Here’s why James Charles has lost 2 million YouTube subscribers in a weekend
It all kicked off from an Instagram post
RIGHT are you ready for some YouTuber beef so rare it'll give you an ulcer?
Well good, because this weekend has seen scalding hot tea hurled at James Charles's impeccably moisturised face by a former mentor and his subscribers cannot escape fast enough – two million have already left and they're still on their way out.
Kylie Jenner, Shawn Mendes, Miley Cyrus and more have unfollowed him on Instagram. Even more have jumped in to cancel him on Twitter. James recently uploaded a grovelling apology to his channel in response, in which he says: “I’m sorry for everything that is going on everything and I’ve put you through over the past three weeks.”
This is what you’ll have read everywhere, and you’ll have seen the many excellent memes about it, you know there’s tea… but what exactly has happened? Who even is this Tati?
Here is a timeline of everything you need to know about the beef between James Charles and Tati Westbrook:
They’re both beauty vloggers with massive followings
Both James Charles and Tati Westbrook are beauty vloggers and are huge within that community – James in particular is a breakout star. Last week he boasted 16 million subscribers. His videos feature make-up tutorials, challenges, and vlogs.
Tati's channel, which has grown from five million to nine million subscribers over the last three days, features similar content. Tati has been a fixture in the beauty vlogging community for years, her channel's oldest video was uploaded in 2011. She is widely credited for helping James Charles's career take off.
Both creators sell a variety of merch – James's Morphe palette sold out twice.
James has described how Tati is like a mother to him. Tati says her and her husband helped James start out in the industry and would read over contracts to make sure he wasn’t being ripped off.
They fell out over an Instagram story
Two weeks ago, James Charles posted an Instagram story praising SugarBearHair sleeping Vitamins, claiming they had helped him manage stress while he was at Coachella.
Not long after this, Tati, who markets her own brand of vitamins, posted a story in response. Openly crying, she said: “When you do so much for people in your life and they not only don’t return the favour, but they just don’t even see you… Like, I get it. I feel really used.”
James quickly took down the story, and posted an apology, claiming he had not accepted money for the post. He thanked Tati, describing her as a “mother in the industry”, for her support. He concluded: “In the moment, I didn’t think about the competition, which was an oversight.
“I’m devastated that I hurt someone I love and have a lot of respect for.”
Tati then uploaded the now infamous ‘BYE SISTER’ video which cost James Charles two million subscribers
Westbrook uploaded a video on the 10th of May titled “BYE SISTER”, in which she addresses the situation. At the time of writing, the video has 33 million views. It’s really long and confusing.
The 43-minute video opens with a montage of clips in which Tati has previously endorsed James, and other times the pair have collaborated, before she discusses how being a famous YouTuber has changed him.
She says: “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 don’t want to be friends with you. I don’t want to be associated with you.”
Tati then explains how she and her husband would assist him financially and claims her husband spent “hours on the phone, looking over contracts, getting him in a better position.”
“We helped get him into a style hall after basically no one wanted to work with him after the ebola scandal,” she says.
In the video, she accuses him of ‘manipulating’ straight men into getting with him
The talking point of the video is the accusation that James used his fame and influence to entice straight men into relationships, claiming he also threatened several of them.
She said: “It’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality especially when they are emerging into adulthood and don’t quite have everything figured out.
“You are using your fame, your power, your money, to play with people’s emotions. You’re threatening to ruin them. You’re threatening to embarrass them."
Tati claimed James Charles had spoken to ‘drama channels’, which is why she chose to come after him publicly
Tati guesses viewers may have been confused as to why she was calling James out publicly rather than talk to him. She says she had intended to speak with him privately, but changed her mind after she learned James had already given his side to YouTube gossip channels in an attempt at “damage control”.
She says: “I was planning on hopping in my car and sitting down with him, but I changed my mind very very quickly when I found out he’d been giving his side to drama channels.
"He had been in contact with plenty of them. I knew this was immediately about damage control and had little to do with his care for me.”
A video posted to Tea Spill reveals James had spoken to the channel, but had declined to comment on the situation. The message read: “Until Tati feels comfortable and ready to talk to me in private, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on her publicly.”
James Charles then uploaded an apology video to his channel apologising to Tati
On the same day, James Charles uploaded a video titled “Tati”, in which he apologises to her and his fans. He admits he’s “learned the hard way” about his interactions with boys, and asks his mother not to defend him.
He said: “I owe everybody an explanation and I owe two people an apology. I’m sorry for everything that is going on everything and I’ve put you through over the past three weeks.”
He added: “What sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back but I don’t blame them for it.
“I’ve learned the hard way about the ways I can interact with boys. This is a conversation I should have been far more careful bringing into the public eye.
“She told me how it looked from the outside, she said talking to these boys might get you in trouble one day, and she was right.”
Zara Larsson has claimed James hit on her boyfriend and Jeffree Star is throwing major shade
Fellow beauty vlogger Jeffree Star has not directly addressed the beef, but congratulated Tati Westbrook for hitting six million subscribers the day after her video was uploaded. He also tweeted: "The truth always tastes better than a lie."
James's drop in subscribers means Jeffree is the most subscribed to beauty YouTuber.
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) May 10, 2019
Zara Larsson has also weighed in, claiming James Charles approached her boyfriend. She tweeted: "I’m cackling cause he hit up my boyfriend in the DMs several times knowing damn well he’s straight."
Zara later clarified, saying: "It wasn't several times, only one DM and some comments under pictures." She then deleted both tweets.
James Charles has since lost over 2 million subscribers
After Tati's video amassed 30 million views on YouTube, James Charles’s subscriber count dropped by over one million in a day, making it one of the biggest subscriber drops in the site’s history. Tati, meanwhile, has seen her popularity skyrocket, and has grown by over three million subscribers.
People are watching livestreams showing James Charles's subscribers dropping, while Tati Westbrooks's rise.
Jame Charles has not spoken publicly since.