The first male CoverGirl, James Charles, is under hot water because of his comments about Ebola and Africa. Charles made history for being the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl, but this tweet was really insensitive to the plight of African nations.
On Feb. 16, he tweeted: “I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?” “James we’re fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year.” He accompanied the tweet with an upside down smiley emoji. It seemed to us like Charles tweeted a conversation between him and another in the tour/travel (probably a classmate?).
First Male CoverGirl Angered Netizens
Charles’ tweet caused an outrage on Twitter. They could not believe that the first male CoverGirl is being discriminatory of Africa and its citizenry. This is especially an ironic case because CoverGirl, which Charles endorses, advocates for WOC (women of color) beauty.
Some netizens criticized Charles for the derogatory remarks and some threatened that they will no longer support CoverGirl as long as they are associated with Charles. At first, Charles was adamant that he did nothing wrong and that he was only joking. But after probably several emails from CoverGirl, he issued an apology for his tweet.
He said that he was told what to write in his apology, but he wanted to apologize in his own terms. “I am extremely sorry for my tweet and I feel like shit for saying it.” He said he posted it as a joke, but learned that he did not fully realize what the tweet implied.
“I am aware that the tweet was extremely offensive and degrading.” Charles, who took the educational trip with his school friends to learn more about Africa, said it was wrong for him to delete the posts. He knew it was not the right way to handle the situation. He was then humble enough to admit that he has much to see and learn about Africa, and that he was ignorant for tweeting those words.
CoverGirl Issued A Statement Of Their Own
Shortly after the threat of a boycott, CoverGirl also issued a statement of their own. They said that Charles’ tweet was not representative of the company’s stand on these issues. “We agree his statements were inappropriate but appreciate that he has issued an apology.”
CoverGirl maintained that they are “an inclusive brand [that] respect all people and cultures.” Clearly, this is a lesson for Charles, our first male CoverGirl, to read first before tweeting.
Who is James Charles?
James Charles Dickinson (@jcharlesbeauty), 17, is a boy who loves makeup. A YouTube and a social media star, it did not take long for CoverGirl, a renowned cosmetics brand to notice him. The brand named him their first ever CoverBoy.
In an interview with Marie Claire, this passion about makeup had his parents questioning his gender identity. “My parents started questioning me about whether or not I was transgender—whether or not I was trying to be a woman. It was a big argument,” he shared. “It took a ot of thorough conversations to explain that it’s an art form for me. I’m still confident as a boy and I will always be a boy. I can be confident with bare skin and with a full face.”