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Why The James Charles vs Tati Westbrook Controversy Showcases The Power We Give To YouTube Celebrities

James Charles, the 19 year old sassy, charismatic and insanely talented makeup YouTuber and blogger has millions of fans the world over. With an estimated net worth of $12 million and collaborations with many powerful entities, including makeup brand Morphe and even the Kardashian Klan, James has it made.

Source; Morphe

Or, at least he did.

Because as of now, James Charles has apparently been cancelled! Charles has lost an approximate 3 million followers in the past few days and has had other influential influencers distance themselves from him. So, what happened? How does a makeup mogul who was so adored and well loved fall down from grace so quickly? 

It all started with a very emotional and revealing Instagram story from one of the earliest YouTube makeup OG’s and Charles own “fairy godmother” Tati Westbrook who had a thing or two to say about her disloyal “sister” and friend in a 43 minute long video.

If you have the time or the interest to view the entire thing, be our guest. If not, here’s the highlights;

Apparently, the beef started up when James started promoting a vitamin pill brand that rivaled his godmother’s own brand. To the unsuspecting viewer, that may not seem like a big thing. But for the YouTube community who has been following the lives and stories of these two vloggers, this is a crime punishable by social castration to say the least. 

Another allegation that Westbrook unleashed onto Charles was the fact that he had been sexually aggressive with straight men in the past, almost forcing them on some instances. Now, that should have been the main reason why James Charles is cancelled. But surprisingly, it’s not. If one looks further back down the timeline, Charles got away with similar controversies in the past.

So why has there been more backlash for Charles apparent mistreatment of the woman who brought him up to fame and always supported him throughout the years and less criticism for his other more serious controversies?

Well, simply put, it doesn’t matter WHAT the feud is as much as WHO the feud is with.

Source; Nylon

The interesting shift in power dynamics amidst this YouTube showdown is a testament to this idea because although pretty famous, Westbrook’s channel and social media outlets had not attained the level of traffic and traction that they did after the emotional out pour was posted. She gained a massive 3.5 million subscribers in a matter of days, perhaps even hours. 

Communities on the internet are a serious source of support and positivity but they can also be absolutely unforgiving and ruthless when needed. And that’s exactly what happened and what Westbrook’s video was intended to achieve. Personal vendettas between much loved online personalities are often brilliant ways for them to monetize on their communities incessant need to lap up the drama and spilling the tea can make influencers rich. and even more famous.

This just goes to show how within seconds the support and power can shift from one side to the other when it comes to social media platforms and their communities. And while Charles might be at fault in this scenario, this power dynamics are quite frankly, pretty scary.

What makes matters more serious is the additional hate not only from other moguls such as Kylie Jenner, Jeffree Star and Shawn Mendes among others but also from their respective fan following. This results in a rather polarized and one sided environment on YouTube right now, which is upsetting, especially for Charles.

Apart from being a total cringe fest, this might be one reason why Charles 8 minute apology video did little or no good to defend his case.

According to a report by Newsweek however, Charles may be facing the brunt of the battle atm, with him potentially losing thousands of potential dollars over the feud, however, as mentioned before, celebrity feuds usually lead to more money and fame and in the long run, considering that the fight dies down, Charles could end up profiting off of this entire fiasco.

What’s interesting to note here is that although at a much more subdued level, the Pakistani YouTube Vlogger community might be heading down the same road to drama and controversies with the recent Sham Idrees Vs Ducky Bhai case dividing their followers and getting other YouTube celebrities wanting in on the action. There’s always been drama at the heart of the YouTube community but now this might be causing actual impact to people’s lives and consciousness. 

Let us know what you think of the power we as users give to celebrities online!

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