The Brief: After beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook released a video publicly cancelling fellow YouTuber James Charles, James' number of subscribers dropped by over 3 million.

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DEEP DIVE

3 million YouTube subscribers have officially cancelled James Charles.

According to Social Blade, as of Friday May 10th, the 19-year-old beauty blogger, who’s known for his makeup tutorials and collaborations with fellow YouTubers like Jeffree Star, had around 16.5 million subscribers. As of Monday, that number has since fallen to about 13.8 million and shows no signs of slowing down.

Nearly 3 million people unsubscribed from James’ YouTube page, amid backlash over his feud with fellow YouTube beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook. Celebs who have unfollowed James include Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner.

On Friday, Tati released a 43-minute video titled “Bye Sister,” which directly drags the way James opens each of his videos with “Hi Sisters”. In said video, which has over 35 million views, Tati slams James for alleged comments he’s made about other beauty influencers, accuses him of spreading lies about her, and claims he has had a habit of sexually harassing straight men.

The History

The beginning of the Tati and James feud dates back to April when James shared a sponsored advertisement from Coachella for Sugar Bear Hair vitamins to his Instagram Story. As it turns out, Sugar Bear is a direct competitor to Tati’s supplement brand, Halo Beauty.

While James made a half-hearted apology via Instagram Story, without getting too specific or naming names, Tati wasn’t having it. In her video, she publicly cancels James Charles, renouncing any friendship they may have had.

The Internet’s Response

James Charles stans and haters have since taken to the internet to meme their thoughts on the feud.

So far, the internet seems to be siding with Tati as she is gaining YouTube subscribers just as quickly as James is losing them. The majority of the related memes and tweets drag James for his alleged behavior as well as for previous questionable actions.

This certainly isn’t the first time that a Youtuber has had past comments and other questionable behavior brought to the public’s attention.

As we saw with Dramageddon, beauty vloggers are notorious for throwing shade and sipping tea. Sometimes, that tea runneth over and the internet is here for it.

This Millennial clearly has Earth Day on his mind…

TikTok users have taken to roasting and imitating James Charles, utilizing the hashtags #JamesCharles or #JamesCharlesisCancelled.

James Charles vs. Straight Men

In her video, Tati mentions an inappropriate comment James made about wanting to hook up with a straight waiter at a restaurant, disregarding his sexual orientation. According to Tati, James has made similar comments on more than one occasion, claiming to “turn” any straight man, gay.

This has been the subject of many memes.

The unholy trinity. from r/dankmemes

SpIlL tHe TeA sIs!! from r/dankmemes

This Twitter user even made the connection between James Charles and Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

Rowling’s retroactive changes to the beloved book series, including her announcement that the character Dumbledore was gay, despite the fact that there is no mention in the series itself, became the subject of many memes earlier this year.

Met Gala Marginalization

Last week, James Charles attended the Met Gala. After thanking YouTube for the invite, he went on to express his gratitude for being able to represent an otherwise underrepresented community: influencers.

His statement certainly did not sit well with Twitter nor apparently, Tati Westbrook.

Even YouTuber Tyler Oakley weighed in, adding “LGBTQ*I*A+” to infer that James believes the “I” stands for influencer, as opposed to intersex.

James Charles vs. the Trans Community

James’ statement about marginalization is only the beginning…

Just recently, James issued a public apology for implying that transgender men aren’t “real” men in one of his videos. The questionable discussion begins around 7:40.

Several people were to quick to remind others on social media about James’ past transgressions.

There’s question of why Tati’s video lead to the sudden canceling of James Charles when clearly, there’s been cause to cancel James in the past. Talk about problematic fave.

What comes next?

It’s been three days since Tati dropped her YouTube video and the internet is clamoring for James Charles’ response.

What with Shane Dawson’s history of documenting the drama within the beauty blogging community (see his five part YouTube series on the life of Jeffree Star), could a new series be on the horizon?

More than one person has dubbed James Charles as the new Logan Paul

It really do be like that from r/dankmemes

While others have their doubts about Tati’s take entirely.

On Saturday, James posted a tearful 8-minute video 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.” Is there more to come?

The Takeaway

More than anything, this feud has confirmed some startling truths about internet culture. First, it is difficult, if not impossible to erase one’s past actions. Just as we saw with Dramageddon, internet callout culture is on the rise and subscribers/followers are prepared to hold even their favorite celebs accountable for their actions, especially when they are public figures and role models to young people.

Secondly, there is a unspoken “threshold” for forgiveness online, especially when it comes to celebrities. Black Twitter and many LGBTQ+ influencers were quick to point out that only after a wealthy, Caucasian woman, Tati Westbrook, called out James, did so many of his followers abandon him.

Finally, while some bloggers including Gabby Zamora and Jeffree Star have actually benefited from drama and the exposure of their comments, that doesn’t seem to be the case for James Charles. Whether James’ fans choose to forgive and forget in the near future, as fans have done with many celebrities before him, remains to be seen.