YouTuber James Charles Loses 2 Million Subscribers Following Tati Westbrook Feud


YouTuber and makeup master, James Charles has lost more than 2 million subscribers following a feud with fellow video beautification blogger, Tati Westbrook.

Charles entered the YouTube sphere nearly three years ago, with a video titled "SUMMER GLOW + BOLD LIP Makeup Tutorial." Shortly after he debuted, he gained Westbrook's attention, who then took on the dual role of being Charles' mentor and parental figure. Westbrook is widely considered to be a progenitor of YouTube's beauty scene and Charles cites her as "the reason he got involved with make-up." To put it succinctly, Tati's a big deal.

With help from her mentoring, and through Charles' natural charisma, he was able to amass 16 million subscribers, nearly triple Westbrook's subscriber count.

However, following a public feud — involving hair supplements, of all things — between the two, Charles' subscriber numbers have dropped significantly.

According to data from Social Blade, Charles had more than 16.57 million subscribers right before this spat began. As of early morning on Sunday, May 12, the number of subscribers listed on Charles' YouTube account had plunged to 14.55 million, indicating a loss in excess of 2 million followers in less than a week.

Outside of her YouTube posts, Westbrook also sells hair supplements, under her personal brand titled, Halo Beauty.

Charles was asked by Westbrook to promote her brand on his YouTube channel, but he refused, telling her promoting supplements to his young-leaning audience made him uncomfortable.

But then in late April, Charles posted a sponsored Instagram story instructing his fans to "check out" Sugar Bear Hair — a competitor to Westbrook's Halo Beauty in the supplement market.

This promotion of a competing product line was seen as a betrayal by Westbrook. She responded directly to Charles by posting an Instagram story of her own, venting her frustrations. "Everybody says what they need to say and uses who they need to use, and I have had about enough," she said through tears.

Charles responded to her story with one of his own, a fleshed-out Instagram text that apologized to Westbrook for his actions.

Westbrook responded publicly to Charles' mea culpa in a 43-minute video titled "Bye Sister…" where she announced that she'd be severing her bond with Charles and listed her reasons for doing so, citing things in addition to the supplement incident.

Westbrook said Charles spread lies about her, made unprompted and hurtful statements about fellow beauty YouTubers, and made inappropriate comments about straight men he wanted to hook up with despite them not sharing his sexual orientation.

In the hours following "Bye Sister…," Charles uploaded his own apology, responding to Westbrook with a plea to be forgiven. His apology was seen by Westbrook followers as disingenuous, and Charles' YouTube subscriber count began to shrink, with some of his followers leaving to subscribe to Westbrook.

Since "Bye Sister…" released on May 10, Charles has lost a significant number of subscribers. Conversely, Westbrook has gained more than 1.5 million new subscribers from the feud, per data from Social Blade. Charles' apology video has garnered a practically unprecedented level of negative feedback with 933,000 "dislike" votes, compared to only 233,000 "likes."

Celebrities have unfollowed Charles on his various social media accounts as well, including YouTubers Tana Mongeau, Jeffree Star, and Shane Dawson; beauty mogul Kylie Jenner; musicians Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Twice, Iggy Azalea, and the makeup company Morphe Brushes.

Even Laura Lee, who famously released a similarly bad apology has unfollowed the young beautification wunderkind. You can follow his latest subscriber leakage on YouTube, where they're tracking both Charles decline and Westbrook's growth live.

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Internet personality James Charles attends the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. The beauty guru issued an apology after being called out by Tati Westbrook, who is widely regarded as the mother of the YouTube beauty community. Not everyone was accepting of his apology, with some comparing it to a mea culpa made by fellow beauty blogger Laura Lee. Ray Tamarra/GC Images