If you’re not familiar with who James Charles is, he’s a famous make-up influencer who is no stranger to scandal.

Ask anyone who loves make-up and they’ll spill the tea about in-fighting over hair vitamins. Snot-faced apologies and tearful videos were the norm.

The 21-year-old is embroiled in outrage again but this time the problems are darker.

YouTube has temporarily demonetised his channel (so he can’t earn money from views/adverts.)

It comes after he admitted to sending sexually explicit messages to two 16-year-old boys.

YouTube confirmed they have temporarily removed Charles from their Partnership Program.

However, they haven’t confirmed how long it will be for.

A YouTube spokesperson says they have applied their creator responsibility policy.

The policy says: “If we see that a creator’s on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community.”

Now, YouTube’s decision is the latest bad news for the influencer.

Last week, Morphe and James announced the end of their brand partnership.

He shared a statement on Twitter, claiming both parties “agreed to wind down” their collaboration.

Accusations

James has 25.5 million followers on YouTube and 7.8 million on Twitter.

He shared a video saying he’s “holding myself accountable”. The apology and explanation video has had more than 8.5 million views. It’s nearly 15 minutes long.

He admitted to two incidents. One of them occurred last year, and one more recently.

James said he came to realise that the person he was messaging with was underage. He says he didn’t know and claims they told him they were 18.

However, he has gone on to insist that any further accusations that have been made are false.

Explanation

Charles said he had added the people on Snapchat and ‘asked how old they were right away’. 

He then ‘engaged in flirty conversation then later on found out they were 16’.

James said: “Looking back, that was so stupid because as I did more research on these topics and self-reflected, I realised […] that the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter because I f***ed up.

I needed to take accountability for my actions and most importantly apologise to the people that were affected by them.

These conversations should’ve never happened, point blank, period. There’s no excuse for it.

I take full responsibility for that. I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself.”

Twitter

Meanwhile, on Twitter he wrote: “Since posting that video, many other people have come forward with a series of misleading stories and false allegations which have been reported on by many people, creators and news outlets.”

“My legal team has begun taking action against those that have spread misinformation and/or created completely fake stories, as this has gone too far.”

This isn’t the first time YouTube has demonetised a high profile account.

David Dobrik was one of the website’s top earners. YouTube also demonetised his account following a rape allegation about a former associate, which he has denied.

Back in 2019, YouTube even deleted singer Austin Jones’s channel. He admitted to exchanging sexually explicit images and videos with underage girls.

Response

Needless to say, viewers aren’t impressed by the apology video from Charles.

Some are mocking his overly earnest appearance: “James: wears no makeup, flattens his hair to look like a pan, puts on black top and talks quietly “Are you sure this will make me look depressed and sorry?”

Another pointed out the patterns:

“2019: “This will never happen again”
“2021: “This will never happen again”
“2023: “This will never happen again”

“Why it is so hard for famous Youtubers to behave like normal people and don’t get involve in these situations” said one.

Another added: “This is a repeating pattern, you are not sorry. You are sorry you got caught again.”

Because this isn’t his first time apologising, many people aren’t willing to forgive quickly.

So are you surprised by this?

Image via Alamy