Charli D’Amelio, a 16-year-old dancer, became the first TikTok star to hit 100 million followers. She is on an entirely different level from the rest of her peers — the second most-followed person on the app, Addison Rae, is still 30 million followers behind her.
Until November, Charli had been largely uncontroversial. That all changed with a video uploaded on Nov. 16.
Charli and Dixie D’Amelio came under fire for ‘disrespectful’ behavior in a YouTube video with their parents, James Charles and a private chef.
Dixie, who is 19 years old, was criticized for gagging and then throwing up after eating a snail that chef Aaron May cooked for the family. Commenters slammed her for being “disgusting and utterly childish.”
In the same video, Charli discussed her goal of hitting 100 million followers on TikTok, which led Charles to jokingly ask her, “Was the 95 not enough for you?” He was referencing the fact she very recently hit 95 million. Critics said it seemed like Charli was implying that her fans were just numbers.
Charli lost more than 1 million followers in under 24 hours as a result of the statement.
The D’Amelios faced fierce criticism from Trisha Paytas.
Trisha Paytas, a 32-year-old YouTuber who is no stranger to controversy herself and has beefed with nearly every top creator in the space, called the sisters out in a TikTok on Nov. 18.
“Let’s take a look at how ungrateful the D’Amelios are,” she wrote.
Paytas has posted dozens of videos about the incident.
The D’Amelio sisters defended their actions in two separate response videos.
Charli went live on Instagram to address the “misunderstanding.”
“I don’t even know if I want to do this anymore,” she said, breaking down in tears. “People telling me to hang myself … blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human being is not OK at all.”
She also asked Paytas to leave her alone.
Dixie also responded to the incident, explaining in a TikTok that the snail was a prank from her team. She said a scene in which her team tried to convince her to eat it was cut from the original video.
“I would never in anyway want to be taken as disrespectful, especially from an out-of-context 15-second clip,” she said.
Things seem to be just fine between the D’Amelio family and Chef May.
James Charles defended Charli and made comparisons to his own drama from the year before.
Charles joined the conversation on Twitter.
“This Charli situation is NOT sitting right with me … 100M followers in one year & y’all expect her to know how to be a perfect role model? Death threats because she’s a picky eater and made a joke abiout a milestone? 30+ year olds dragging someone half their age? Feels familiar,” he wrote.
Charles faced quite a bit of drama as a part of “Dramageddon 2.0” in May 2019 after his former collaborator Tati Westbrook alleged that he both disrespected her as a mentor and engaged in predatory behavior with straight men.
Trisha Paytas responded to Charles and Charli once again.
She took the opportunity to slam Heidi and Marc D’Amelio, Charli and Dixie’s parents, as well as Charles.
“I am going to try to handle this with literal kid gloves because [Charli] is a child,” she said in a TikTok. “It’s concerning how her parents raised her and that she’s hanging out with James Charles … she’s literally the most-followed person on social media, that’s what she signed up for.”
Paytas added that she doesn’t think she’s been rude — she’s just giving “constructive criticism.” She repeated similar points throughout a number of videos.
In another post, she said she “sincerely apologizes” if she hurt Charli’s feelings.
“It was bad behavior, bratty behavior, I know you realize that now — you showed true remorse, and I think that’s great growth,” she continued.
On the other hand, she ignited drama with Charles, who she said was subtweeting him when he called out “30+ year olds dragging someone.”
“You are also 21 years old, friends with an underage minor,” she said in a TikTok. “Tati [Westbrook] took advantage of you by being friends with you … you’re doing that with Charli.”
She added that she would continue talking about him as long as he is on social media.
Charles set the record straight about his relationship with the D’Amelios.
After Paytas implied that he was taking “advantage” of 16-year-old Charli by being friends with her, Charles called Paytas out.
“I didn’t want to respond to this because I didn’t want to give Trisha the attention she is clearly craving, but I have now been accused of being a child groomer, and this is not an accusation that I am going to take lightly,” he said. “To insinuate that the relationship between Charli and I is anything other than just a friendship is absolutely disgusting.”
He said he became friends with the entire D’Amelio family very early on because he wanted to be a mentor and a friend to them through their newfound fame.
“Charli and I, who are not the same age, have one thing in common — coming into the spotlight at a very, very young age. This is something Trisha has never experienced,” he continued.
Charles went on to accuse Trisha of “saying racist things,” offending the trans community and offending the DID community, among other things.
Paytas slammed him for bringing up things from her past that she’s apologized for and clarified that she did not call him a child groomer.
“You’re a jerk and your creepy behavior is in the now,” she said in a TikTok.
The next day, Paytas retracted her apology to Charli and called her entitled.
Dixie then joined the feud with Paytas.
The 19-year-old shared a TikTok video in which she danced to an audio recording of Paytas rapping NWA’s F*** the Police,” in which Paytas said the N-word.
“I couldn’t find the sound for this dance so I chose a random one hope that’s okay!! Anyways let’s get back to the RENEGADE!!” Dixie said in her caption.
She immediately faced backlash for the post.
“This isn’t even cute and Dixie thinks it is… Childish,” one Twitter user wrote.
“This is why performative activism is a MAJOR problem with these influencers. They do stupid a** things, acting as if they care about showing awareness but, just for follows, likes and unearned praise for issues they don’t even be consistent about. These sisters are d*** gross,” another Twitter user said.
A few hours later, Dixie deleted the video.
“I deleted the video because my point that I was trying to make was proven and I don’t need to promote a racist sound,” she wrote in the comments of a different video.
On Nov. 21, she took to Twitter to apologize for posting it in the first place.
Jeffree Star has also chimed in.
“First of all, I have no idea what happened, I don’t give a f*** what happened. I’m too busy worrying about me,” he said.
According to drama YouTuber Def Noodles, he could have been responding to Charles, who said in a video that Paytas needs to “hold [herself] and her friends accountable.” Starr and Paytas are friends.
That’s all we know for now — well, in addition to the fact that this is certainly not over yet. We’ll keep you updated.
Charli D’Amelio managed to recover from the backlash and hit 100 million followers just a few days later.
The backlash clearly didn’t last long — Charli hit 100 million followers early Nov. 22.
To celebrate, she hosted Zoom meet-and-greets with her fans — the perfect end to this socially distant social media saga.
If you enjoyed this story, read more about controversial TikTok stars.
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