James Charles Sexting scandal: companies remain silent

  • In a recent YouTube video, James Charles admitted to sexting with boys who now claim to be underage.
  • Most brands working with or adjacent to Charles have ignored Insider’s requests for comment.
  • YouTube has not responded to a survey, but has announced that Charles will not be hosting the second season of Instant Influencer.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

In the five years since James Charles began posting regularly on YouTube, the 21-year-old beauty star has landed sponsorships with brands like Morphe and Chipotle, collaborated with Kylie Jenner, and even hosted a series of contests. reality TV on YouTube. The YouTuber now has over 25.6 million subscribers on the video platform and 36 million followers on TikTok.

But recently Charles – who has been involved in several YouTube spats before – is in hot water after admit to flirting and sexting with men who say they are under 18.

In an April 1 YouTube video, he addressed the allegations and acknowledged that conversations with teenagers should not have happened. “I was reckless,” he said.

Charles said in the video he thought the boys were 18 and blocked them on Snapchat when he found out their real age, although one boy denied lying about his age in a conversation with Insider .

Most of the brands that have collaborated with or are adjacent to Charles ‘career have ignored multiple requests for comment from Insider regarding Charles’ latest video.

Here are the companies that responded and did not respond to requests for comment:

  • Youtube: YouTube did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Charles has been on the platform since 2015 and has earned income through video monetization and the YouTube partner program. YouTube monetization provides a flow of financial income to creators, and the platform demonetized David Dobrik’s channel in light of a rape allegation against a former member of his group Vlog Squad. Following the video in which Charles addressed the allegations, there was various calls for the demonetization of its videos on social networks. On March 26, before the video was released, YouTube says Variety that James Charles would not host the second season of his show “Instant Influencer”, without however specifying the reason for the separation.
  • Morphe Cosmetics: Morphe did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The cosmetics company saw a lot of pressure to comment on possible future projects with Charles after his release a popular eyeshadow palette in collaboration with the YouTuber in November 2018, accompanied by two sets of brushes.
  • Ulta Beauty: In a statement, the beauty brand told Insider it was “not a current sponsor of Instant Influencer,” the YouTube series Charles previously hosted. “I can confirm that our work with the platform ended in May 2020 and we currently have no plans in place to re-engage,” a spokesperson said.
  • Lilly Lashes: Lilly Lashes did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. The eyelash company in partnership with Charles in 2018 and offered 15% off purchases to customers using his code.
  • Laura’s shop: Laura’s Boutique did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. The shop in partnership with Charles in 2018, offering 10% off for customers using a promo code.
  • Zipporah: Sephora did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. The makeup store currently stores the Morphe with Charles Collaboration Palette on their website.
  • Ole Henriksen: Ole Henriksen did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. In 2019, Charles shared a sponsored image using products from the skin care company. He also has appeared in an advertising campaign for the brand.
  • Sugar bear hair: Sugar Bear Hair did not immediately respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. The vitamin company’s partnership with Charles sparked the now infamous Dramageddon involving fellow YouTubers Tati Westbrook and Jeffree Star.
  • The Trevor Project: The LGBTQ nonprofit has previously worked with Charles as part of its partnerships with Morphe, but told Insider it “has no direct relationship with James Charles.”
  • Chipotle: Chipotle did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Charles’ recent makeup review of an eyeshadow palette from the elf cosmetics x Chipotle collaboration sparked rumors that Chipotle sponsored the video or paid him to review, but Charles did not disclose whether or not Chipotle was involved in the video. the making of the video.

Charles’s YouTube video, titled “I Hold Myself Responsible,” was posted to his main YouTube channel on April 1, after several accusations against Charles went viral on social media. In the video, he said he was unaware of the inevitable power dynamics when speaking to viewers or fans of his videos.


“A power imbalance can occur even when it is unintentional,” Charles said. “What I didn’t understand before is that the excitement that comes with talking to a celebrity is literally enough for someone to do or say something they wouldn’t normally do. Even if that celebrity is. doesn’t intentionally arm her fame, her money, or power. And that’s the concept I just didn’t understand, but I understand it now. “

He added that he would take a break from social media.

Charles did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Lindsay Dodgson and Sirena Bergman contributed reporting for this article.

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