YouTube star James Charles is facing backlash after taking part in a TikTok trend that many critics have found offensive and racist for seeming to making fun of Indian culture.
James Charles is one of YouTube’s biggest beauty gurus, boasting over 20 million subscribers due to his insane talents with a makeup brush and his top-tier collabs with other social media stars.
In spite of his popularity, Charles has been at the brunt of critics’ ire as of late, after hopping on a popular TikTok trend that uses a classical Indian song and a wavy filter.
The filter kicks in as the singer’s voice trills, creating a humorous and unique effect in time with the music — but in spite of its apparent comedic intentions, many critics are taking issue with the filter’s use across TikTok, as well as Charles’ involvement with the trend.
“Disrespecting Indian classical music is never f***iing okay,” one user wrote of the scandal. “Not James Charles, Capital FM, Dua Lipa and many more are doing this TikTok s**t. Wtf is wrong with you all? Casual racism is never f**king okay.”
SO APPARENTLY, THIS HAS BECAME A TREND ON TIK TOK SO LET ME TELL YOU DISRESPECTING INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC IS NEVER FUCKING OKAY, NOT JAMES CHARLES, CAPITAL FM, DUA LIPA AND MANY MORE ARE DOING THIS TIK TOK SHIT. WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL CASUAL RACISM IS NEVER FUCKING OKAY
— 𝐀𝐮𝐧𝐚⁷ ♡𝐬 𝐄𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲&𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬 (@60SG0LDEN_) August 8, 2020
“F**k James Charles and f**k anybody else who thinks mocking Indian culture is funny,” another chimed in. “You guys are so quick to drink you chai tea and have temporary henna tattoos and appropriate the s**t out of our culture. Sit down and shut the f**k up.”
fuck james charles and fuck anybody else who thinks mocking indian culture is funny. you guys are so quick to drink you chai tea and have temporary henna tattoos and appropriate the shit out of our culture sit down and shut the fuck up
— ً (@guccishabit) August 8, 2020
Despite the backlash, it doesn’t look like Charles is letting the criticism get him down, as evidenced by his pointed response to the matter in an Instagram comment.
“1.8 million other people made this video, yet I’m the one getting cancelled lol,” he wrote. “I thought the filter was funny, not the song. The singing is impressive as hell, but I deleted the video because I obviously didn’t mean to offend.”
While Charles has since deleted the TikTok in question, some critics are clearly unhappy with his response; but this isn’t the first time the makeup mogul has been dragged into drama (2019, hello?), and it seems that he’s learned how to roll with the punches.