From seemingly faking pregnancy to accidentally killing their loved ones to get good content, these social media stars’ actions successfully garnered people’s attention.
In this social media era, a lot of people are now not only adoring big names in Hollywood, but also social media influencers, including YouTubers. But just like celebrities, there are times when these people get caught in a scandal that receives the attention of many people. Most recently, the drama between Tati Westbrook and James Charles became hot topics among Internet users.
The popular beauty gurus’ drama first started after James promoted Sugar Bear Hair supplement, which is a huge competitor to Tati’s hair supplement company Halo Beauty. After a series of back and forth on Instagram, Tati finally decided to upload a 43-minute video on YouTube and exposed his problematic behaviors. The clip quickly went viral, prompting many to call out the 19-year-old. James himself had apologized, but many didn’t buy it and clicked the unsubscribe button on his channel. He lost more than 2 million subscribers in just a few days.
As the backlash got worse, James decided to keep a low profile before releasing a video which featured him debunking all the accusations leveled against him. He also provided receipts to support his statement. Due to the massive exposure on the drama, James and Tati eventually talked things out in private and announced that they had ended their feud.
Besides James and Tati’s drama, there are others scandals involving YouTube stars that used to buzz online. Let’s check it out!
1. Sam Pepper Receives Backlash for Fake Murder Prank Video
Making prank videos is not something unusual for YouTubers, but Sam Pepper certainly crossed the line with his clip. He received heavy criticism after posting a video of himself playing a prank on fellow social media star Sam Golbach by pretending to kidnap the latter and murder his best friend.
In the video, Golbach and his friend Colby Brock could be seen tied up in chairs next to each other before a masked man pointed a gun at his friend’s head. Sam screamed in distress when the gun fired, but Brock quickly stood up and assured him that he was all right. While Golbach eventually smiled a few days later, social media users were not. Many of them came at Pepper with hatred messages, leading him to delete the video and issue an apology.
2. Nicole Arbour’s Viral ‘Dear Fat People’ Video
Nicole Arbour was pretty much an unknown star until she posted on her YouTube channel a video titled “Dear Fat People”, which saw her encouraging people to continue fat shaming obese people until they stop their “bad habit.” She said, “Fat-shaming is not a thing. Fat people made that up,” adding that those who fail to shame obese people are akin to committing “assisted suicide.”
The video unsurprisingly garnered attention in a bad way, but she refused to apologize for what she did. “That video was made to offend people. It’s just satire. It’s just silly. I’m just having a bit of fun and that’s what we did,” she said on “The View“, adding that her fat followers were the ones who suggested her to create the video.
3. YouTube Channel Is Terminated Due to Pedophile Allegations Against Shane Dawson
In early last year, YouTube channel Pop Blast created a stir on the Internet due to a video that featured pedophile allegations against Shane Dawson. Titled “I think Shane Dawson is a pedophile. Here’s my proof”, the video contained edited footage from Shane’s podcast that saw him calling one child Instagram star “sexy,” and admitting to searching “naked babies” on Google.
Dawson immediately debunked the allegations and claimed that his podcast footage was taken out of context, insisting that they were merely jokes. Still, he apologized for his insensitive jokes. Following that, YouTube removed Pop Blast channel, citing “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices and misleading content.”
4. Adam Saleh Films Himself Getting Kicked Out of Plane Due to Allegedly Speaking Arabic
Back in 2016, Adam Saleh caused quite a bit of stir when he posted a video of him and his friend being asked to leave a Delta Air Lines plane. He claimed that they got kicked out of the vehicle after several passengers said that they felt “uncomfortable” hearing him speak Arabic. However, a spokesperson for the company denied the claim and stated that he was removed due to “provocative behavior.”
