By Lillian Nazarova
Art by Charlie LaMountain
After recently being called out – yet again – for predatory behavior towards his fans, James Charles, famous YouTuber and social media influencer, uploaded another apology video to YouTube.
“I’m sorry to my friends, family, and fans for having to watch another one of these videos…” started the 21 year old.
Sitting on a cushion of privilege and fame, influencers like Charles have no reason to apologize unless there is money at stake. The first few times Charles was called out for his behavior, like the drama-geddon that was his public fight with fellow YouTuber and social media influencer Tati Westbrook, he deflected blame onto other content creators and uploaded a very generic apology video.
In short, the 39 year-old YouTuber accused Charles of baiting underage fans over social media. In response, Charles made a 40-minute video with screenshots and proof to discredit her. Although she later took her claims back, it planted a seed of suspicion in many people.
In spring of 2021, however, it wasn’t a third party whistleblower that exposed Charles for his predatory actions, but the actual teenagers themselves. Charles said in his apology video, “Two different people, both under the age of 18, have both come forward saying they have inappropriate messages with me on social media.”
In light of the accusations, many fans have openly abandoned James and his YouTube channel, but he still holds 25.5 million followers. I have begun to wonder why exactly the public allowed this to happen two years later.
Whether or not Charles’s apology was sincere or not, the urgency behind his response was definitely induced by the possibility of financial loss; and, just as Charles and his team expected, major brands like Morphe showed disapproval by cutting business ties. Hopefully, this represents progress across the nation in that public accountability will be taken seriously.
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