James Charles Subscriber
photo: Instagram/JamesCharles

If you like beauty YouTuber drama, then chances are you've been glued to James Charles' timeline. The influencer has taken part in a number of beauty community scandals this year and seems to lose every single time. Since the drama continues to cloud Charles, a few critics think that his constant involvement in the mess is taking a toll on his career. They also seem to have come up with receipts. 

For the first time in his career, Charles' subscribers are decreasing. So what could be the reason? Are more people simply unplugging from the world of social media? Or is this a sign of more problems to come specifically for Charles? 

2019 hasn't been James Charles' most shining year where drama is concerned.

The beauty YouTuber who always seems to be at the top of his game has found himself mixed up in drama just about every other day. The drama won't stop, and fans and subscribers don't know how to feel. His career has sustained some blows over the years — er, like the terrible comments he made about Africa — but always seems to get away with them with the right apologies and more bubbly, pinkity-drinkity happiness.

These days, critics think his latest dramatic situations are catching up to him in a completely different way.

There was the Tati drama. 

Charles posted to his Instagram Story promoting Sugar Bear Hair, a major competitor to Tati Westbrook's Halo Beauty supplements brand. Charles and Westbrook have been friends and collaborators for years, so many were taken aback by him advertising another hair supplement brand. 

Westbrook took to her social media account in a tearful video expressing sadness over the actions of her "friends," and fans immediately knew she was referring to Charles. He ended up apologizing via his social media platforms, but Westbrook never responded. There is no word on where their friendship stands currently.

After Tati Westbrook, there was that Sisters Tour controversy. 

A VIP ticket for his highly anticipated influencer tour comes with a whopping $500 price tag. The criticism was rampant almost instantly, as the vast majority of Charles' fans are young teenagers who can't afford that astronomical number. Charles apologized and explained that he wanted the prices to be lower, but that he couldn't do anything about them due to venue contracts. Unfortunately, many people were not buying his explanation.

Then came the infamous Met Gala dragging.

James Charles was previously roasted on Twitter for not knowing who Zoë Kravitz is and criticizing her Oscars 2019 after-party outfit in a YouTube video. Later, he wore a very similar look to the Met Gala. 

"Can someone explain to me how James Charles can a) not know who Zoe Kravitz is, b) mock her Oscars after-party outfit, and c) channel said Oscars after-party outfit???? I just..," one critic pointed out on Twitter.

The internet simply would not let this situation go. 

The worst part is that all of this mess happened over two weeks.

As one fan noted, "In a span of one week, James Charles has: sparked outrage by charging $500 for a meet and greet ticket, betrayed Tati by promoting a rival company's s*** products, shaded Antonio, a 15 YEAR OLD, and her Coachella outfits for being 'boring' for not showing enough skin. yikes??"

To clarify, the critic is not entirely correct about it all happening in one week. The Tati Westbrook issue happened on April 22, which was a little over two weeks ago. 

Timelines aside, critics believe Charles' subscriber count is decreasing and many think the scandals are to blame. 

That's right. People are pointing out that Charles is losing subscribers. All the proof is also available on Social Blade. The website offers users a live feed of every single subscriber and unsubscriber to Charles' YouTube channel.

Fans have noticed.

They're convinced that Charles is shaking. YouTube is the same platform that made Charles famous, so the fact that he's losing tens of thousands of followers a day is an unfortunate situation. "James Charles watching his subscriber count rn," joked someone on Twitter. 

Hmmm. But is that really the case? 

Beauty fans are really invested in this "news."

They're so invested that many are sitting by their computers watching the Social Blade numbers change one by one. Even an account on YouTube went live today with the website documenting every decrease. 

"I just witnessed James Charles' subscriber count drop and I don’t know how to feel," said a fan. Sigh. The internet is a strange and unusual place.

Others, however, think that critics are simply overreacting. 

James Charles Subscribers dropping
photo: Reddit

"Yeah anyone who thinks he's over is deluding themselves. The bulk of his fan base doesn't care about what he's done lately. Just because a bunch of adults think he's immature doesn't mean he isn't going to stay popular," wrote one commenter. "There are many bgs and YouTubers who have done way worse than he has and are still going strong. He's released a successful palette, is going on a tour, [and] went to the met gala. He's doing just fine."

Point well made.

Others still cannot help but wonder about the large number of followers leaving during his days in the red. 

James Charles losing subscribers
photo: Reddit

"Not at this particular moment but keep in mind that he’s losing WAY more than 10k subscribers on the days that he’s in the red. He was averaging something like +18,000 a day. Assuming those were actual subscribers and not purchased subscribers he’s more in the ballpark of -20,000 to -30,000," noted someone who clearly spent plenty of time pondering this topic. "He’ll stop gaining subscribers eventually if nothing changes but his Social Blade is going to have some really interesting info in the interim."

So is this the beginning of the end for Charles?

photo: HBO

Probably not. We're going to rest on the fact that's it's way too soon to tell if his YouTube channel will actually tank. First of all, it's important to know how YouTube works on the business end. Currently, James Charles has over 16 million subscribers. Even if he lost more than half of that, he would still be able to make a decent bag from YouTube. Charles could drop down to one million followers and that would still be enough to maintain a great income. 

Then there's also the fact that YouTube is not the end-all-be-all of Charles' career. He also has 16.2 million followers on Instagram, which translates into dollars via ads. Plus, his Morphe makeup products are for sale online and in stores. Ultimately, the checks are going to roll in either way. We're in an era when people think everyone lives and dies by a follower count, but if you're going to clock his subscriber count, then clock those coins too. 

Charles is going to be fine. For now, there is really nothing to see here.