe x James Charles product offering," the cosmetics company wrote. "It is and has always been Morphe's goal to create a positive safe, and empowering space where all beauty lovers can freely share their artistry and passion for cosmetics, and Morphe is committed to furthering that goal."

On April 1, Charles addressed accusations of "grooming" and communicating with minors via Snapchat in a YouTube video entitled "holding myself accountable."

The beauty guru specifically apologized to two underage accusers (who he said initially told him they were 18).

"I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself," Charles explained. "In both of these situations, doing research into these people's public social-media profiles would've revealed their true ages, and therefore these conversations would have never happened in the first place. But I didn't do the research, and that is what is so embarrassing."

"To the guys involved in the situation, I want to say I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sorry that I added you, I'm sorry that I flirted with you, and I'm really sorry that I made you uncomfortable."

"I didn't understand how a situation like this could affect the people involved, but now I do, and for that, to the victims, I am so, so sorry. And I promise that something like this will never ever happen again," Charles concluded.

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