this should’ve been done a very long time ago; addressing my racist past. pic.twitter.com/cMoIIZE8iI— James Charles (@jamescharles) November 3, 2017
At just 18 years old, James Charles has become one of the most prolific beauty bloggers of social media. His massive platform (he has nearly three million followers on Instagram alone), however, has not come without scrutiny. In Fall of 2016, James made history as the first male face of CoverGirl, but months later, he was under fire for tweeting a "joke" about contracting Ebola on a trip to South Africa. Other past racist remarks of his have recently been dug up from his Twitter archives, and now, the influencer is addressing them head-on.
He posted an apology video on Nov. 3. "I have never really made a direct apology to the people that my tweets affected, which is where an apology should've been directed in the first place," he explained. "In case you didn't know, a few years ago I posted some really, really sh*tty and ignorant and offensive tweets regarding people of different races that I'm really, really not proud of. They were disgusting, they were degrading, and now I realize how my words actually affect people."
The tweets he is referring to have since been taken down, but there are some screenshots floating around on the internet. Within them, he used the phrases "Mexican Instagram slave" and "stupid Indian man" and said a classmate's dress "with her like Native American sashes and stuff" was "so ugly."
The tweets were from 2013, when he was 13 years old, James said in the video. He went on to say they didn't come from a place of hate, but rather "from me being a really ignorant 13-year-old that shouldn't have had a Twitter account."
He then emphasized that he was not trying to make excuses. "There's no amount of time that could pass and no age that excuses racism," he said. "I've grown so much as a person since then and I'm not the same person today that I was five years ago."
James also directly commented on his Ebola tweet (which, by the way, CoverGirl denounced and called "inappropriate" in response). He mentioned that he was thankful he was called out because "it was a really sh*tty thing to say" and that he has learned a "valuable lesson" from the experience.
"I want you guys to know at home watching that I'm really f*cking sorry for my actions and I know sorry doesn't affect anything or take it back, but I'm saying I'm sorry because I genuinely realize how sh*tty the things I said were," James said. "I'm very thankful for the platform I've been given and I realize that I'm a role model for many people. I want to use my platform to spread positivity."
Watch the full video of his apology above.