James Charles is back on YouTube after “a lot of self-reflection.”
In a new video titled “An Open Conversation,” Charles spoke about what he has learned since stepping away from YouTube in April, amid allegations from two minors that he had inappropriate conversations with them on social media.
“I owe a massive apology to anybody I have hurt or anybody I made uncomfortable with my actions,” Charles said in an April video. He alleged the two victims told him they were 18, and he “engaged in flirty conversation” until learning their real ages.
On Friday, July 2, Charles acknowledged it would be “ridiculous and irresponsible to try to just come back to social media and pretend like nothing happened, and move on with regularly scheduled makeup programming.”
In fact, the beauty influencer confessed that the claims have been “the worst but most important wake-up call of my entire life for a lot of different reasons.” The 22 year old added, “This is by far the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me.”
At the start of his new sit-down, he addressed viewers’ reactions to his last video, saying that “one of the biggest pieces of feedback that I got was that I felt really, really and genuine and scripted, and that really, really sucks because that video was not scripted.”
The makeup expert recapped his response at the time, noting, “In that video, [I] talked about how basically two guys that [had] come forward with stories on social media about how I had inappropriate contact with them when they were under the age of 18… I did mention in that video that they had lied to me about their age.”
Though he was “upset” by the allegations, he said he realized at the time that, “At the end of the day, as the adult and the person with the platform, it was 1,000 percent my responsibility to be doing my due diligence and checking into the people that I was speaking to, and I failed to do that,” he admitted. “And that really, really sucks and that’s why I uploaded that video, because I felt as though it was really hard for me to hold myself accountable, give people an explanation as to what went down, and most importantly apologize to the people that were actually affected by my actions.”
Now, Charles has a few more thoughts to share about the allegations.
Namely, he said he doesn’t want anyone calling it a “scandal,” because it’s “just not an appropriate word to be using with this situation.” As he explained, “There’s no denying that I’ve been in my fair share of scandals online, but using that word with this situation just feels really, really wrong, and it really feels like it’s making light of what actually happened, and I don’t want to do that. I definitely have not been taking this lightly.”
Charles, who has dealt with drama within the YouTube community for years, said he has spent the last two years “changing my behavior,” including the ways he has been “dating and flirting with guys.”
Following the allegations from the minors, he said, “It really looks as though I have made no progress.”
“I am so, so sorry for disappointing you guys and letting you down once again,” Charles continued. “As scary as it is to think about, I’ve also come to terms with the fact that this isn’t just something that I can move on from. I am aware that, you know, no matter what I say in this video or 10 videos down the line or a year’s worth of videos down the line, these stories and accusations are going to follow me for the rest of my life and the rest of my career, and that sucks so much.”
He reflected, “It’s so horrifying and embarrassing, but at the end of the day, it’s my own fault and my own responsibility to, you know, take accountability for what I did.”
In February, Charles denied he “groomed” a minor on Snapchat. At the time, a 16 year old said that the YouTuber asked for pictures of their “body.”
In a statement, Charles responded, “The accusation that I have groomed this person is completely false.” Per Charles, they added each other on Snapchat and the victim claimed to be 18, so Charles started “flirting.” After learning the teen was 16, Charles told them he was “uncomfortable” with the situation, according to the vlogger.
The Instant Influencer producer vowed in his statement, “Because of situations like this, instead of taking someone’s word for it, I now will ask to see the ID or passport of every [person] I have a conversation with.”
He posted his “Holding Myself Accountable” video in April, and then parted ways with his longtime beauty sponsor, Morphe. “In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship,” the brand said in a statement. “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.”
Ultimately, Charles said in his new video, “All I can do is just learn from that situation and figure out how to better protect myself and be more careful moving forward, and that I promise is exactly what I’m going to be doing.”