“While one, according to media reports, is a known prankster who was video recorded and encouraged by his traveling companion, what is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort for our passengers and employees,” so the statement continued to read. “It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”
5. Monalisa Perez Arrested for Accidentally Killing BF in YouTube Stunt Gone Wrong
What was supposed to be a cool stunt turned into a nightmare for Monalisa Perez. Last year, she was shooting a video with her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz, who asked her to fire a gun at him as he held a thick book to protect himself. Perez did as told, but the book couldn’t protect the man as the bullet went through the book and into Ruiz’s chest, killing him. Perez was pregnant at the time, and their 3-year-old child was present to witness it.
Perez was then arrested and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter. She was sentenced to a 180-day jail term, alternating between 10 days in jail and 10 days out for the first six months, amounting to 90 days behind bars. The judge said the remaining 90 days could be served in home confinement.
6. Jake Paul’s War With His Neighbors
Jake Paul is best known for his prank videos, but that apparently cost the peace in his neighborhood. In July 2017, his neighbors accused him of turning the area into a “living hell” due to his antics, including setting fire to furniture in an empty pool. The neighbors were planning to meet city officials and officers to discuss a possible class-action public nuisance lawsuit, with one stating that Paul had turned the area into a “war zone.”
While Paul admitted he felt sorry for them, he didn’t show any sign of stopping his bad antics. “I feel bad for them,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do, though the — Jake Paulers are the strongest army out there.” Paul was referring to his loyal fans. Amid the controversy, Paul was also let go from Disney’s “Bizaardvark“.
7. Sam and Nia Rader Seemingly Fake Pregnancy to Gain Subscribers
Sam and Nia Rader first gained millions of people’s attention when they posted a video of their pregnancy announcement. Unfortunately, Nia ended up suffering from miscarriage and the couple announced the sad news to their YouTube followers. But instead of sending messages of support, people were doubting if Nia was truly pregnant.
Viewers pointed out that the couple never paid doctor a visit to confirm both the pregnancy and miscarriage. They also wondered the accuracy of the pregnancy test, as it was conducted by using diluted and possibly contaminated urine left in the toilet. Sam and Nia pulled a break from YouTube after that, before coming back and announced that they were expecting again. In contrary to their first pregnancy announcement, the couple shared doctor’s test result.
8. Laura Lee Becomes Butt of the Jokes Due to Her Apology Video
Before James Charles was mocked due to his insincere apology video, Laura Lee received the same treatment in the past after her racist tweets resurfaced online. She posted on her YouTube channel an apology video after that, only to find herself being trolled by a lot of social media users as they thought that she was just acting. Adding insult to the injury, they said her acting was really awful.
This prompted Laura to upload another apology video after deleting her first one. “I owe you guys a sincere apology. In that video, I come off more as a victim … I am not a victim in any way,” she said, describing her first video as “more of a reaction to the situation than a response.” Explaining why she decided to remove it, Laura said that it didn’t “represent” her, but she vowed not to “pretend it didn’t happen.”
9. Pewdiepie’s Career Nearly Ends Because of Anti-Semitic Jokes
Pewdiepie was really close to ending his career as a YouTuber when he was seen in one video paying two South Asian men to hold up a sign that read, “Death to all Jews.” He then paid another freelancer to dress up as Jesus and film himself saying, “Hitler did nothing wrong.” The backlash was immediate, with YouTube canceling a reality series he made in partnership with YouTube Red. Disney also ended business ties with him.
The YouTube star, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, then posted an apology video and accused the media of “attacking” him and making him look like a bad person. “If there’s anything I learned about the media from being a public figure is how they blatantly misrepresent people for their own personal gain, and even viciously attack people just to further themselves,” he said.
10. Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest Drama
Logan Paul sparked outrage back in 2017 when he posted a video of him filming a dead body in Suicide Forest in Japan, calling out to the body and describing its lifeless appearance. Even though Logan actually wanted to raise suicide awareness through the video, people were feeling the opposite and quickly slammed him for being disrespectful.
The disgraced star then apologized twice and claimed that he would take time away from the spotlight to reflect on his action. Weeks after that, he posted a video of him meeting with suicide prevention experts and affirming his pledge to donate $1 million to suicide prevention organizations.