YouTube star and makeup mogul James Charles has hit out at celebrity shoutout service Cameo, who purportedly sent him an email that he claims is trying to “profit” from hysteria surrounding the Novel Coronavirus.
Cameo is a relatively new service taking over the online space, allowing fans to pay celebrities in exchange for a custom shout-out from their favorite stars.
Advertising such celebs as actress Debra Messing, the NBA’s Aaron Gordon, and even YouTubers like Chris Turner, it seems that Cameo boasts a large arsenal of huge names — but they aren’t enlisting the services of one social media influencer, in particular.
In a Tweet on March 14, Charles shared an alleged email from the celebrity service, who urged the star to sign up on their site as a means to take advantage of the current social isolation due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t know if your events have been affected by the pandemic, but we’ve seen a growing number of talent joining Cameo to stay connected with fans from the safety of their homes, while also having an additional revenue stream as things get postponed,” the purported email reads.
Charles wasted no time calling out the platform, claiming that the company is trying to take advantage of a serious situation and even calling the message “pathetic.”
“I interact with my fans for free every day because it’s my job and I love them!” he wrote. “Your website that charges for this is pathetic, and so is your email pitch to profit off of a deadly virus!”
That’s not all: Charles followed up his now-deleted post with another Tweet, where he admitted that he originally wanted to avoid offending other personalities who use the service, but was sent “over the edge” by the company’s divisive email.
The whole website concept is disgusting and I’ve avoided discussing it because I don’t want to shade any of the influencers that do choose to use it but this email sent me over the edge
— James Charles (@jamescharles) March 14, 2020
While he isn’t alone in his thinking, his post has incited a slew of conversation regarding the ethics of stars charging for a shoutout from fans — especially during a time of mass panic as the Coronavirus continues to develop, prompting social isolation, travel bans, and shortages of basic items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper.