James Charles is one of YouTube’s biggest beauty personalities, boasting over 17 million subscribers on the platform, alone — but his new competitive reality show is getting some heat before it has even been released.
Charles has been teasing his competitive beauty show for some time now, and finally released a first look at the project in a series of photos on April 1.
The show, titled ‘Instant Influencer,’ pits a group of micro-influencers against one another for the title of top beauty personality, headed by Charles as they compete in various beauty-themed challenges.
Despite the series promising premise in giving smaller YouTubers a spotlight, some critics are unhappy with the project, noting the apparent lack of diversity in the show’s cast of candidates.
“Now, I’m not surprised by this in the least, but y’all really said f**k black beauty boys,” one critic Tweeted of the series. “There’s a dot of pepper in a sea of salt.”
“I’m bummed because this isn’t diverse,” another commented. “It looks like a very specific type of person from one age range. But I’ll wait till I see the show. I would have loved to see like a 80 year old, someone who was disabled, but oh well.”
I’m bummed because this isn’t diverse. It look like a very specific type of person from one age range. But I’ll wait till I see the show. I would have loved to see like a 80 year old, someone who was disabled, but oh well
— Jaime Loflin (@huffygirl51) April 1, 2020
“No dark girls? No dark men? No plus size people?” another user challenged. “Having one black girl does not all of the sudden make it ‘soo diverse.’ There needs to be more.”
No dark girls ? No dark men? No plus size people? Having 1 black girl does not all of the sudden make it “soo diverse”. There needs to be more
— R ? (@selethereal) April 1, 2020
Charles uploaded small profiles of the candidates to his Instagram story, revealing that the six YouTubers in his promotional poster are the final contestants, featuring names like Christian Perez, Britany Renteria, and Kailin Chase.
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The participating micro-influencers likewise uploaded their own videos discussing the project, which have been met with excitement from their fans — but critics of Charles have a decidedly opposing viewpoint on the topic.
While Charles has yet to speak out on the outrage over his upcoming show, this isn’t the last teaser for the project, by far: the YouTuber also announced an upcoming trailer for the project on April 3, giving another sneak peek into the competition before it airs.
The show itself will stream free on YouTube starting April 24th as part of YouTube Originals — although the verdict is already rocky, despite having not even been released yet.