James Charles has apologised for attending a massive birthday party for Larri 'Larray' Merritt last week, which saw an estimated 67 top influencers crammed together, most of them not wearing masks.
TikTok and YouTube stars including Tana Mongeau, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Nikita Dragun and Emma Chamberlain were among those who celebrated Larri's birthday with dinner at BOA Steakhouse followed by a night out at the Hype House, both in LA. Hype House cofounder Thomas Petrou told The Hollywood Fix that while 67 attendees were inside the venue, “hundreds” more waited outside, hoping to be let in.
Naturally, the group copped heaps of backlash from fans, with some choosing to unfollow the influencers who attended.
James posted a written statement on a vlog afterwards: “Even though I have been wearing a mask in public and have tested negative multiple times, going to a party during a pandemic was a selfish & stupid decision. People’s safety and keeping COVID-19 contained is FAR more important than celebrating a friends birthday and unsafe partying is not something I want to promote to my audience."
“I recognise that with my platform comes responsibility, and I encourage you guys to be smarter than I was.”
Tana has also since apologised, writing: “Partying/going to any social gatherings during a global pandemic was such a careless and irresponsible action on my behalf. I fully hold myself accountable for this + will be staying inside. Actions like that don’t deserve a platform and I want to fully apologise and be better than this. I’m sorry. ... I need to be a better example and person.”
The statements come after YouTuber Tyler Oakley called out the party-goers, pleading with them to social distance, wear their masks and use their platforms to encourage responsibility. Larri had responded: “I understand 100% where ur coming from & it was a dumb thing to do. I will do better & will actually take this shit seriously.”
The day after the party, on Wednesday, California announced a whopping 12,807 new cases of the virus, bringing the state’s confirmed case total to 413,576.
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