Over the weekend, controversial beauty YouTuber, Jeffree Star, dropped a bizarre and rather frightening new video that seemed to address the latest influencer drama surrounding Charli D'Amelio, Trisha Paytas and James Charles.
If you aren't familiar with the drama, here's a brief recap (and a full-on exhaustive and exhausting breakdown here): last week, TikTok star Charli D'Amelio shared a video in which she seemed to be complaining to James Charles about her follower count, and was rude to her chef. Fans dubbed her "ungrateful" and promptly unfollowed her, resulting in a follower loss of more than one million in just 48 hours. The scandal set off YouTuber Trisha Paytas who called Charli "unbecoming" and, when James later defended Charli, called him "creepy" and accused him of "always playing the victim".
What does this beef have to do with Jeffree Star, you might ask? Excellent question. Mid-drama on Friday, Star took to his Instagram Stories to seemingly post about the drama and to warn people against talking about him, even though literally no one was. (Trigger warning for this one guys, his comments are quite intense.)
"Good morning, everyone," Star, dressed in a pink hoodie and sunglasses. "I guess yesterday there was a bunch of drama with other people not involving me but still want to mention my name."
He continued: "First of all, I have no idea what happened, I don't give a fuck what happened. I'm too busy worrying about myself, my family, and I don't care. I don't entertain it. So, if you were friends with me, and you're not anymore, keep my fucking name out of your mouth, bitch. Thank you."
You can view the video here, but again, please note before doing so that it's quite intense.
Cue: confusion on many levels. Beyond being quite shocked by the intense nature of the video, the internet was almost certain that Star was referring to the TikTok beef, as no one could pinpoint what other 'drama' he could be getting at. So, assuming Star is in fact addressing this Charli D'Amelio/James Charles/Trisha Paytas situation, our next question is: why? Despite his assertions, his name was never mentioned by the key players as far as we could tell.
Our best guess? Star likely interpreted some of James' comments about losing followers en másse as shade to him."This Charli situation is NOT sitting right with me…" Charles tweeted. "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 & made a joke about a milestone? 30+ year olds dragging someone half their age? Feels familiar."
But why would Jeffree Star release an aggressive video at a time when his reputation is already so damaged? (Star recently faced a series of sexual and physical assault allegations as reported by Insider, which he is still yet to comment on.)
Outside of sponsorship deals, there seem to be few consequences for high-profile influencers who are accused of or perpetrate bad behaviour; and Jeffree Star has had his nine lives and then some. It makes sense that Star continually does whatever he wants online. His fans – though diminished – are loyal enough to brave the storms of each Star controversy and support him with their video views and their wallets regardless. As long as those cheques roll in, we doubt much will change from Star. Sadly, there will likely be more videos like this.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.