Two social media influencers are in a viral feud over gummy vitamins — and it’s costing one of them big.
Beauty blogger James Charles lost over 2 million followers after a back-and-forth argument with his mentor and fellow YouTube beauty vlogger, Tati Westbrook, who accuses him of sexually harassing men and manipulating those around him. The argument sparked after Charles posted an Instagram story for Sugar Bear Hair gummy supplements while at Coachella last month.
The 19-year-old Charles, whose follower count dropped substantially over the weekend from 16 million to just under 14 million as of Monday morning, reportedly posted an unsponsored Instagram story for the popular gummy product while at the music festival. However, Sugar Bear Hair – a favorite with the Kardashians and other celebs – is a direct competitor of Westbrook’s similar Halo Beauty product.
Westbrook initially followed Charles' post with an Instagram story of her own, claiming she had been “betrayed” by someone. Charles nearly immediately posted a follow-up video apologizing to Westbrook, calling her “like a mother” and saying she “has given me more love, support, resources and advice than I could ever ask for,” The Cut reported.
However, the drama escalated last week when other beauty bloggers hopped on and called out both parties.
In a nearly 45-minute video posted to YouTube, called “Bye Sister,” Westbrook comes out and explains that she and her husband were responsible for launching Charles’ career when he was 17.
In the video, which has received nearly 34 million views, Westbrook explains the beef between the two and why she cut off her relationship with Charles.
According to Westbrook, Charles is “manipulative” and has been saying hurtful things about other people within their industry. She also accuses Charles of lying about her and sexually harassing men over the years.
Charles came to his own defense in an 8 and-a-half minute video titled “Tati,” where he apologizes for his behavior and addresses “mistakes” he has made.
"To Tati and James Westbrook, I'm sorry for everything that is going on, everything that I've put you through over the past few weeks," Charles said in the video.
"Most of my career over the past few years has been about me making mistakes and trying to learn and grow from them. I haven't always done the best job of that, I can admit that," he continued. "But I have always tried."
However, the beef seems to not be slowing down as Charles continues to lose followers — and Westbrook gains them. Since the fight, Westbrook has added over 3 million followers to her YouTube channel, according to Social Blade.
Most of those commenting on the now-viral drama have responded to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Charles, who allegedly tried to coerce uninterested or straight men by harassing them in public and private.
Charles responded to the allegations in his video, stating Tati was the one who sat him down before and told him "Talking to these boys might get you in trouble one day."
“I’ve learned the hard way about ways that I can interact with boys I’m interested in and also ones I shouldn’t or shouldn’t be talking to,” he said in the video.