Beauty influencers Jeffree Star and James Charles – among other influencers – are facing allegations of animal exploitation after photos and videos of them posing with monkeys have been circulated on social media.
Reportedly, the baboon and capuchin monkey were sent to the homes of various social media stars and celebrities – also including Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee and TikToker Daisy Keech – to promote a new clothing brand, Bananas Monkey, that sells hoodies, sweatpants, and t-shirts. The videos show the animals (particularly the baboon, which is also seemingly pictured on a leash) on the shoulders of the influencers while they pose for photos.
Under a compilation of the various influencers’ interactions with the animals, shared by journalist Yashar Ali, critics claim that they’re engaging in animal cruelty and encouraging or perpetuating the private ownership of wild animals. It’s also worth noting that some of the influencers, including Star, widely promote the fact that their own products are cruelty-free.
While it’s not currently 100% clear who’s behind Bananas Monkey, the brand launched its Instagram on November 9 and already has over 174,000 followers, presumably helped by the fact it had such high-profile names on hand for promotion.
Jeffree Star has also drawn criticism for featuring a live alligator on a chain in a recent make-up campaign, while last month former associates of the controversial (and massively popular) influencer stepped forward to accuse him of sexual assault, physical assult, including with weapons, and offering hush money to his victims in the late 2000s.
Watch Ali’s compilation featuring Star, James Charles, and more posing with the monkeys below.
1. A company called Bananas Monkey sent around a baboon & another monkey with PR boxes for its launch to influencers