“I have been in communication with James Charles … and we believe that it is in the best interest of our community, our viewers, and our own mental health to put this matter to a rest,” YouTuber and Beauty Guru Tati Westbrook tweeted on May 19th, officially ending her feud with fellow Beauty Guru James Charles.
Charles and Westbrook have been friends for years until Westbrook released a 47-minute video titled, “Bye Sister” (a twist on Charles’ signature catchphrase “Hi Sisters”) which she later deleted. In the video, she accused Charles of going behind her back to film an Instagram story promoting vitamins for a company that rivals her own, Sugar Bear Hair.
“I feel like it’s just too much drama,” Sophomore Ava Hannon said. “There’s more important things in the world.”
Hannon and other people took to social media to voice their opinions on the hashtag #ByeSister. “I actually just created a Twitter so I could follow the James and Tati tea,” Hannon said.
Another major issue that Westbrook brought up was Charles’ tendency to flirt with straight men who are not interested in him.
“I feel like if she had a problem with it, she did not have a right to go out so publicly to millions and millions of people and not expose him, but make accusations like that without any proof or anything other than her word. And just expected people to believe it and trust it. Because that’s career ruining. I mean, he’s been on YouTube for like three years. He’s 19 years old.” Hanon said.
In addition to Hanon’s statement about the effects of Westbrook’s accusations, Freshman Reagan McGee who has also been following the drama, pointed out that Westbrook’s accusations affect the way Charles now utilizes his social media. McGee said that Charles is censoring himself more, and not being so open about calling another man “daddy” on their social media because he finds them attractive.
After Westbrook released her video, Charles responded with an eight-minute apology video titled “Tati.”
As Twitter was posting memes and reacting to the drama, Westbrook, Charles and Jeffree Star, another successful makeup artist and creator in the beauty community, also took to social media,releasing more videos that added more layers to the story.
According to sophomore Sydnie Foster, “it’s kind of difficult because there’s so many sides to one story because they all keep making different videos. And so, with Tati making that first video and everybody thinking that it’s just over vitamins,” Foster said. “ Like he tried to explain that story, but I don’t know, some of it is sketch to me.” She went on to say that she trusts Tati by calling her “an honest person,” and states that “James is known for his scandals,” and does not believe James is honest “100% of the time.”
Charles released a video entitled “No More Lies” where he pulled “receipts” (having text messages, tweets or phone conversations as evidence) shifting the blame to Westbrook and Starr. In the video, he said, “the last few weeks of my life have literally been the most painful time that I’ve ever had to deal with, and my head and brain for a hot minute went to a place so dark that I didn’t think that I’d come back from.”
In one final video, Star showed support for Charles by saying, “these are our real lives” relating to the Twitter reactions.
“They’re people and they still have friendships and connections. And it’s all real. I mean, sometimes it might be fake, and we can’t really tell it, but like Jeffree is right when he says it is their real lives,” Hannon said. “And it’s not just for other people’s entertainment, that they have mental health too and issues as well and they deserve to be treated as people.”
On the other hand Foster said she feels that,“It was actually extremely childish. Like you do not have [to hide] behind a computer. If these are your real life friends, you talk it out. You don’t attack each other on Twitter. You don’t attack each other through YouTube.”
In addition to this, Foster said, “I think that on both sides of the story, there is some shady stuff. I think that Tati exaggerated some. But she was upset,” Foster said. “And I think that James had the right to defend himself in the way that he did. But honestly, if I had to support someone I would support Tati, but that’s just me, just don’t feel like you need to support anybody.”
McGee said she feels bad for everyone involved. “Everything that they do is drama, and like, everything they do is like talking about some boring stuff,” McGee said.
To summarise her feelings, Foster said, “I close this case, with the thought and the evidence that James is definitely a big snake.”