JEFFREE STAR. PHOTO JAGUAR PS / SHUTTERSTOCK

The Slow Burn of Canceling Jeffree Star

This has been a story developing for years now, and it finally seems to be coming to a head. Not only has the news been documenting the falling out of Jeffree Star, his breakup, partnership with Morphe and Shane Dawson, feuding with James Charles, but they’ve finally begun to address his Racism and acceptance of Sexual Assault on his early days as a musician on tour.

While that might seem like a lot at once, we’re talking something that has spanned his career for at least a decade.

On top of all of this, even makeup artists that used to sing his praises and bought every drop he put out of his cosmetics line are now turning on him with all of what’s stacking up to be a pretty ugly totem pole of his “success.” Now the question is, where do we start?

Much like our Sexual Misconduct in Wrestling story, we’re going to corner some of the problematic pieces in regards to Jeffree Star by topic, the people he’s thrown under the bus on the way, and the social issues that he has violated in the process. There are a few deep dives involving others such as Shane Dawson and Dahvie Vanity, which are important to understand to FURTHER understand the wrongdoings of Star. Also, like our wrestling story, there isn’t a conclusion to this piece that wraps up all nice and tidy in a bow.

There’s not a finale to this story… Yet.

 

Also, TRIGGER WARNING: Unwanted Sexual Behavior, Racism, Sexual Assault, and more.

 

 

FOLLOWER DECLINE

 

Star has been losing subscribers like a waterfall, despite his “un-cancellable nature.” According to SocialBlade, Star has lost over 500,000 subscribers within the last 30 days. Insider says “Even if 500,000 of his followers turn against him — the population of a small city — that still leaves millions who will run to his defense. Some celebrities cross a threshold where enough people have their back that it doesn’t matter what they do.”

FilmDaily said it best: “While Star’s behavior does provide us with juicy Youtube drama, it’s also incredibly harmful. As a materialistic billionaire, Jeffree Star bullies his fans with profuse flexing and teaches many that it’s okay to act without being sensitive to other people’s feelings. We may be addicted to his sparkly lifestyle & sassy jokes, but giving him watches is giving him encouragement.”

Star has not posted on Instagram since June 26 as of July 18, and has turned off the comments on the last two posts he has shared, has not posted a YouTube video in 3 weeks, and has not tweeted since 6/25.

 

THE ABANDONMENT OF SHANE DAWSON

Described by many as hanging in the balance as Jeffree still continues to thrive, Shane Dawson has begun to lose it all (with no defense from Star). From being boycotted to losing his YouTube backing, it seems as if he will be losing out on gigs, even with Star in the collaboration of restocking Shane’s merch. Here’s what we know so far:

  • He’s lost over a million subscribers in the last two weeks after old footage resurfaced of his past involving racism and jokes about the sexualization of animals and children. (Insider) This includes Willow Smith (which we mention below).
  • Following Shane’s statement, a number of his old YouTube videos resurfaced showing him wearing blackface on numerous occasions, making jokes about pedophilia, and ‘joking’ about the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old who was shot by a neighbor volunteer claiming self-defense. The man was cleared of murder but there was widespread speculation the killing was racially motivated. (Cosmopolitan)
  • YouTube also confirmed to Insider that the platform had suspended monetization on all three of Dawson’s channels: Dawson’s main channel, “Shane”; his archive channel of old content, “Shane Dawson TV” (he has removed all content from this channel); and his ill-fated makeup channel, “Shane Glossin’.”
  • Tati Westbrook dropped her video and claimed Dawson and Jeffree Star were the ones who manipulated her into almost ruining James Charles’ career last year. (Insider) Kameron Lester (mentioned below in the Racism Section) also said that Star and Dawson knew about Westbrook’s “Bye Sister” video long before she posted it, which means a few things: 1.) Shane Dawson’s public image as an honest guy is probably bullshit, 2.) Perhaps there is some truth to the idea that Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star orchestrated the video—or at least, that they convinced Tati to go forward with the video.
  • Tati also claims that Jeffree has a stake in Morphe. “I have also recently been informed that Jeffree is allegedly a co-owner of Morphe,” Westbrook said. “Before the scandal occurred, I had also been told that James Charles was about to develop an entire cosmetics line with the owners of Morphe. This entire situation opens up a Pandora’s Box of speculation.” (Insider)

 

  • While Dawson responded to Westbrook’s video on an Instagram Livestream, Star is nowhere to be seen. While several of Dawson’s friends have publicly supported him, Star is not among them. There have been a few theories about his whereabouts thanks to fan photos cropping up on Twitter, but his own social media presence has been silent on the matter. (Insider)

