Here’s what you need to know about the drama going down between beauty YouTubers

There’s quite a bit of drama going down on the beauty guru corner of the internet that is home to YouTubers Tati Westbrook, James Charles, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson. 

On June 30, Westbrook uploaded a video apologizing for her role in her feud with Charles, accusing Star and Dawson of “manipulating” her into making the “Bye Sister” video that sparked “Dramageddon 2.0.”

If we’ve already lost you, don’t worry. We’re going to unpack it all for you right now.

It’s a long story involving allegations of racism, predatory behavior and blackmail threats, so prepare yourself accordingly. 

Dramageddon 2.0

To understand what’s happening in July 2020, we first have to return to the summer of 2018. An intense feud known as Dramageddon 1.0 had just ended, following a public standoff between fans of Star and four other beauty YouTubers — Nikita Dragun, Manny Guttierez, Laura Lee and Gabriel Zamora.

Zamora tweeted about Star’s past racist remarks, igniting a firestorm that eventually revealed that Lee had made her own racist remarks in the past, causing her to lose a great deal of subscribers to her YouTube channel. Star’s channel emerged largely unscathed.

Dramageddon 2.0 began in May 2019 when Westbrook posted a video to YouTube titled “Bye Sister,” in which she cut ties with Charles, alleging that he both disrespected her after she mentored him and “tricked” straight men into thinking they were gay.

Star responded to the video, accusing Charles of being a “danger to society,” but never substantiated these claims. Charles denied those allegations in a video titled “No More Lies.”

Dawson was never publicly involved with this feud, but it didn’t take long for people to speculate that he played a behind-the-scenes role in the spread of it.

Star brought up the drama once again in April 2020 during an appearance on the “Mom’s Basement” podcast. He threatened to share “receipts” that would prove Charles’ misconduct, but he never did.

Star and Dawson exposés

In June 2020, a number of drama channels, or YouTube accounts that specialize in divulging drama among members of the community, began sharing videos about Star and Dawson.

According to Insider, a number of channels made claims about “offensive/inappropriate jokes” made by the two men in the past, which led to a wave of backlash against them.

In an explosive rant that he posted to Twitter, Dawson vowed to leave the beauty community and denied planning or orchestrating Dramageddon 2.0 behind-the-scenes. It was poorly received, to say the least.

Over the course of the next week, fans began sharing “receipts” of Dawson’s past bad behavior.

He responded to the allegations of racist behavior by sharing a video titled “Taking Accountability,” in which he apologized for “all the racism that [he] put on the internet,” wearing blackface, using the N-word and joking about pedophilia.

He has also been accused of sexualizing children on multiple occasions, and has even been called out by Jaden Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith for a sexualized video he made about then-11-year-old Willow Smith that recently began circulating on social media again. He has not yet responded to this particular incident, though stores like Morphe and Target have stopped selling his products as a result of the public backlash.

‘Breaking My Silence’

Mere days after Dawson’s “apology,” Westbrook uploaded a video titled “Breaking My Silence” that brought all of these various threads back together.

She first revealed that she and Charles made up in December 2019, but that she wanted to issue a public apology to make it official.

Westbrook then made the bombshell claim that Dawson and Star “manipulated” her into uploading her “Bye Sister” video in the first place, saying that though she had concerns about Charles acting inappropriately, Dawson and Star made “horrific accusations” behind the scenes.

She said that she was “gaslit into making that video” and that it was “one of the biggest regrets of my life.” She admitted that her guard was down in that instant because she was upset with Charles for doing a hair vitamin sponsorship with SugarBearHair, a competitor of Westbrook’s Halo Beauty brand. 

Westbrook also claimed that Star is holding other members of the beauty community “hostage” with “veiled threats of exposure.”

“We need to be prepared to forgive them. Otherwise, this won’t stop,” she said in the video.

And finally, Westbrook claimed that Dawson was in fact in on the “Bye Sister” video all along, and that he even offered to help edit it — something that had only been speculation up to this point.

‘LOSING MY MIND

Though Star hasn’t yet responded to any of the allegations Westbrook made in her latest video — and it’s possible that he will soon — Dawson has had quite a few things to say.

Dawson broadcasted his reaction live on Instagram to an audience of 250,000 people. He claimed that Westbrook was the one being manipulative.

“THIS IS A F****** LIE AND I’M LOSING MY MIND,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

Though Dawson’s fiancé Ryland Adams could be heard in the background of the livestream telling Dawson to get off, he shared his own statement, calling Westbrook’s video a “master class in manipulation.”

Twitter users criticized both Dawson and Adams for responding to the video so quickly, given that they have both been silent regarding the resurfaced video of Dawson sexualizing a child. 

“Another thing that doesn’t sit right with me, was how quickly shane hopped on instagram live when tati called him out but remained silent through the willow smith situation and everything else?” one user wrote.

Other YouTubers outside of the beauty community such as Trisha Paytas and Eugenia Cooney have defended Dawson — and immediately faced backlash for doing so.

That’s all we know about the Youtube beauty community drama as of July 1, but one thing is for certain — this isn’t over yet.

If you’d like to read more about this topic, check out what happened when this YouTuber apologized for years’ worth of controversial videos.

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