Updated April 17th, 2021
James Charles is the latest influencer to be axed by Morphe.
After weeks of pressure from the internet to end their relationship with James Charles, cosmetics giant Morphe announced they have officially cut ties with the influencer.
ICYMI, only a month ago James was accused of sexting a 16-year-old fan via Snapchat, named Isaiyah. In a two-part TikTok series, Isaiyah claimed that the 21-year-old added him on Snapchat, sent unsolicited nude pictures, and encouraged him to send explicit Snaps in return. Isaiyah alleges he made it clear to James that he was 16-years-old, however, James continued to ask for nude photos and attempted to FaceTime him. This is one of several similar allegations against the influencer.
Initially, James responded by releasing a statement on Twitter denying the allegations. He has since uploaded a YouTube video on April 1st. James directly apologised to two of the boys that have come forward with their stories, calling it “reckless” and “unacceptable” that he added and messaged them in the first place. The beauty creator opened up about how he became “desperate” for love and addressed how seeking relationships with fans creates an unfair power imbalance.
With the James Charles x Morphe Palette being one of the brand’s long-term bestsellers, Morphe seemed reluctant to address the allegations facing James, leading fans to criticise the brand for continuing to promote James’ collection. Morphe was also allegedly forced to delete a photo of the James Charles collaboration palette from their Instagram last month.
Earlier this week, a screenshot of an email from Morphe’s customer relations team began circulating addressing the allegations. The screenshot, obtained by drama channel Rich Lux, allegedly shows Morphe’s response to a disgruntled customer who raised concerns about the brand’s affiliation with James. “We have been actively looking into the recent allegations against James Charles, and have suspended the marketing of the Morphe x James Charles collaboration,” Morphe writes.
In recent days, fans flooded Morphe’s Instagram comments, calling to #boycottmorphe and stand with the victims. While the brand initially responded by hiding and deleting Instagram comments, they’ve finally addressed concerns in a statement posted to Twitter.
“In light of the recent allegations against James Charles, Morphe and James have agreed to end our business relationship and wind down sales of the Morphe x James Charles product offering,” they wrote. “It is and has always been Morphe’s goal to create a positive, safe, and empowering space where all beauty lovers can freely share their artistry and passion for cosmetics, and Morphe is committed to furthering that goal.”
James also released his own statement regarding the dissolution of the partnership, beginning with what many fans are calling a “threat” to both the media and victims who have spoken out against the star’s behaviour.
“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. My legal team has begun taking action against those that have spread misinformation and/or created completely false stories, as this has gone too far.”
James went on to say that these “stories” have caused many of his long-term partners to “receive considerable negative feedback, one of them being Morphe”.
“I’ve loved every moment working together, and am beyond grateful for what we’ve created together,” he continued. “That being said, I reached out to them and we mutually agreed to wind down our James Charles x Morphe collaboration, which is my only project with them.”
James finished by saying he is continuing to take time away from the internet to “learn, grow, and listen”.
This is not the first time Morphe has been called to sever ties with a creator. Last year, the brand publicly disassociated from Jeffree Star after mounting public pressure from both consumers and influencers urged the brand to re-evaluate their relationship with Jeffree who was accused of racism, enabling sexual assault, and blackmail— to name a few.
In a statement posted to Twitter in July 2020 the brand wrote:
“Today we’ve made the decision to cease all commercial activity related to Jeffree Star and affiliated products. We expect this to conclude within the coming weeks. As we look to the future, we will continue to share updates on what lies ahead for the Morphe brand.”
It is still unconfirmed if Morphe is involved in the upcoming James Charles makeup brand.