Jeffree Star and Trisha Paytas have added their two cents to the latest influencer scandal, which saw TikTok star Charli D'Amelio lose one million followers overnight last week after fans said she appeared "rude" and "entitled" in a new video. Despite this only kicking off last week, the following events are quite the saga – here's the essential info if you're so inclined.
It all began when Charli shared the first episode of new YouTube series, "Dinner With The D'Amelios", which showed her, her older sister Dixie (also TikTok famous) and their parents sitting down at dinner with special guest and close pal James Charles.
In the episode, Charli and Dixie both make little digs and complaints about the food they were being served by a private chef, with Charli going as far to ask him whether he has any "dino nuggets" instead. It wasn't a good look, and they copped a lot of shit online for it. To be fair, the chef – chef Aaron May – has since told reporters he wasn't at all offended by the sisters' reactions, explaining that it was all part of an act for the video. It's also worth noting that both the D'Amelio sisters are young; Charli is only 16 years' old – and while no one should treat others disrespectfully – we should consider their age and the unique position they are in as young influencers when we critique then, BUT we digress.
The teens' rudeness to the chef aside; the most controversial part of the video came close to the end, when Charli told James Charles she had hoped she'd pass 100 million TikTok followers within a year of hitting one million. "Was the 95 [million] not enough for you?" James had joked, to which Charli kinda backtracked, saying she wanted "even numbers". See below:
The clip prompted fans around the world to unfollow Charli, leading to her losing more than one million followers within the 48-hour period that followed.
YouTuber Trisha Paytas, of all people, wanted in. At the same time that Charli was losing all her followers, Trisha was sharing TikTok clips calling out Charli and Dixie for acting "ungrateful" and "unbecoming". Paytas added that she thought that Charli, at only 16 years old, didn't deserve the hate, the sisters did need some constructive criticism their parents and older mates clearly weren't giving them. Ironically, Trisha Paytas also made headlines a few months ago for speaking out in support of disgraced YouTuber Shane Dawson, known for joking about paedophilia and donning blackface, among other disturbing allegations.
Charli D'Amelio then hopped on TikTok – where else! – to ask YouTuber Trisha Paytas to please stop talking about her. "You have been completely rude to me multiple times," Charli said. "You have your own problems – please stop worrying about mine."
Trisha Paytas apologised to Charli – later taking it back – and said it was fair game to chat about the "most followed person on social media".
Around this time, James Charles stepped in to defended Charli, calling the situation in which she found herself "familiar". As you'll remember, James Charles lost millions of followers overnight in the wake of Tati Westbrook's controversial "Bye Sister" video, in which she accused Charles of being a predator to straight men. Charles was 19 at the time. (Note: Tati Westbrook later apologised to James Charles for the video, blaming fellow YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star for manipulating her.)
"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."
The tweet seemed to fire Trisha up even more – this time with her directing her (rather extreme?) annoyance at James. Trisha Paytas not only dubbed him "creepy" toward Charli and accused him of always "playing the victim", but she also went as far as to call out his parents for even letting him hang out with his former mentor, Tati Westbrook.
"Poor parenting on ur parents end James for allowing u to be friends, a middle aged woman while u were a teen," she wrote. "Unfortunately u were the victim then. But now Charli is the victim, u being friends with a minor is predatory."
James Charles hit back, posting a TikTok denying his friendship with Charli D'Amelio was inappropriate and calling Trisha's accusations "disgusting". He then began to list off all Trisha's other controversies, finishing by telling her to "pack it up".
Charli's sister and fellow snail-hater, Dixie D'Amelio, who'd remained quiet up until this point, piped up. And by piped up, we mean posted a TikTok of herself dancing to Trisha Paytas rapping the song "Fuck Tha Police" by NWA – a song that has the 'n' word in its lyrics… which Trisha sang.
Naturally, Black influencers were less than impressed with Patyas, but also Dixie for posting the clip, and said as much.
Her shade foiled, Dixie D'Amelio then deleted the TikTok, saying she'd posted it with "the intention of making a point that didn't need to be made" and that she apologised "sincerely".
This all brings us to: Jeffree Star. (You didn't think there'd be a controversy without him did you?!). Despite being "done with the tea", Star seemingly inserted himself into the narrative with a bizarre and frightening video he uploaded to his Instagram Story on Friday. In the clip, Star said he didn't know much about the drama but that he didn't want people he used to be friends with to be chatting about him. (Trigger warning, guys, these comments are particularly awful.)
"First of all, I have no idea what happened, I don't give a fuck what happened. I'm too busy worrying about myself and my family, and I don't care. I don't entertain it," Star said. "So if you were friends with me, and you're not anymore, keep my fucking name out of your mouth, bitch." You can view the video here, but again, please note before doing so that it's quite intense.
It's not really clear who Star is referring to, seeing as his name was never brought up by any of those involved in the scandal, as far as we can tell.
Of course, all this extra attention has actually resulted in Charli D'Amelio gaining heaps more followers. She hit the 100-million mark on TikTok just hours ago, becoming the first-ever TikToker to hit the milestone. If that's not an indication that any publicity is good publicity, we don't know what is.
I'm off to take a nap.
Patiently 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.