YouTube Beauty Blogger Laura Lee's Racist Tweet Leads Makeup Brands to Drop Sponsorships

The downfall of YouTube beauty blogger Laura Lee continues after retail giant Ulta cut ties with the makeup artist amid backlash over a racist tweet Lee posted in 2012.

Ulta discontinued the sale of Lee’s upcoming makeup collection, Laura Lee Los Angeles, after learning of the situation. “We have decided not to move forward with the launch of Laura Lee Los Angeles. Ulta Beauty values equality and inclusivity in all that we do,” the company said in a statement to The Blast on Wednesday.

Other retailers followed suit and dropped their partnerships with the vlogger, including Diff Eyewear, who sold a limited-edition collection with Lee this year, and Morphe Brushes, a longtime sponsor of Lee’s.

The newly canceled deals come in light of racists tweet Lee wrote years ago. Although she scrubbed her account of the messages, she admitted to tweeting, “tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster.. #yourwelcome” in 2012 along with several other fat-shaming tweets in 2013.

As a result, her platform has lost hundreds of thousands of followers. Before the scandal, Lee had more than five million subscribers to her YouTube channel. The makeup guru was down to 4.5 million as of Thursday.

She posted an apology on Twitter for the “ignorant tweets” she previously made and then shared another four-minute-long apology via video on her YouTube channel on Sunday.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry to you guys. I’m so sorry for disappointing you. It hurts me so bad to disappoint you all who have supported me for so many years. I know that I’m better than that person,” Lee said in between sobs during the video.

The video was regarded as disingenuous on social media and thousands of people called Lee out for her insincere performance in the video’s comment section.

Lee’s fallout comes following her ex-friend and fellow YouTube beauty master Jeffree Star’s racial drama in 2017, which included one video in particular where he suggested throwing battery acid on a black woman’s face so her skin would be light enough to match shades of foundation. Star, who boasts some 10 million subscribers on YouTube, made a video apologizing for his the racist comments he made several years ago and told fans he changed in the time since.

“In these videos, I say some really disgusting, vile, nasty and embarrassing things,” Star said. “Those videos were 12 years ago. I look at them and I see them resurface and it makes me sick to my stomach because I do not know who that person was . . . the person that said those horrible vile things, that person was depression, that person was just angry at the world, that person felt like they were not accepted, that person was seeking attention.”

Unlike Lee, Star’s apology prompted heavy discussion among his followers who believed he had indeed grown from the person he was at the time of the comments.

Join the Discussion