‘Karmageddon’ Breakdown: What is Happening in the Beauty World?

This article contains reference to sexual assault.

Just over a year on from ‘Dramageddon 2’, where James Charles narrowly avoided being cancelled by Tati Westbrook (known on YouTube as ‘glamlifeguru’) and Jeffree Star over multivitamins, the real story is finally coming out.

But where do we begin? Autumn 2018: Shane Dawson releases his first docu-series capturing ‘The Secret World of Jeffree Star’, a 5 part series that saw Jeffree and Shane form an unlikely friendship that would ultimately lead to the infamous Conspiracy collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics following a seemingly tell-all series that aired in autumn 2019. Both had controversial pasts (and for Jeffree, present), but the worst was yet to come.

credit: Shane Dawson

Tati Westbrook revealed all in a new video ‘BREAKING MY SILENCE’, finally confirming what many had speculated since she uploaded her now infamous ‘Bye Sister’ video in May 2019: Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson helped orchestrate the attempted downfall of James Charles. By feeding Tati information and rumours, they manipulated her to a point where she felt unable to not speak out about what she thought was predatory and dangerous behaviour, with Shane even offering to edit, come up with the title, and make the thumbnail for the video.

credit: Tati

This was a devastating blow for the makeup and YouTube moguls; after recently being exposed for more racist incidents, Jeffree Star was in no place to win another battle. His only saving grace so far has been that in true Star fashion, he threw Shane Dawson straight under the bus, leaving him to deal with the situation after Shane had already faced significant backlash for racism and inappropriate comments regarding children (including Willow Smith, whose mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and brother Jaden Smith called Dawson out on Twitter to no response). Losing a combined total of 1.7 million YouTube subscribers so far, it’s clear where the public and their former fans stand.

Even more shocking was the reaction that came after Westbrook’s upload. Stating that the reason she felt so worried about Charles was because she had experienced sexual assault herself, she was mocked by Shane Dawson who went on Instagram live shortly after her upload to denounce Westbrook’s claims. Shouting ‘I was molested’ in response to Tati opening up only served to turn people against him further, using an experience which he claims in one of his books ‘never’ happened to invalidate her claims.

So where are they now? Both James Charles and Jeffree Star haven’t spoken up, but are said to be preparing their own responses. Shane Dawson’s channel has been demonetised by YouTube, a move to improve the reputation of the website similar to when they asked Westbrook to remove ‘Bye Sister’. Having been thrown under the bus by someone he considers ‘family’, Dawson’s career is irreversibly damaged, while Jeffree Star once again escapes the same heavy criticism and cancel culture.