YouTube says it has demonetized James Charles’ channel temporarily amid allegations that he sexted minors

James Charles
  • James Charles’ channel has been demonetized, YouTube confirmed.
  • YouTube told Insider Charles had been “temporarily removed” from the Partner Program.
  • The move came in the wake of more than 15 sexual-misconduct accusations from men and boys.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

YouTube has temporarily removed one of its most popular creators from its Partner Program, restricting the makeup YouTuber James Charles’ ability to make money from the platform. In a statement to Insider, YouTube said it applied its “creator responsibility policy” to Charles’ channel, which has more than 25.5 million subscribers. The platform did not say how long Charles’ channel would be demonetized for.

The creator-responsibility policy says: “If we see that a creator’s on- and/or off-platform behavior harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community.”

It goes on to say that YouTube may take action against creators who intend to cause “malicious harm to others” or who cause “real world harm” via abuse or violence, cruelty, or fraudulent or deceptive behavior.

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James Charles posing
James Charles at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for MTV

YouTube’s action against Charles came in the wake of a major sexting scandal he’s involved in. More than 15 men and boys have accused Charles of sexual misconduct dating back to 2019. There have been anonymous underage-sexting accusations against Charles on TikTok, and men alleged Charles attempted to manipulate them into romantic and sexual reciprocation.

In an April 1 video on his YouTube channel called “holding myself accountable,” Charles addressed two sexting accusations he said were made by 16-year-olds, saying that the interactions with the boys “should have never happened.” He also alleged the accusers lied about their ages.

One 16-year-old who accused Charles of sending him nude photos and soliciting nude photos from him told Insider Charles “lied” in his statement. The same 16-year-old provided Insider with screenshots that showed his age could be seen on his profile for TikTok, where he said they exchanged direct messages.

Most recently, after more than a dozen allegations made on TikTok, Charles’ primary beauty sponsor, Morphe, announced it would cut ties with him. The cosmetics company previously faced a boycott from angry consumers.

In a statement responding to Morphe, Charles wrote: “Since posting that video, many other people have come forward with a series of misleading stories and false allegations which have been reported on by many people, creators, and news outlets.”

-James Charles (@jamescharles) April 17, 2021

YouTube’s creator-responsibility policy has previously been applied to Shane Dawson in 2020 and David Dobrik in 2021 in the wake of critical media attention in both cases. Dawson was criticized by Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith after a video resurfaced of him pretending to masturbate to a poster of then-11-year-old Willow Smith. Dobrik’s channel was demonetized for one month following Insider’s investigation into rape allegations against a former member of his Vlog Squad.