The Drama Between James Charles And Tati Westbrook Is Teaching Us Important Lessons On Cancel Culture
The viral drama that has been occurring over the past week between Youtubers Tati Westbrook and James Charles puts the storylines from telenovelas to shame. Sure, this drama falls short of cat-fights and long-lost twins, but it still is scandalous enough to keep the whole internet enthralled.
We’ve compiled a break-down of the whole scandal for those of you who may have been confused throughout all of the constant updates. Take a look at the real-life telenovela below!
1. On May 10th, Youtube beauty guru Tati Westbrook dropped a video entitled “BYE SISTER” that, for all intents and purposes, ended her friendship with James Charles
In the video, Westbrook revealed that James Charles had betrayed her by posting a sponsored Instagram story for Sugar Bear Hair vitamins–a brand that is a direct competitor to Westbrook’s line of vitamins, Halo Beauty.
2. Westbrook went into detail about her relationship with Charles, whom she says she loves like a son.
Westbrook explained that she was integral to Charles’s success, inviting him on her channel to guest-star in her videos, flying him out to do her makeup for her wedding, and orchestrating lucrative deals for him with the help of her husband.
3. Westbrook said she did all of this for free, because she believed in James Charles’s talent and she wanted him to succeed
According to her, Charles never returned the favor (although she never really expected him to).
4. Tati revealed that James posted a sponsored post to her direct competitor because he wanted an Artist’s Pass at Coachella
Tati revealed that James Charles told her he was forced to accept the sponsored post deal when he was getting “mobbed” at Coachella. He insisted that Sugar Bear Hair gave him an Artist Pass (to keep him away from crazy fans) in exchange for a sponsored post on his Instagram.
4. In her video, Tati revealed that she felt betrayed by James Charles for doing this behind her back, leaving her blindsided when she saw the post
Westbrook felt like she had been used and discarded, since she has previously endorsed and promoted Charles’s Morphe palette on her social media accounts and Youtube channels free of charge.
5. According to her, Charles had previously refused to promote her Halo Beauty vitamins
Charles allegedly felt “uncomfortable” marketing supplements to his audience (who are mostly children).
6. Tati went on to air a list of grievances against James Charles in her “BYE SISTER” video
Her complaints started with explaining how she felt betrayed and went on to call out Charles for his sexually inappropriate behavior towards straight men he finds attractive.
7. She ended the video by saying she no longer wants anything to do with James Charles
She explained that she went public with the beef because she hoped the video would act as a “wake up call” to a teenager she felt was spiraling out of control. She claimed her previous attempts at talking to him about his behavior had gone nowhere.
8. The public response to the video was swift and immediate, with Charles losing millions of subscribers in the span of a day
There was even a viral video that updated Charles’s falling subscriber base live compared to Tati’s, which was rapidly rising.
9. He responded with his own apology video titled “Tati”, where he fessed up to his mistakes and begged for her forgiveness
In this video, Charles claimed that he is always trying to improve himself and apologized for hurting Tati and her husband with his post.
10. At this point, the Tati/James drama spun way out of control, with the whole internet weighing in on the drama
Male Instagram influencers began sharing screenshots of Charles hitting on them via DMs and even pop star Zara Larsson claimed that Charles DM’ed her model boyfriend, who is very-much straight.
11. Things got taken even farther when Youtube beauty-titan Jeffree Star inserted himself into the drama
Star began piled-on the James Charles hate via Twitter, calling him a a “predator”, a “danger to society” and claiming he had long been “banned” from his household.
12. Charles later uploaded a video called “No More Lies” where he went into more detail about the scandal and explained his side of the story
James Charles admitted he reached out to Sugar Bear Hair first, which he had previously lied about. But he then went on to defend himself–mostly regarding his behavior towards straight men.
13. James Charles revealed tons of private texts and messages to paint a fuller picture as to what happened.
According to Charles, he only ever “compliments” men in private via DM’ing and the instance with the waiter Tati mentioned actually evolved into a short-lived fling (meaning the “straight man” in question arguably wasn’t straight). He also made it clear that he was still a virgin, and just a young gay man navigating and exploring his sexuality. He was candid about how he’s making mistakes along the way.
14. He claimed that he doesn’t sexually harass straight men
The much-discussed incident with the waiter was actually a consensual interaction he had with a bi-curious young man whom he ended up hanging out with later that night.
15. Charles also claimed that he had promoted Halo products before
Charles pulled out the receipts for the few times he mentioned Halo Beauty on his social media accounts. He also proved that he reached out to Tati at the time of the Coachella ordeal to explain to her what was going on
16. Meanwhile, Tati posted a video entitled “Why I Did It” which explained why she felt the need to go public with her complaints against Charles
In this video, Tati says she felt that a public video was–at the time–the only way she felt she could get through to Charles after reaching out to him privately many times. She also called for her fans to stop the online hate aimed towards him.
17. Even Jeffree Star took to his Youtube channel to address the drama, admitting in his video that he “mishandled” the situation
Most people didn’t understand why Jeffree Star made this his business anyway.
18. On May 19th, Tati posted a statement on Twitter once and for all putting an end to her “feud” with James Charles
In the statement, she wrote that she believes it is the “best interest of our community, our viewers, and our own mental health to put this matter to a rest”. And that she “regrets” the way she went about raising her concerns over Charles’s behavior.
19. As of now, the drama has finally come to an end.
On Sunday, James Charles tweeted out a statement acknowledging the end of the ordeal as well.
20. Both James Charles and Tati Westbrook have agreed that they are putting the drama to bed to focus on positivity and both of their mental health
The whole ordeal has sparked a larger discussion about public internet “lynchings” where people can be “cancelled” at the drop of a hat and have their careers ruined for mistakes that everyone makes.