“...at least 15 boys and men have accused [James] Charles of inappropriate behavior,” says the newly published Cosmopolitan article, “James Charles Would Like to Be Un-Cancelled Please”. The author makes it apparent however, that in spite of these allegations (many from underage fans of Charles), the influencer lives in a beautiful, Kardashian-like house, has thousands of fans, and most importantly, has a beautiful display of Oreo’s in his kitchen. Charles would have lost everything if all these allegations were true, and since he’s still greatly privileged, he’s in the clear, right?
Definitely not, and discrediting the victims of Charles in a large publication such as Cosmopolitan is objectively irresponsible, especially when a significant portion of the article is Charles promoting his new makeup brand— making his declarations of regret for talking to underage fans seem like an afterthought.
The article begins by criticizing the cancel culture “hellscape”, but not in the way one might automatically assume. The author says cancel culture has “loosely enforced rules”, and “doles out forgiveness…on whim”. However, isn’t the author asking us, the readers, to “bend the rules” of cancel culture and grant forgiveness to Charles? This criticism is strange in that Charles himself would like to capitalize on these faulty aspects of cancel culture and have his past controversies forgiven without question.
The author then mentions her first exposure to Charles was during the so-called “Dramageddon” of 2019, “a hilariously non-scandal scandal” as she calls it. An odd thing to brush it off as, especially considering Tati Westbrook was not just calling out James Charles for promoting hair vitamins, she was also calling out his inappropriate and predatory behavior. This fact is briefly mentioned a couple paragraphs later, but not to worry, the allegations were then retracted. The author then makes sure to mention that Charles actually gained subscribers after the incident, so he surely must have been in the right.
It got much worse for Charles in February 2021, however, when he was accused of sending inappropriate messages and lewd photographs to a 16 year old. The author quickly adds though, that this 16 year old had misled Charles and lied about his age, so it was simply an accident. But more allegations came, and many screenshots along with them. Some of these instances were very serious, Cosmopolitan acknowledges, but others felt “muddier”. After all, one of many public figures bringing these accusations to light, Def Noodles, is now controversial himself.
Of the almost 20 allegations Charles says, “The source of where the list came from was not doing any sort of research, no fact-checking.” An interesting claim considering most of the accusers provided verified screenshots exposing Charles’ predatory behavior. Additionally, if Charles believes these allegations were “completely fake”, why did he come out with an apology video titled “Holding Myself Accountable”, in which he admits to his actions and reasons he was “just desperate”?
Then, Cosmopolitan, seeking to give a platform to the victims, reached out to them on social media. Would you believe that one victim asked for compensation, and when told they wouldn’t get paid, stopped communicating with the reporters? Then, even fishier, one of the 15 victims said he had previously apologized to Charles for lying about his age. This young man admitted to lying, so who’s to say the other 15 victims weren’t lying, implies the author.
“In the absence of hard evidence,” the internet turned on Charles, leading his YouTube to be demonetized, Morphe to end their partnership with him, and his show Instant Influencer to be canceled, causing losses in the millions. This led Charles to cry every night, and be in “a really f*cking dark place.” But he took some time off the internet, did some self reflection, and then came back with a video titled “An Open Conversation”, where instead of taking accountability for his actions like he did in his previous apology, he instead takes a new approach: denying all the allegations.
It’s then mentioned how his own brother, who once appeared in many YouTube videos with Charles, hasn’t spoken to him in two years. Although this fact is an attempt to garner sympathy for Charles (especially as tales of Charles’ childhood bullying are then shared), it instead gives validity to the accusations, in that those closest to him do not associate anymore.
It’s been hard for the influencer to find love, sharing, “I’ve been f*cked over by men so many different times. At this point, I just want a f*cking boyfriend.” This statement rings extremely strange in an article about how Charles has been preying on underage fans– why is he choosing to advertise his desire for a boyfriend after all that’s been said? It’s quotes like these that make the intentions of the article quite clear: James Charles wants to benefit in some way, whether it's forgiveness, people to buy his new product, or perhaps a new boyfriend.
After going on for many more paragraphs about how Charles ID’s every potential love interest and a lengthy statement about his new makeup line, the article concludes that the canceled “walk among us” and therefore we should give Charles his large platform back. Luckily those on the internet that have commented on the article have not been feeding into the delusion. Some are questioning if and how much the author got paid to create this article, and why Cosmopolitan agreed to publish it. Giving a platform to people like this is very dangerous as it discredits those affected, and attempts to garner support for someone that has been shown to misuse their power. Clear attempts to garner sympathy for Charles because he’s young and has been bullied in the past are silly. 15 accusations is not a small number by any means, and going through hard times is not an excuse for this figure. Charles had a clear motive in trying to garner publicity for his new makeup line, a fact that makes the whole article seem extremely insincere. We cannot support people like this. Period.
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