The downfall of James Charles, a once-beloved beauty guru

   If one follows any Youtube beauty guru drama, it is obvious that things can get pretty messy pretty quickly. For the once-beloved beauty guru and content creator, James Charles, his career has taken a massive hit due to various accusations of sexual misconduct with minors.

   Before the drama unfolds, let’s recap James Charles’ rise to fame and earlier scandals.

   James Charles became known initially for his senior portraits at the age of 17. According to Charles, he had requested to re-do his portraits with his own ring light. The request was allegedly accepted and the portrait, as well as the story behind it, took off. With the viral photo he created, Charles was given the opportunity to feature as CoverGirl’s first male cover girl. He gladly took the opportunity in October 2016. Following his feature, he was hosted on the Ellen Show. His rise to fame skyrocketed even more after that appearance.

   With the public eye watching, it is hard to hide your mistakes. For James Charles, it was his tweets. In February 2017, James Charles tweeted a statement that was incredibly insensitive toward Africa when the Ebola virus was spreading all over the continent. CoverGirl spoke out in opposition of Charles’ comments but did not cut ties with him.

   The heavier accusations started in May 2019 after Charles had promoted SugarBearHair, a vitamin company that just so happened to be the competitor of his close friend, Tati Westbrook. After this, Westbrook made a video titled “Bye Sister”, detailing her grievances with the young influencer. She made claims that the fame was getting to his head. She accused him of being sexually manipulative. He allegedly used his fame to try to take advantage of others who had originally refused his advances. Charles defended himself in a Youtube video which later got him forgiveness. Westbrook, in June 2020, publicly apologized to Charles for the accusations she made against him claiming she had been manipulated into making it and going against him so vehemently.

   Another popular influencer, Jeffree Star, who is no stranger to controversy himself, tweeted at the time of Westbrook’s first video, “There is a reason that Nathan [Jeffree’s now ex-boyfriend] banned James Charles from ever coming over to our home again. There’s a reason why I haven’t seen him since @GlamLifeGuru’s [Tati Westbrook] birthday in February. He is a danger to society. Everything Tati said is 100% true.”

   Also during May 2019, Charles experienced backlash while Coachella was happening. According to Instagram model Gage Gomez, Charles allegedly pressured him into sexual situations even though Gomez expressed no interest. Charles was quick to defend himself in a tweet stating that he and Gomez had been talking for five months before Coachella and that everything that happened between them was consensual.

   In February 2021, a 16-year-old boy came out and claimed that Charles, who is now 19 years old, had groomed him and pressured him to send sexually suggestive photos via Snapchat. Charles claimed he was unaware of the boy’s age at the time these interactions took place. Three more boys brought their own stories regarding Charles’ advances. One of them was a 17-year-old who leaked screenshots that accused Charles had continued to flirt with him after learning he was underaged. A third boy of an unknown age also shared his sexually driven conversations with Charles.

    Just a month ago in March 2021, a 15-year-old boy used the popular social platform TikTok to share screenshots from the interactions and photos he had exchanged with Charles. After the photos were leaked, he claims Charles blocked him as well as accusing the boy of lying about his age. The boy claims that Charles had always been aware that he was 15.

   After these accusations from both the alleged victims and other content creators, Charles released a video on April 1 titled “Holding Myself Accountable” where he detailed his side of the story regarding the interactions with said victims. 

   He claims in his video, “Within the past couple of weeks, two different people, both under the age of 18, have recently come forward saying that they had inappropriate messages with me on social media, one of them being from last year and one of them being from more recent. 

   In both of these cases, I added these people on Snapchat and asked how old they were right away, was told that they were 18, believed them, engaged in a flirty conversation, and then later found out that they were actually 16. Upon finding out I was immediately embarrassed and blocked both people.”

   He admitted to his inappropriate interactions with minors, and brands he heavily associates with such as Morphe have cut ties with him as well as being fired from the Youtube series Instant Influencer. Morphe stated in an email to a concerned customer leaked on Twitter, “We have been actively looking into the recent allegations against James Charles, and have suspended marketing of the Morphe X James Charles collaboration while we continue to evaluate and monitor the situation.”

    Youtube has also completely demonetized his channel.