Over the past two weeks, a very public feud between top beauty vloggers, and former friends, James Charles and Tati Westbrook has shown us the real side of YouTube’s beauty and makeup community which is not as glamorous as one might think.
April 22, 2019
James Charles, 19, posts an Instagram Story promoting SugarBearHair. SugarBearHair, which sells vitamins and supplements, is a direct competitor of Westbrook Tati’s, 37, supplement company, Halo Beauty. The feud between the two close friends began in April. Charles, shilled for the beauty supplement brand, SugarBear.
Later that day, Tati posts a lengthy, teary-eyed Instagram Story wherein she talks about feeling “used” and “betrayed.” She doesn’t mention James by name, but fans quickly figure out who she’s talking about.
Once James finds out that he hurt Tati’s feelings, he posts an apology on his Instagram Story.
May 4, 2019
After few weeks, Tati stays silent on the matter until fellow beauty blogger and James’ friend Gabriel Zamora posts a YouTube video titled “Makeup and Opinions.” In the video, he challenges Tati to publicly clarify the situation. And boy, does she deliver.
May 10, 2019
Tati uploads a 43-minute-long YouTube video titled “BYE SISTER…”. In the video, she goes into detail about how she provided for James, explains why she feels so betrayed by the SugarBearHair situation, and even expresses suspicion that his explanation for posting the ad is not true.
But she also addresses another topic: James’s alleged pattern of pursuing straight men. James has been called out for his aggressive flirting in the past, and he himself has admitted that he likes straight guys. But apparently, behind the scenes, a lot of people, including Tati, thought his actions toward these men (who identify as both straight and bi-curious) were predatory, and Tati claims she warned him about his behavior.
Charles set a YouTube record for most subscribers lost in a 24 hour period, losing 1 million overnight while Westbrook doubled hers.
Later that day, James posts a response to Tati. In an eight-minute-long video, James apologizes to both Tati and her husband for everything he put them through.
Although James restates that the Coachella story is true, he says he isn’t going to put up a fight or show “receipts” to prove it. He also addresses the “boy situation” and expresses his regret over publicizing his love life.
May 12, 2019
Jeffree Star, a former friend of James, jumps into the drama with a series of tweets. After James’s younger brother, Ian, tweeted, “Why does everyone act so tough over the internet?” Jeffree quoted the tweet with some questions of his own.
In addition to calling James a “predator,” Jeffree also says James is “a danger to society,” revealing that his boyfriend, Nathan, had banned James from their house.
Tati also posted on Twitter that night to say there would be no new video on her channel the next day because her heart was “still too heavy.”
May 13, 2019
Nikita Dragun, another beauty blogger, posts screenshots of her texts with James about the SugarBearHair-at-Coachella situation. The iMessage exchange shows James asking Nikita to help get him a Coachella artist pass from SugarBearHair because he’s “getting attacked” in the VIP section. Nikita posted the screenshots in an attempt to corroborate James’s story, but fans were skeptical.
May 16, 2019
Late in the evening, Tati posts another video, this time entitled “Why I Did It.” In the video, she explains that she had decided to post the 43-minute “BYE SISTER” video on May 10 because she wanted to “reach someone who I found completely unreachable.”
May 18, 2019
James uploads a follow-up to his original apology titled “No More Lies.” In the 42-minute video, James addresses every claim Tati and Jeffree Star made about him and pulls out so many receipts that we are shocked.
Using text screenshots, James shows that he was telling the truth about the SugarBearHair situation and did not try to trick a straight man into thinking he was gay, as Tati claimed. In fact, Tati even encouraged James to “hook up” with Sam, who told James he was bisexual. James also shares some pretty nasty texts from Jeffree, in which he accused James of trying to trap Sam in a hotel room; force Jeffree’s boyfriend’s brother, Zach, into sending him photos; and molest Grayson Dolan, James’s friend. In effect, James shuts down every single accusation.
James Charles lost 3 million subscribers in one week, while cheering Tati Westbrook as her channel gained 5 million subs (and then lost 200,000).
In direct response to James’s video, Jeffree Star goes on a Snapchat rant and threatens to show his receipts.
Tati also addresses James’s video with a tweet:
I’ve left town on a digital break to heal & pray for healing on all sides. My family made me aware of what was just posted & I’m disappointed to see it littered with so many lies & half truths. I stand by my videos – do not twist my words into what they are not, hear the message.
May 19, 2019
Jeffree uploads his own video. But instead of exposing James with the “receipts” he claimed to have the day before, he does a total 180. Jeffree says he doesn’t want to revert to his old self, and he admits that he regrets ever sending those “brutal tweets” and “vicious text messages.”
That same day, Tati tweets a message to her fans and claims this will be the last time she speaks about the situation publicly. Tati has also removed her 43 minute long video, “BYE SISTER” from her channel.
“I still have so many things I’d like to clear up; however, the continued call for ‘receipts’ is nothing more than a call for never-ending bloodshed,” she writes. “As such, I’m setting aside my overwhelming need to be understood and will continue my conversations with everyone in private.”
After Jeffree and Tati show their responses, James thanks them with a tweet and agrees to put an end to the fighting.
Thank you @jeffreestar & @glamlifeguru for your sentiments. I am on board to move on, will not speak about this further, but do hope to speak in the future when we’re all ready. This week was awful for all of us and I ask that the community focuses on positivity moving forward ❤️
So that was a summary of the Tati and Charles drama which seems over, for now anyway.
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