Welcome Back Sister

James Charles, a 19-year-old Youtuber who had around 16.5 million subscribers, was deemed “canceled” after a scandal that was brought to attention on May 16. Tati Westbrook, a fellow Youtuber in the beauty community, who had a subscriber count of 5.9 million, released a video on Thursday, May 16 titled “Bye Sister”, a twist on James’ popular catchphrase “hi sisters”. This video exposing James on many different accounts grossed over 23 million views and inflicted a massive amount of backlash on James as he lost over 3 million subscribers that were almost handed right over to Tati.

It was a shock to many that this video came from Tati as he and James had been close friends and was even jokingly called her his mom for how she mentored him and got him on his feet to where he once was. Her main reasoning for coming out with this video was not 100% clear as she mostly threw endless amount of shots at Charles without a distinct story line.

Westbrook expressed her feelings of betrayal for how James apparently supported another brand that was a competitor of Tati’s. Tati has her own line of supplements for hair, skin, and nails called Halo Beauty. SugarBearHair, a competitor of Halo Beauty, supposedly offered James security at Coachella when he found himself in a bind, and James took up this opportunity. With this came an exchange of security at Coachella for an endorsement for SugarBearHair products. On April 22, James posted a video on his Instagram story promoting SugarBearHair, which Tati took as a shot to her and her company, which made her upset. From Tati’s point of view, James had not reached out to Tati to tell her about his apparent brand deal with her competitor until after the matter, giving her no warning and leaving her to jump to conclusions out of pain. Tati called him out in her video “Bye Sister” by saying how she had promoted him endlessly on her channel, but James would not do the same for her company as he said it would not be appropriate to his teenage viewers. However, Tati claimed she did not need people to promote Halo Beauty as it was “selling like hot cakes”, she says. This pops the question of why she would complain about him not supporting her as she says she does not need the endorsing.

Secondly, Tati accused James of sexual harassment on multiple occasions, though doing so without evidence or accounts from the so called victims. She mentioned on one account how James was hitting on a waiter at a restaurant and when it was visible that he was not interested Tati claimed he said it did not matter because he was famous. James came out with a video soon after called “No More Lies”, in which he defended himself for all the accusations that Westbrook made, including this one. James claimed there was a running inside joke between him and his friends, which he said Tati was well aware of and in on, where him and his friends would say something is “famous”. “Famous is synonymous of anything good,” James says “it has nothing to do at all with fame, power, or money, which is what Tati eluded it to being.”

A day before James uploaded his video, “No More Lies”, Tati uploaded another video, “Why I Did It”, explaining that it was her only way to reach out to James in attempt to give him a “wake up call”. “This was really a wakeup call, and it was me trying to reach someone who I found completely unreachable,” she said. “I had been trying to deliver the same message so many times because this wasn’t just about one thing”, Tati says in her video. Throughout the video, she begs her fans to stop being hateful towards Charles and explains how she never thought the situation would become big like the way it did. She also snapped back at the people who told her that she should’ve kept her and James’s business between them. She continues to say that there were many private conversations among them. She spoke out about some of them in her video, but decided not to mention the others, insisting she turned down several opportunities to expose him to the media.

“I don’t hate James Charles, I don’t want you guys hating him,” she said. “I can’t go online right now, it’s painful to watch someone that you have cared about be dragged and to know that this all started because of me. I don’t think anyone deserves that.” She wished she had gained new subscribers in a different way. “If I could give all of the new success back and the new subscribers back, I would.” She would appreciate it if everyone can be positive and spread kindness throughout the youtube community. She acknowledged his public apology although she didn’t say whether she accepts it or not. She hopes moving forward with her Youtube career that the controversy can be left behind and everyone can move past it. Tati decided to take a break from social media to give herself time to reflect on herself, and hopes James does the same.

After James came out with his “No More Lies” video, he gained back over 2.5 million subscribers while Tati lost over 200,000. James mentioned in his video that the “canceled culture” in today’s society is wrong and that everyone should be innocent until proven guilty rather than guilty until proven innocent. The two are still recovering from their monstrous feud and it is unknown what will happen next for the two of them.