James Charles is apologizing to Alicia Keys.
The 21-year-old YouTuber took to Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 6, to say he was sorry for a tweet he posted referencing the 39-year-old singer’s new lifestyle beauty brand.
“Yesterday, I posted a subtweet about how I thought some celebrities shouldn’t launch makeup lines. It was about @aliciakeys,” the social media celeb wrote. “A few years ago, she announced that she no longer would wear makeup, so I was bothered because many celebrities come into the beauty space as a cash grab without any actual passion and then leave.”
James then acknowledged he deleted the tweet a few minutes later because “it’s childish to indirect tweet someone” and because he is “not the gatekeeper of makeup.”
“Anyone should be able to secure their bag and it’s not up to me which brands people should or shouldn’t support,” he continued.
He also noted he was glad he deleted the post because, after reading further, he learned that Keys’ beauty line is for skincare.
“This was my mistake and I should’ve read more before tweeting because literally who BETTER to talk about keeping your skin clear without makeup?” James added. “Regardless of my intention with my tweet, it ended up being a microaggression against someone I respect, so to @aliciakeys I owe a direct apology—I’m sorry. It wasn’t my place to gatekeep this industry. I can’t wait to support and try out the products, and I know the brand will be worth a billion in a few years.”
The subtweet James referenced was shared on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Manny Gutierrez, a.k.a. Manny MUA, also came under fire after tweeting his thoughts.
“Does anyone else get slightly irritated when celebs come out with entire makeup lines?” the 29-year-old beauty vlogger tweeted, per the screenshots. “Especially when those celebs don’t even wear makeup … I’m like girl.”
When a follower also accused Kylie Jenner of “trying to outdo Rihanna,” Manny replied, “See with Rihanna and Kylie I get it tho.. They’re glam girls! They wear makeup, they’re known for their makeup so I can see that…. but some other people I’m like HUH?!”
While the influencers didn’t specifically list which celebrity beauty brand they were referring to, it didn’t take long for fans to figure out they were referencing Keys’ new brand with e.l.f. Beauty, which had been announced earlier that day. Manny also commented on a post TrendMood shared on Instagram about Keys’ new brand, writing, “I thought she didn’t wear makeup………”
see with rihanna and kylie i get it tho.. they’re glam girls! they wear makeup, they’re known for their makeup so i can see that…. but some other people im like HUH?!
— Manny MUA (@MannyMua733) August 5, 2020
Followers soon criticized the social media celebs.
“I need James Charles and Manny Mua to apologize to Alicia Keys IMMEDIATELY,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another added, “How does Manny and James Charles shade Alicia Keys aka a Black women [sic] for starting a makeup brand and at the same time say they are excited for Selena Gomez makeup company to start …. like make it make sense.”
Kahlen Barry also spoke out.
“Y’all always wanna shade Black women but where is this energy for the other yt women that are coming out with makeup lines? Just saying..” the artist tweeted, later adding, “I’m actually so annoyed. You’re REAL loud when disrespecting Black women but won’t dare raise your lips against a white woman doing the same thing ur trying to drag a Black woman for doing.”
And in case there was any confusion, Kahlen then added, “And yes I’s talking to u James and Manny.”
Manny issued an apology on Twitter Thursday, as well.
“Hey guys! So yesterday I tweeted that I get slightly irritated when large celebs create cosmetic lines when they don’t wear a ton of makeup because I saw the news about Alicia Keys is releasing a beauty line,” he began. “I only tweeted because I know that she stopped wearing makeup years ago, but I should have researched more to discover that she is working with e.l.f. cosmetics to develop SKINCARE. I get defensive of the beauty community because so many celebrities only come out with cosmetics lines as a cash grab, but I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and regardless, I know I am not the be-all-end-all voice of makeup …anyone can create what they want to create! That’s the beauty of our community!”
Near the end of his message, he wrote that he apologizes to those who he upset and to Keys “for being so quick to make a judgment,” noting “there is room and space for EVERYONE in this community.”