People think the James Charles, Jeffree Star and Tati Westbrook feud was a "social experiment"

20 May 2019, 18:03

By Jazmin Duribe

It kind of makes sense, right?

The internet is still reeling from the James Charles/Tati Westbrook/Jeffree Star drama, so much so that people don't quite believe it's all real. Fans are convinced the whole thing was just a "social experiment" that has been captured on film to be turned into a YouTube conspiracy series on cancel culture – and it was all masterminded by Shane Dawson.

James Charles and Tati Westbrook feud explained: A complete guide to the drama

Cancel culture is the term which refers to boycotting and publicly shaming someone (or cancelling them), typically on social media. This usually happens when a celebrity or public figure has been controversial or offensive.

YouTubers are always getting themselves caught up in something. Shane Dawson, Logan Paul and Jeffree Star have all been called out and cancelled at one point or another, so, naturally people think James Charles' whole scandal could be fake to make content for the next series.

James Charles, Jeffree Star and Tati Westbrook.
James Charles, Jeffree Star and Tati Westbrook. Picture: Instagram:@jamescharles/@glamlifeguru/YouTube: Jeffree Star

The internet declared James was cancelled after Tati released a video – which has now been deleted – detailing James' behaviour behind the scenes. Tati alleged that James had made up lies about her, promoted her business rival and "manipulated" straight men into believing they were gay.

The latter allegation caused a huge internet ripple, with a number of guys coming forward to accuse James of allegedly sliding into their DMs and being inappropriate. James denied the allegations and shared a video of his own, with receipts, proving that the relationships he had engaged in had all been consensual.

But before the video's release, James saw his clothing brand yanked offline, his subscriber count plummet and his friends turn against him. His video redeemed him, though, and his subscriber account boosted (it was also his own decision to remove his merch line, as it was hosted by a company owned by Jeffree). However, the damaging effects on his mental health had already transpired, with James admitting that he was in a "dark place" when everyone was hating on him.

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It wasn't just James who was seemingly cancelled in this whole situation either. When James pulled out text messages and DMs in his video, which made it appear that some of the information in Tati's video might not be as it seemed, people were quick to declare she was "cancelled" too. The same with Jeffree, who eventually released a YouTube video of his own apologising after his text message revealed that he had called James a "sick motherfucker" and a "danger to society".

The most obvious problem with cancel culture is that it reeks of bandwagon jumping and it's a total snowball effect. James revealed how people began making up allegations against him just because they could.

In the fickle world of the internet, it rarely ever lasts either. Just like any trend, we cancel someone and move straight on to the next juicy piece of drama, sometimes forgetting why we even cancelled the first person anyway.

James, Tati and Jeffree have now called a truce on their feud, but people aren't so sure it was real in the first place. Shane has been busy filming a secret documentary for months, and whilst fans first believed it could be something solely on James, a juicy doc on the toxicity of cancel culture might be even more of a possibility.

Was it all planned? We doubt it, but people are running wild with their theories online.

Does cancel culture needs to be… cancelled?