Beauty YouTuber James Charles has issued an apology video admitting to contacting 16-year-old boys, after new allegations that he inappropriately messaged a young fan surfaced.
In the apology video posted to his YouTube channel on Thursday, titled “holding myself accountable” the 21-year-old influencer said “I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong.” The video has already been watched nearly 3m times.
James Charles admitted to two incidents where he became aware that the person he was exchanging messages with was 16-years-old. One occurred last year and one more recently.
He began the video by saying:
“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.”
“These conversations should have never happened,” he added, admitting that he could have searched for them on other social media platforms and found their real ages.
Allegations against the YouTuber first surfaced in February when Charles was accused of “grooming” a 16-year-old fan.
Vulture reported that a young man made a TikTok video in which he claimed Charles sent him unsolicited nudes on Snapchat and pressured him into sexting, even though he told the YouTuber that he was 16.
Charles took to Twitter to address the allegations at the time. In a statement posted on social media, he said the accusation that he “groomed this person” is “completely false”. He claimed that the individual said at first he was 18 and that he cut off all contact after he “admitted he was 16”.
“After false allegations like this in the past, I would never knowingly engage with someone underage and put my life on the line for a few Snapchats,” Charles said.
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 26, 2021
YouTube revealed that James Charles will not return as the host for the original beauty series Instant Influencer as accusations about the influencer’s conduct mounted.
On Friday (26 March), a spokesperson for YouTube confirmed to Variety that Charles will not be returning to the show, but they declined to provide a reason. The spokesperson said: “We can confirm season two of the YouTube original series Instant Influencer will take a new creative direction, including a new host.
“We thank James for a great first season and look forward to building on the show’s success by expanding the opportunity to showcase a diversity of creators across the YouTube platform in our upcoming season.”
The makeup reality-competition show was originally titled Instant Influencer with James Charles and debuted in early 2020.
Hosted by Charles, it featured six emerging beauty YouTubers as they competed to become the next big social media influence and win a $50,000 prize. The artists participated in challenges with the input from James Charles and guest judges including Paris Hilton and Trixie Mattel.
The series garnered over 53 million views in its first month, and it was announced in mid last year that the show would be renewed for a second season.
James Charles has been contacted for comment by PinkNews.