Watch: YouTube Beauty Celeb James Charles Apologizes for Texts with Underage Boys

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday April 2, 2021
Originally published on April 2, 2021

YouTube celebrity and beauty influencer James Charles posted a 14-minute video April 1 to apologize for texts he had exchanged with underage boys, reports NBC News.

In the video, titled "holding myself accountable," Charles said he wished to speak "from the heart".

"First and foremost, I need to say: Sorry," the beauty influencer said. "I owe a massive apology to anybody that I've hurt or anybody that I've made uncomfortable with my actions."

"I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong," James went on to say, before recounting that in both cases he was addressing - one from last year, and a more recent allegation - "I added both of these people on Snapchat, asked how old they were right away, was told that they were eighteen, believed them, engaged in a flirty conversation and then later on found out that they were actually sixteen.

"Upon finding out, I was immediately embarrassed and blocked both people," Charles added.

"Later on, when I saw them making videos about it and those videos going viral, my immediate reaction, completely honestly, was to be really, really upset."

But, Charles went on to say, when he researched and "self reflected," he came to a different way of looking at the situation. "The specific details of the interaction really don't matter, because I fucked up," he said.

"These conversations should have never happened, period," Charles added, before going on to say, "As an adult, it is my and my responsibility to verify who I'm talking to, and therefore there is no one to blame for this other than myself.

"To the guys involved in this situation I want to say I'm sorry."

"One of the unnamed 16-year-old accusers previously denied to Insider that he lied to Charles about his age," NBC News noted, adding that Charles "has been involved in multiple scandals throughout his YouTube career".

Those scandals, Vulture notes, include pushback after negative film reviews and comments about (and feuds with) fellow celebrities, as well as more substantive issues like racist tweets from 2017 and comments made two years later that some saw as being transphobic.

Vulture summarized some of the recent allegations against Charles, recounting that in February of this year, "A 16-year-old boy claimed Charles had groomed him and pressured him into exchanging sexual photos via the Snapchat app."

Also in February, "A 17-year-old boy shared screenshots alleging that Charles had continued to flirt with him via Instagram message even after learning his age," and "A third man of an unclear age came forward to share his negative, sexually fueled conversation with Charles."

Last month, Vulture said, "A 15-year-old teenage boy used TikTok to share screenshots from conversations and photos he had exchanged with Charles."

Vulture recalled that Charles "has 25.7 million subscribers on YouTube, 27.3 million Instagram followers, and 36 million followers on TikTok," and said the most recent allegations seem to be taking a toll on his popularity.

Watch the video below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.