Baffled by the James Charles – Tati Westbrook drama? Take a seat.
Youtube is a realm of its own with a cast of characters more compelling than any true crime doc you’ve ever watched and two of them have fallen out.
Here’s what you need to know.
Who are these people?
James Charles, 19, and Tati Westbrook, 37, are two American beauty influencers.
They’ve each built enormous audiences on Youtube after years of posting makeup tutorial videos and have developed their own clothing, beauty and other brands off the back of their success.
James is estimated to be worth around $12 million.
He and Tati met through Youtube and were close friends until recently, with James even admitting that Tati took on a ‘parental’ role in his life and that she’d helped him to mentor him in his career.
So what happened?
It all began in April when James shared posts sponsored by Sugar Bear Hair supplements – the gummy ‘beauty’ vitamins that the Kardashian sisters regularly promote.
Tati has her own beauty supplement brand and went on Instagram stories to say that she felt betrayed by James working with Sugar Bear Hair.
She had reportedly asked him to promote her brand on his channel but he declined, saying pushing them on his young audience made him uncomfortable.
“When you paired up with my number one competitor it was embarrassing for me and you know that,” she wrote.
“You kept saying you can’t be bought, but you just were.”
In response, James posted an apology. He said that he had only promoted the brand because Sugar Bear Hair had helped him when he was at Coachella when the crowd became rough and that he didn’t take money for the work.
“I am devastated that I hurt someone that I truly love and have endless respect for,” he said.
So did she accept the apology and get on with her life?
No, she did not. Tati made a video saying that there had been tension in their friendship for some time because of inappropriate behaviour from James.
He would “manipulate people’s sexuality”, she claimed, and boasted about turning straight men gay.
She also said that she didn’t believe the Coachella story and that she’d had enough of his “over-sexualised” online persona, given his young audience.
“You are using your fame, power and money to play with people’s emotions.”
The video currently has over 23 million views since it was posted on 10 May.
How did he take that?
He has responded with his own video, apologising this time for “everything that I put you through”.
“What sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back, but I don’t blame them for it.
“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.
“I’m not doing that today, I’m not. That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.”
He also admitted to mishandling situations with men in the past.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of very unique situations that have left people confused or upset.
“I have learned the hard way about boys that I am interested in, and also ones that I should or shouldn’t be talking to.”
So now what?
Other influencers from Youtube’s beauty community have weighed in on the feud, with many taking Tati’s side.
Some of the industry’s biggest heavy-hitters including YouTubers Tana Mongeau, Jeffree Star, and Shane Dawson; as well as celebrities Kylie Jenner, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry have all unfollowed James on social media.
James has also lost over two million subscribers in the wake of the drama.
As for their friendship? Things don’t look good.
The pair were once like family, with James even doing Tati’s makeup for her wedding, but it remains to be seen whether their relationship can recover.