YouTube has restricted the ability for popular makeup vlogger James Charles to make money from the online video platform, following underage sexting and grooming allegations.
Charles who is a beauty influencer with 25.5 million subscribers on YouTube, has been accused by more than 15 men and boys of sexual misconduct, with some alleging underage sexting took place.
Although YouTube did not say for how long Charles’ channel would be “demonetised” they did say that it was part of its Creator Responsibility Policy.
In a statement to the Guardian the company said: “We can confirm that we have applied our Creator Responsibility Policy and temporarily removed James Charles from the YouTube partner program.” The policy states: “If we see that a creator’s on and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem we may take action to protect the community.”
It adds that YouTube may take action against creators who intend to cause “malicious harm to others” or who cause “real-world harm” via abuse, violence, cruelty or fraudulent or deceptive behaviour, reports Insider.
Last week the beauty brand Morphe cut ties with Charles. In a statement posted to Twitter, the company wrote: “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.” They began their collaboration in 2018.
In his own statement, Charles said the ceasing of the partnership was “mutually agreed”. Additionally Variety announced that Charles had been replaced by Zach Hsieh as the host of YouTube’s competition show Instant Influencer. YouTube declined to comment on Variety’s claims.
Earlier in the month Charles posted a video in which he addressed the allegations and apologized for his behavior. In the video, entitled Holding Myself Accountable, he said of the underage sexting allegations: “I was being reckless … these conversations should have never have happened.”
He alleged that two of the accusers had pretended to be adults. “I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself.” He also spoke about taking legal action against anymore who have spread misinformation and created fake stories.
Charles added that he had used YouTube as a dating app, and now understood the problems that can cause. “A power imbalance can happen when it’s not intentional,” he said. “What I wasn’t getting before is that the excitement that comes with talking to a celebrity is literally enough to make somebody do or say something that they normally wouldn’t. Even if that celebrity isn’t intentionally weaponizing their fame, money or power. And that’s the concept that I just wasn’t getting but I now do.”
The Guardian has reached out to Charles for additional comment.