Whether you like it or not, you will have heard about the James Charles scandal and Youtuber drama that has stemmed from seemingly nowhere this past month, and once again the mass hatred spread by social media influencers is another reason we can add to the ever-growing list of why social media is so damaging.
If you have been hiding under a rock lately, here’s a quick summary: James Charles is a very successful MUA and Youtuber who recently lost around 1.4 Million followers after another famous Youtuber, Tati, outed him for some pretty reputation-damaging accusations which caused a global uproar in which the hashtag #JamesCharlesIsCancelled began trending almost immediately. Tati’s claims were accusing James Charles, an openly homosexual male, of using his fame and power to manipulate straight men into sexual acts.
Firstly, it amazes me how millions of people can believe such claims without even a sniff of any evident proof, resulting in a huge backlash against a real human being -whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Secondly, despite his money and overpowering fame, James Charles is STILL a 19 year old young boy and very much human, with real emotions and mental health that is inevitably suffering from such a global mass hatred and huge damage to his online-reliant career. We tend to see celebrities or influencers as almost mythical beings because they are famous and have a lot of money, expecting them to handle such an uproar of abuse and trauma – why should they? They’re not superhuman, their fame does not turn off their emotions – James Charles is a young boy who has suffered from literally millions of people attacking him for these claims, and that is sure enough to hurt anyone, regardless of follower count.
Thirdly, you cannot ‘cancel’ a human being. What does this even mean? Can every person who has typed out hate and abuse to James Charles honestly say their past actions and personalities are whiter than white, pure of any mistakes? Absolutely not. We are all growing, learning and developing from our mistakes – one slip up does not mean we should be cancelled from earth, our career ended and an entire globe of people turned against us.
Fourthly, James Charles’ reply video essentially shut these claims down and showed the world that there is always two sides to a story. He showed proof, gave details and gave further (rather personal) insight into the story, which caused Tati, Jeffree Star and other hugely powerful influencers to back down and apologise. Too little too late, maybe?
Fifthly (if that’s even a word), one of the real reasons that James Charles’ reply video was so effective and iconic was his explanation of the prejudices that he faced, as a homosexual. He pointed out that he had been essentially villainised for flirting with those he is attracted to, which would never be such a ‘crime’ in the world of heterosexuality. In my opinion, he handled the entire situation pretty well and ended up teaching a very valuable lesson to those watching who have followed the story – so, literally millions of people across the world.
This never had to happen. Millions of people never had to be involved in this. James Charles didn’t need to receive the abuse of millions of people before he could even reply. I’m not completely siding with James Charles as a person as like everyone else, I don’t know for sure what has even happened, HOWEVER this works both ways and no one outside of the situation can express hate or damage to someone’s mental health based on un-backed-up allegations.
I hope the world has learned something from this. As we live our lives, we will hear accusations about others, we will come across rumours and of course in some cases they may be true. Although, I hope we can all take a step back after hearing such things and ask ourselves:
- Does this require my input, abuse or harmful words?
- Do I know for certain this is true?
- What about the person who’s receiving mass-hate from the world?
In a world who preaches ‘mental health awareness’ and then backlashes a human being with really harmful words without solid proof of any injustice, I hope we can learn to look out for each other and consider how the person at the receiving end of such abuse is feeling – and not only give a sh*t when it’s too late.