In one side of the ring there’s 21-year-old beauty vlogger James Charles and in the other Makeup Geek Cosmetics founder, Marlena Stell
At a time where vicious twitter spats and turf wars have been shaking the glossy veneers of the YouTube beauty community - see the recent backlash surrounding American beauty blogger Laura Lee’s racist tweets and the subsequent shade cast by YouTuber Gabriel Zamora against Jeffree Starr - the latest online spat between YouTuber turned makeup entrepreneur Marlena Stell, and outspoken young influencer James Charles couldn't have come at a rockier time for the industry.
The rift kicked off on Thursday night after Stell took to Twitter to share the news that she was teaming up with Netflix to film a documentary on the beauty industry. While exact details of the documentary, and where it intends to point its magnifying glass, remain on the whole unclear, not everyone was on board with her emoji-hearted enthusiasm.
Among the most outraged was 19-year-old model and beauty blogger James Charles, who, with an instagram following of 8.4 million, and previous experience getting his acrylic claws out with actors such as Finn Wolfhard and Instagram star Tyler Brown was a definite contender to take on Stell, the CEO of her own makeup empire Makeup Geek Cosmetics. Twitter sat back to watch the latest clash of vlogging royalty take to the ring.
In response to Marlena’s tweet, James Charles replied with a simple “Wait what?” and later “Hi @netflix let’s make a documentary on the behind the scenes of the beauty industry and why the community is plummeting. I already have a full outline of it done that highlights faults on ALL SIDES in a NON-BIAS way, and a platform of millions that want to know more. Email me.”
The flurry of tweets continued as James went on to slam Marlena as a poor spokesperson for the industry stating: “This woman knows nothing about the industry other than blaming her bad business decisions and personal issues on influencers. @Netflix This is absurd & I’d love to get in a room together to show you the non-bias outline I’ve already made on this subject that documents all sides.”
Kicking back at James’s claims, Marlena defended herself explaining she had been approached by Netflix and the documentary was not focusing solely on influencers but the industry as a whole. In an attempt to extend an olive branch to the young blogger Stell wrote: “@jamescharles I think it would be great to hear about your input from an influencer side as well! I didn’t approach Netflix- they approached me and want to understand everything about the beauty industry. Nothing drama related. DM me privately if you would like ”
However, Marlena’s peace offering was firmly shut down by Charles who’s resentment of Stell had been growing since the release of her video entitled “My truth regarding the beauty community” which she had released on her channel a month earlier and in it called out influencers for charging as much as $60,000 (£47,000) in product promotion fees per video. James, who’s online earnings are an area of contention for many in the beauty blogging world and have seen him placed at number forty-six on The Instagram List 2018, was quick to challenge Marlena’s outing video, arguing that the issue of paid endorsement was not specific to the beauty industry and the fees are not as high as she had claimed.
As the spat continued to heat up a frustrated Marlena wrote: “James you’re not even 21 years old, you’ve never produced makeup, you’ve never started a brand from the ground up. I’m sorry this feels like it was stolen but I did not seek out this opportunity. When you’ve been in this industry for 10+ years then tell us about your “experience”.
Closing the argument for now James fired back with a sharky one liner… “You're right, I'm not even 21 yet. :)”. The shade of it all! If this latest clash is anything to go by, Netflix might be onto something big- we’re thinking a virtual Fight Club meets Mean Girls.