YouTuber Kameron Lester says Jeffree Star used him as the "token black kid" in his campaigns
15 June 2020, 15:04 | Updated: 16 June 2020, 17:26
Kameron also claimed Jeffree Star refused to apologise to Jackie Aina and made comments about James Charles.
Kameron Lester featured in Jeffree Star's Magic Star Concealer and Setting Powder campaign, which launched in April 2019. He also spent time with him behind the scenes and the two developed a friendship.
However, Kameron now feels that he has been "manipulated" by Jeffree Star and provided several instances where he was made to feel uncomfortable. In the 27-minute Instagram Live, titled: "Fear and Manipulation within the beauty community. Speaking my personal truth," Kameron shared a moment in which he was asked about James Charles.
During a trip to Houston, Kameron met with Jeffree and YouTuber Rich Lux in a Louis Vuitton store months before the explosive fall out (dubbed Dramageddon) between Jeffree, James Charles and Tati Westbrook.
"I remember there was an instance where he like asked me if I liked James or not," he explained. "He was like 'Do you like James? Do you like him?' I was just so shocked and uncomfortable because he's such a big powerhouse [...] I didn't know what to say. I was so uncomfortable, there were people around me, and he was so blunt and out of nowhere."
Kameron insisted that he didn't have an issue with James, who has helped him with his YouTube career and been supportive of his HIV-positive status.
"And he was like 'Well you don't fucking owe him forever,'" he added. "I just was, like, taken aback when he said that, because it all happened so fast. [...] Rich Lux told me that Jeffree thought I was talking to James at the Louis Vuitton store. [...] I knew he didn't trust me."
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Kameron also alleges that Jeffree and YouTuber Shane Dawson, who is a Jeffree Star Cosmetics collaborator, "cursed out" James Charles during a FaceTime conversation on the trip. However, he didn't record the conversation or provide "receipts" because he simply wanted to tell his side of the story.
He added: "I was kind of taken aback, because I've never seen Shane Dawson like that. And he was just going in on James. I knew Shane wasn't the person that he was perceived as online."
Kameron went on to reveal that he suggested that Jeffree make amends with YouTuber Jackie Aina during an event for Mmmmitchell. In 2018, Jackie famously confronted Jeffree about his past racist behaviour. However, Jeffree declined.
"I brought it up to him and said, 'It would really say a lot if you could apologise to Jackie and the community' and all that kind of stuff," Kameron continued. "He kind of shut it down and said: 'She doesn't deserve a spot on my platform.' Which is understandable, and it is his platform, and he has all rights to do whatever he wants to do on his platform. I just left it at that, but I was definitely hurt as a Black boy and as a Black influencer who loves Jackie, that he was not trying to grow or amend that disconnect or wrongdoing he has done."
Kameron said he soon realised that he was "being used as a Black boy". Jeffree had claimed he would help Kameron's career and collaborate with him on a YouTube video, but it never happened. Kameron had always received backlash for being a part of Jeffree's inner circle considering some of the racist things he has done in the past. Kameron would often defend him on Twitter, however, Jeffree would not return the favour. In a leaked voice memo, you can hear Jeffree being insensitive about the hate comments Kameron receives for supporting him. Kameron said: "I just felt like it was never a friendship, it was always something like I was the token Black kid."
Once Kameron started to step back from Jeffree, he included his ex-best friend in his controversial Cremated campaign. Kameron said he felt like this was to intentionally send the message that he's "replaceable".
"I felt like this continued to be a game," Kameron stated. "He fake supported me. He talked about how he loved me and it was all superficial love. It was very fake."
Interestingly, a day before Kameron's Instagram Live exposé, he said a member of Jeffree's team actually contacted him and asked if he knew any Black creators that would support Jeffree Star Cosmetics. Kameron told them that in light of Black Lives Matter, he didn't think any Black beauty boys would support Jeffree.
Watch the full video here.
Kameron stressed that he did appreciate Jeffree for putting him in his campaign and his video wasn't about cancelling him, it was about holding him accountable for his actions.
He concluded: "I am not saying he is racist, but I do feel that race is involved in it. I benefited him and I benefitted from him, so it was a tic for tac situation, but moving forward I will no longer be the token Black person."
Jeffree is yet to respond to Kameron's allegations, but we'll update you as soon as he does.