Stop the world - I want to get off.

YouTuber drama has been going on for decades. It's something that happens in the background, barely gaining any traction in the mainstream whilst the majority of the general public continue to get on with their lives. In May of 2019 however, beauty mogul Tati Westbrook uploaded what would become the most controversial in the video sharing platform's history: Bye Sister.

That video accused young entrepreneur James Charles of taking advantage of Westbrook's kindness, stealing ideas and using her to further his own career. She also alleged that Charles would "manipulate someone's sexuality" on the regular, going after heterosexual males in an attempt to "have them behave sexually in your favour".

Following the video's release, Charles' channel lost three million subscribers, whilst Westbrook's only grew. Charles released an eight-minute apology, saying sorry for the hurt feelings but remaining clear in that he didn't do anything purposely to harm Westbrook's career. She would follow-up with another video where she claimed the only reason she dropped Bye Sister was to get through to somebody who she believed was unreachable by other means.

This pushed Charles to release an extended address of all of the accusations made by Tati, with countless receipts being pulled up not only to show that he wasn't acting purposely to hurt Westbrook's brand, but that he didn't try to trick a straight waiter from Seattle into sleeping with him, as she had claimed. Texts were also revealed that showed vicious messages from fellow beauty magnate Jeffree Star, which included more accusations of sexual harassment and attempted assault. Charles shut down each one of those claims.

Star shocked everybody when he released his own video, actually apologising for sending the texts to Charles rather than doubling down and attacking. "I am not going to fuel this fire bigger so that everyone can get more entertainment, because behind the scenes, this isn't funny," he says. "This is our real lives, and I inserted myself into something publicly that I shouldn't have."

A tweet was then put out later on the same day by Westbrook, stating that she would also no longer be addressing the situation publicly.

All went quiet. For a good 12-months, the internet mostly forgot about Dramageddon. Then rumours started circling that Westbrook would be making her return to YouTube with a video exposing both Star as well as his close friend and fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson, claiming they set her up to take down Charles - and that's what we got yesterday (June 30th, 2020).

Tati Westbrook broke her silence with a 40-minute tear-soaked video release / Picture Credit: Tati on YouTube
Tati Westbrook broke her silence with a 40-minute tear-soaked video release / Picture Credit: Tati on YouTube

After months of remaining silent, Westbrook used a script she claims was drafted up personally with the help of her legal team, alleging Star got in touch with her in early 2019 to warn that Charles was going to be exposed as sexual predator, with multiple victims lining up to tell their stories. She says that, at the age of 37, she was gaslit and manipulated by both Star and Dawson into creating the Bye Sister video, and following its release, neither of them had been in touch following the release of Star's own video addressing the situation.

She apologises repeatedly to Charles in the video, taking some responsibility but also laying it at the door of others. She also mentions a charity she's involved with that is "dedicated to helping underserved youth and children in the juvenile justice system realise their spiritual identity". No mention of Black Lives Matter. No mention of the hundreds of thousands dead due to coronavirus. Just a rehashing of the past with lots of privileged tears falling from Westbrook's cheeks.

To Tati Westbrook: For somebody who continues to stay silent throughout the entire uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, you sure now have a lot to say about your personal problems. You are one of the most privileged people in America, with wealth unlike anything most of us will ever see in our lives, yet you take to YouTube to push out white girl tears because you didn't know if anybody would be at the launch of your latest business venture. For a woman approaching 40, to be caught up in all of this ridiculous 'drama' is embarrassing, to say the very least. Use your platform to spotlight real problems - like black people being murdered by cops and the woeful Presidential response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To Shane Dawson: Take some time away. Your past is littered with racist and extremely worrying content that may have to be investigated by the authorities. Don't go live on Instagram. Don't continue to address drama and then delete it 20 minutes later. Stop acting on impulse. Build bridges in private and remember that even if you do say sorry, people aren't obliged to forgive. You asked to be a part of the YouTube beauty community knowing full well what you were getting yourself in for, and when the crap hit the fan, you called it "toxic" and ran away with the millions you'd made.

To Jeffree Star: You perhaps more than any YouTuber have done so much to hurt the black community, that it's time to put your money where your mouth is and prove that you really have changed. Words are all well and good, but until you follow through with action that shows you are committed to helping the BLM movement, they fall flat on the ground. 

This parasitic, self-serving, egocentric white supremacist side of YouTube needs to go. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. Black people are out on the street alongside allies, marching for their lives. Racists are being given a platform unlike anything we've seen in modern history. It's time for REAL CHANGE.

In the grand scheme of things, who really cares about Tati, Shane and Jeffree?

Below I've posted a tweet that's the first part of a thread linking to causes that truly need attention right now. Please click through them and do what you can to help.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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