James Charles defends Mugshot Challenge by comparing it to Billie Eilish and The Weeknd's music visuals
7 April 2020, 16:42
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"I’m just pointing out a double standard and trying to ask why it’s ok with him but not with others."
James Charles has defended taking part in the controversial Mugshot Challenge following widespread backlash. The TikTok trend sees people use makeup to replicate facial injuries that make it seem like they had been in a fight before being arrested.
James decided to recreate the mugshot look and shared his own take, making it appear like he had a bloodied nose and blackened eyes. But the YouTuber was quickly called out by his fans for glamourising domestic violence and potentially triggering survivors of abuse. He later explained that his makeup look in no way correlated with domestic abuse.
However, after intense backlash, James deleted his photos from Twitter. He went on to defend his decision to take part in the challenge, which has also been replicated by multiple TikTok influencers, claiming that there is a "double standard" after singer The Weeknd used an image of himself with a bloodied nose for the front cover of his new album After Hours. James also used a scene from Billie Eilish's 'bad guy' music video where she has blood smeared on her face as a reference.
"Only I could lazily smudge on some purple eyeshadow and fake blood to recreate a dumb tik tok trend and have it twisted into an actual scandal lol," James tweeted.
"Genuine question, The Weeknd’s new album shows him bleeding, with a broken nose, and with bruises, yet I haven’t seen a single tweet about him glorifying violence or abuse? can someone please explain how it’s any different I'm really trying to understand."
He followed it up with a photo of The Weeknd and Billie Eilish. He added: "Love both of these artists SO MUCH, just actually asking a question to have an open discussion.
"I love him [The Weeknd] and his music!!! I’m just pointing out a double standard and trying to ask why it’s ok with him but not with others."
James went on to explain why he ultimately decided to delete the images. He said: "Despite the fact that hundreds of other influencers and artists have done something similar, I deleted the mugshot trend because it was never my intention to trigger anyone & it's a waste of time trying to have an open discussion with people who hate me regardless."
despite the fact that hundreds of other influencers and artists have done something similar, I deleted the mugshot trend because it was never my intention to trigger anyone & it's a waste of time trying to have an open discussion with people who hate me regardless ✌🏼— James Charles (@jamescharles) April 6, 2020
James hasn't spoken about the situation any further, however, he now appears to have deleted his tweets about The Weeknd and Billie Eilish. He has also kept the mugshot photos on his Instagram page.