YouTube takes action over James Charles’ ‘harmful’ messages to teen boys

James Charles

James Charles’ YouTube channel has been temporarily demonetised after he admitted to sending inappropriate messages to two 16-year-old boys.

In a video uploaded to YouTube on 2 April, the beauty influencer issued an apology for his actions, acknowledging that his conversations with 16-year-old fans “should never have happened”. He also claimed he was not aware of their age when he began exchanging messages with the boys.

YouTube told the BBC that James Charles’ channel, which has 25 million subscribers, has been temporarily suspended from its Partnership Program, which allows YouTubers to make money on the platform.

A spokesperson for the company addressed its creator responsibility policy as the basis for its action against Charles, which states: “If we see that a creator’s on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community.”

The streaming platform did not say how long its action against the 21-year-old would last.

James Charles admitted his actions were ‘wrong’

YouTube’s action comes just days after cosmetic company Morphe announced that it was terminating its business relationship with Charles following the allegations.

“In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship and wind down sales of the Morphe x James Charles product offering,” the company wrote in a statement shared on Twitter.

“It is and has always been Morphe’s goal to create a positive, safe and empowering space where all beauty lovers can freely share their artistry and passion for cosmetics, and Morphe is committed to furthering that goal.”

In his apology video, titled “holding myself accountable”, James Charles told fans: “I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong.”

He acknowledged that he had become aware on two occasions that the boys he was messaging were actually 16-years-old. One of those incidents occurred last year and one more recently, he said.

“I owe a massive apology to anybody that I’ve hurt or anybody that I’ve made uncomfortable with my actions. And I also want to say I’m sorry to my friends, family and fans that have to watch another one of these videos because you shouldn’t have to and this is really, really embarrassing.”