Many of James Charles’ first controversies took place in the digital world, whether on Twitter or YouTube. Some were innocuous, such as when he received hate from Ariana Grande stans after saying she was the “rudest celebrity he ever met,” per Allure, or when he found himself in a flurry of backlash after saying he didn’t like the movie “It” (via Vulture). However, the influencer has landed himself in the middle of scandals that are far less innocent.
In February 2017, just after his appearance with CoverGirl, he posted a now-deleted tweet about Africa and the Ebola virus that many were quick to call insensitive and offensive. In the tweet, he wrote, per The Cut, “I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola. ‘James we’re fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year’ ….”
CoverGirl even spoke out against the tweets, in a statement which read, “James Charles’ tweet does not represent COVERGIRL’s perspective. We agree his statements were inappropriate but appreciate that he has issued an apology. We are an inclusive brand and respect all people and cultures,” though they did not cut ties with Charles. The YouTuber also issued a lengthy apology via Twitter.
In April 2019, Charles uploaded a vlog with YouTuber Jeff Wittek in which he made transphobic comments, saying he wasn’t “full gay” because he has been attracted to transgender men before. Of course, he swiftly issues an apology on Twitter.