After “a lot of self-reflection,” James Charles has returned to YouTube.
Charles speaks up in a new video titled “An Open Conversation” on what he’s learned since leaving YouTube in April amid allegations from two kids that he had inappropriate social media conversations with them.
In an April video, Charles said, “I owe a tremendous apology to everyone I have wounded or made uncomfortable with my acts.” He said the two victims told him they were 18 and that he “engaged in romantic banter” with them until he discovered their true ages.
On Friday, July 2, Charles admitted that it would be “stupid and irresponsible” to “simply come back to social media and pretend like nothing happened, and go back to regular makeup programming.”
The claims, in fact, have been “the worst but most crucial wake-up call of my entire life for a lot of different reasons,” according to the beauty influencer. “This is by far the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me,” the 22-year-old continued.
He addressed viewers’ reactions to his previous video at the opening of his current sit-down, saying, “One of the biggest pieces of feedback that I got was that I felt really, really sincere and scripted, and that really, really stinks because that video was not manufactured.”
At the time, the makeup artist recapped his statement, saying, “In that video, I discussed how two young men had come forward with stories on social media alleging that I had inappropriate contact with them when they were under the age of 18… In that video, I did say that they had lied to me about their age.”
“At the end of the day, as the adult and the person with the platform, it was 1,000 percent my obligation to be doing my due diligence and checking into the people that I was speaking to, and I failed to do that,” he said. “And it really, really stinks, and that’s why I released that video because I felt like it was incredibly hard for me to hold myself accountable, explain what happened, and, most importantly, apologize to the people who were directly impacted by my actions.”
Now, James Charles has a few additional views on the allegations to give.
He specifically stated that he did not want the word “scandal” to be used since it is “simply not an acceptable word to use with this scenario.” He went on to say, “There’s no doubting that I’ve been involved in my fair share of online controversies, but using that word to describe this circumstance feels wrong, and it feels like it’s making light of what happened, which I don’t want to do. This is not something I’ve been taking lightly.”
Charles, who has dealt with YouTube controversy for years, said he has spent the last two years “altering my conduct,” which includes how he has been “dating and flirting with guys.”
“It honestly looks as though I have made no progress,” he stated after the minors’ charges.
“I’m really sorry for failing you guys and letting you down yet again,” Charles said. “As terrifying as it is to consider, I’ve come to terms with the idea that this isn’t something I’ll be able to put behind me. I’m conscious that no matter what I say in this video, or 10 videos down the road, or a year’s worth of videos down the road, these stories and accusations will accompany me for the rest of my life and career, and that irritates me tremendously.”
“It’s so awful and disgusting,” he observed, “but at the end of the day, it’s my own fault and responsibility to, you know, accept responsibility for what I did.”
Charles disputed in February that he “groomed” a kid on Snapchat. A 16-year-old alleged the YouTuber asked for photographs of their “body” at the time.
“The accusation that I have nurtured this person is entirely incorrect,” Charles said in a statement. According to Charles, they “flirted” after adding each other on Snapchat with the victim claiming to be 18 years old. According to the YouTuber, after learning the teen’s age, Charles expressed his “uncomfortably” with the situation.
“Because of scenarios like this, instead of taking someone’s word for it, I now will want to see the ID or passport of every [person] I have a chat with,” the Instant Influencer producer said in a statement.
In April, he released the video “Holding Myself Accountable,” after which he broke relations with Morphe, his longstanding beauty sponsor. “Morphe and James have opted to cease our commercial connection in light of the current allegations against James Charles,” the company said in a statement. “Morphe’s mission is and has always been to establish a positive, safe, and empowering environment where all beauty lovers may freely express their artistry and enthusiasm for cosmetics, and Morphe is dedicated to achieving that goal.”
“All I can do now is learn from that experience and figure out how to better protect myself and be more careful moving forward,” Charles said in his latest video. “That, I guarantee, is precisely what I’m going to be doing.”