If you've been on the internet at all over the past few days, you've probably seen the sentence "Tati Westbrook and James Charles feud". Yes, it's taken the internet by viral storm but for those that don't follow the beauty YouTubers, it can be pretty confusing. Who is Tati Westbrook? Who is James Charles? Why has one video amassed 34 million views already? Why has James Charles' followers fallen from 16.5 million to 13.8 million since Friday? And as a result, why has Tati Westbrook's followers gone up almost 5 million? Well, here's everything you need to know:
Who is Tati Westbrook?
In 2010, 37-year-old Tati Westbrook, a former image consultant turned makeup artist, started her YouTube channel, GlamLifeGuru, where she conducted tutorials, reviewed all the latest release products and gave general beauty advice. She became a hit it and it wasn't long before she had millions of viewers, ad contracts and crazy numbers of Instagram followers. This led to her founding her own company Halo Beauty, which offers supplements for hair, skin and nails.
Who is James Charles?
James Charles, 19, launched his YouTube channel three years ago and reached a following of 16 million. He's a beauty blogger, known for calling his fans "sisters" and he was also the first male to ever land a contract as the face of CoverGirl and has worked with multiple brands since the start of his career.
How do they know each other?
Tati is a big-time influencer and she took James under her wing when he was relatively unknown. He calls her "mom" and they regularly have collaborated on multiple videos together. Over the years Tati has promoted him frequently and he was picked to do her wedding makeup.
So, what's gone wrong?
Well, this started back in April, during Coachella when James took to Instagram to promote the rival company of Tati's supplements, Sugar Bear Hair (you may have seen one of the Kardashian clan promote them too).
Taking to her own social media, Tati then released a video expressing her dismay: "Everybody says what they need to say and uses who they need to use, and I have had about enough. It's not right."
James then replied with an apology: "She has been like a mother to me since my first days in this industry and has given me more love, support, resources and advice than I could ever ask for."
He continued: "I'm devastated that I hurt someone that I truly love and have endless respect for."
He went on to say that the reason he took the sponsorship contract was because the company provided security for him at Coachella and that he took no payment for the video.
Tati Westbrook's video, BYE SISTER
Then, in a turn of events, another beauty vlogger, Gabriel Zamora, waded in and stuck up for James telling Tati that anyone has the right to promote whatever they want and that she should "sit on the internet and talk about it" if she has a problem.
Then came the video "BYE SISTER" where Tati spent 43 minutes and eight seconds explain why she was severing all ties with James. It has now amassed 34 million views and James Charles' follower count is decreasing as we speak, while Tati's increases.
In the video, the main grievances she highlighted were that James didn't warn her about the Sugar Beat Hair ad and that it was orchestrated. She states that his apology was about his reputation rather than being sorry and that he upset her even more by not apologising to her husband who has supported him throughout his career.
She also accused James of manipulating straight men into having sexual relations with him. "Oh my god, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he's gay, yet again. And somehow, you're the victim. It's really disgusting to manipulate someone's sexuality especially when they're emerging into adulthood and don't quite have everything figured out," she says.
She also said he used his celebrity to "threaten," "ruin," and "embarrass" men who rejected him. "To have them behave sexually in your favour even if they're straight—that's not okay," she says.
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How has James Charles responded?
James took to YouTube to issue an eight-minute apology but skirted many of the issues.
"To Tati and James Westbrook, I'm sorry for everything that is going on and everything I've put you through over the past few weeks," he said.
James Charles' apology
"A lot of the time when I’ve had to address things in the past, I’ve acted out of impulse and I’ve gone off and tried to pull receipts or facts or screenshots and play the victim and I’m not doing that today, I’m not,” James said. “That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.”
Addressing the accusations of taking advantage of men, James said: "Boys have been a topic that I've talked a lot about on my social media journey, and it's a topic that I wish I haden't.
"I've been involved in a lot of unique and strange situations that have left people confused and upset, and I've learned the hard way about boys that I'm interested in and ones I should or shouldn't be talking to."
It seems the internet is praising Tati for speaking out but who knows what will happen next. Tati always posts a video on Monday but this week she didn't, saying on Twitter: "There won't be a video tomorrow. My heart is still too heavy. I feel like I need to remind you that we can hold truth & inspire change without grabbing on to hate".