YouTubers make a ridiculous amount of money, and it feels like it happens overnight. Whether you’re a beauty guru, a video game streamer, or an adult entertainer, YouTube can make you a millionaire; and James Charles is just another example of that trend.
But another common trend in the YouTube landscape is controversy. Some of YouTube’s biggest personalities have been involved in scandals, ranging in severity from personal beef to accusations of criminal behavior. James Charles is no exception. Since his first upload, he’s been embroiled in dozens of scandals while simultaneously earning millions of dollars. Gossip Cop is taking a deep dive into James Charles’ net worth and whether his problematic tendencies will make a dent in his wallet.
James Charles Exploded Onto The Beauty Scene In 2016
If it feels like James Charles popped up out of the clear blue, it’s because, well, he kind of did. He started a YouTube channel in 2015, and at that point, he was just an unknown beginner. The following year, he went viral for his glamorous senior photos.
After his viral moment, Charles and his online following started to grow. He attracted the attention of CoverGirl, and he became their first-ever male spokesperson. At that point, he went from a regular beautify influencer to being a full-fledged celebrity.
These days, he boasts over 25 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, making him one of the most influential voices in the beauty industry. He even hosted a web series, Instant Influencer, where contestants compete to become the next big beauty superstar.
He Has Been Involved In Numerous Controversies
Although he hasn’t been in the public eye for very long, the makeup guru has been involved in numerous scandals. Controversies on his rap sheet include: making racially insensitive comments about the Ebola virus, calling Ariana Grande “rude,” and making sexually suggestive comments towards Shawn Mendes on social media. The list could go on and on.
But in 2019, a controversy with fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook rocked the internet and seemed to put the most considerable strain on his career. Westbrook posted a lengthy video attempting to expose Charles for negative behavior. The most shocking of her accusations was that Charles was sexually manipulative and used his fame to coerce people. Other online influencers weighed in, like Jeffree Star, who expressed support for Westbrook and called Charles a “danger to society.”
Charles posted an apology video, but he lost over two million subscribers in the aftermath. In an influencer’s world where followers and subscriber counts directly translate into paychecks, it seemed like his career was in serious jeopardy.
Charles rebounded, and it didn’t take long. Since the Tati Westbrook scandal, he’s gained those two million followers back and then some. But more recently, Charles found himself battling another issue.
The 2021 Allegations
In February 2021, a 16-year-old boy alleged that Charles groomed him and pressured him into exchanging sexual photos on Snapchat. Charles responded to the allegations, claiming that he was not aware of the person’s age at the time of their interaction. Still, that wasn’t his last time getting called out for this type of behavior.
Over the following weeks, more young boys came forward to describe their interactions with the influencer, describing sexually charged conversations that didn’t stop once Charles became aware of their ages.
Following the explosive allegations, Charles shared a video to his YouTube page called “holding myself accountable.” In the video, Charles speaks in a softer-than-usual voice before apologizing to the minors. He asserts that he didn’t understand the gravity of his behavior and acknowledges that his online conversations were inappropriate. “It’s gross, it’s weird, and it’s desperation,” he reflected.
James Charles Is Worth $22 Million
James Charles probably had no idea that his viral makeup moment from 2016 would translate into a multimillion-dollar career. But through the power of social media and YouTube, he’s amassed quite a fortune. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that the 21-year-old star is worth $22 million.
So how did he make all of that money? His YouTube channel is the foundation of his empire. Attracting over a billion views in five years, he makes thousands of dollars every time he uploads a piece of content through advertising revenue and sponsorships. It’s quite common for YouTuber’s to make anywhere from $3-$8 for every thousand views a video gets, depending on the type of content they produce.
Because he has such a vast following, Charles has been able to create additional revenue streams outside of his YouTube channel. As a CoverGirl ambassador, he’s appeared in a number of their ads. Then he partnered with Morphe Cosmetics to release “The James Charles Palette,” a colorful collection of eyeshadow that retails for $39. He also launched a clothing line called Sisters Apparel.
On top of his lucrative content and merchandising, Charles has a number of brand partnerships that help contribute to his $22 million fortune. Of course, there’s Morphe and CoverGirl. But he’s also partnered with companies like Lilly Lashes and OFRA Cosmetics to promote their products and offer his followers exclusive discount codes.
With all of those revenue streams, Charles can live a lavish lifestyle. In 2020, he purchased a $7 million home in California and showed it off on his YouTube page. The six-bedroom home includes a pool house, a sauna, and a movie theater.
How Will James Charles’ Controversies Impact His Net Worth?
With a $22 million net worth and mounting pressure from his accusers, it seems like James Charles has a lot to lose. The YouTuber has rebounded from controversy in the past, but the current situation carries more weight than anything else that has threatened his career.
Other YouTubers, like David Dobrik and Jeffree Star, have been dropped from brand partnerships due to their problematic behavior. James Charles could be following in their footsteps, which would negatively impact his net worth.
Morphe recently announced that that they are severing ties with their longtime collaborator.
“In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship and wind down sales of the Morphe x James Charles product offering,” Morphe shared in a statement on Twitter.
“It is and has always been Morphe’s goal to create a positive, safe, and empowering space where all beauty lovers can freely share their artistry and passion for cosmetics, and Morphe is committed to furthering that goal,” the statement continued.
YouTube had already confirmed that Charles will no longer be the host of Instant Influencer. Then on April 19, 2021, YouTube announced that his channel is temporarily demonetized. In a statement to Insider, YouTube confirmed that this action was a result of their “creator responsibility policy,” which allows them to take action against creators for harmful behavior, whether it happens on or off their platform.
It’s unclear how long his channel will be demonetized, but he’ll be unable to make money off of his videos until it’s lifted. We’ll continue to see if other brands will follow suit by discontinuing their partnerships. While it may be too soon to determine the exact dollar impact these recent allegations have had on James Charles’ net worth, it’s safe to say that he’s taking a hit.