  • This period of “exposing” Dawson and Star has been called “Karmageddon” — a reference to the beauty community’s history of meltdowns and creators finally facing their comeuppance. (Insider)
  •  In the last two weeks, Dawson’s books and makeup have been removed from the online stores of Morphe and Target. (Insider)
  • Just six months ago, the launch of Dawson and Star’s Conspiracy palette crashed the Morphe and Beauty Bay platforms because so many people were trying to buy it at once. The YouTube superstars were doing meet-and-greets with thousands of screaming fans at Morphe stores, and the whole venture was allegedly going to earn Dawson $10 million. (Insider)
  • Dawson became truly uncovered and under fire once Jada Pinkett-Smith referenced Dawson’s video of himself pretending to Masturbate to a then 11-year-old Willow Smith. Jaden Smith, Willow’s brother, also condemned the YouTuber.

Jaden has since deleted his tweets (CITE: AUGUST 31, 2020)

 

  • “When something happens that’s even somewhat controversial, people get in their brain, ‘Oh, this person lied to me, they’re not a good person, they’re not a nice person,'” said Chris Boutté, of the channel The Rewired Soul. “Shane Dawson is constantly helping people. Before he got into his whole docuseries thing, he was raising up small creators. So when we see that bad thing, it screws up what we expected of that person.” (Insider)
  • Star’s company Killer Merch has restocked Dawson’s hoodies, and many are calling out Jeffree, or saying “they’re probably trying to clear stock so they don’t lose money.”

 

 

 

THE RACISM OF JEFFREE STAR

 

  • After a photo resurfaced online of Jeffree posing with a fan wearing the Confederate flag, he said “I was asked to be in that photo for shock value because I was ‘gay’ and and obviously not what the flag represents,” he explained. “I was mocking the flag but now see how ugly and wrong it is to be next to it.” FilmDaily also cites other incidents like “Calling only black women rats on Twitter, wearing cornrows during a photo shoot, and saying the N-word on multiple occasions,” and “the time he joked about throwing battery acid on a black woman’s face to lighten her skin.”

  • Beauty YouTuber Kameron Lester posted a 27-minute IGTV video explaining that while working with Jeffree Star, he felt like he was “the token Black kid,” and that “I felt like he was trying to send a message in some way that I was replaceable as a Black boy.” (Jezebel) *The video has since been removed/cannot be reached.*

 

  • Jackie Aina, YouTuber with over 3.48 million subscribers, publicly announced that she will no longer support Morphe in a Tweet on July 2 due to the business partnering with “racist” brands (most likely a shot at Star). Others followed suit. Teen Vogue reached out for comment, and Morphe says: “Jeffree Star has no ownership in Morphe. He’s not an investor. He’s not a co-owner.” Teen Vogue also says that “Jackie has personally called out Jeffree in the past.”  “I have not and will not excuse his blatantly racist behavior and — not his past references to me in derogatory terms, his use of the N words nor his efforts to eliminate spaces and opportunities for people of color,” she wrote in a letter published to Twitter in 2018. “No one in the community should feel like they are protected enough to continuously say things to make black women feel ugly and ashamed in their own skin.”

 

Morphe then took an even bigger hit after footage surfaced of Star claiming he was an investor in the makeup company, even though it has not been proven. They also addressed Jeffree in their email that also shared they do not condone Shane’s allegations, but that “Jeffree apologized.”

 

Jeffree has since responded for a few things that have come to light, but many are sick of his excuses, especially when other celebs like Jenna Marbles are being bullied to removal.

  • Jeffree’s longtime friend of 13 years, Tab, posted a YouTube video, claiming Jeffree made a host of racist, derogatory and offensive comments during a trip to Vegas in February this year.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6KGipOlBM3/

Jeffree has of course, denied these claims (more information can be found at Cosmopolitan.com).

 

JEFFREE’S CONNECTION WITH ACCUSED PEDOPHILE DAHVIE VANITY OF BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR

Dirt on celebrities has no shelf life or statute of limitations, in case you were curious. Many years ago, an 11-year-old MySpace user named “Jessi Slaughter” had told classmates about having a sexual relationship with a 25-year-old named Jesus David Torres, better known as Dahvie Vanity, the frontman of a Myspace-famous alternative scene band called Blood on the Dance Floor, according to Insider. At its peak, Blood on the Dance Floor had merchandise in Hot Topic and toured with Jeffree Star.

As the #MeToo Movement has paved the way for many to come forward in the 2000’s, accusations have come to light involving Dahvie Vanity, and by extension, Star.

“Accusations of Torres sexually assaulting women and girls circulated online throughout Blood on the Dance Floor’s existence, from 2007 to 2016, and after, but Torres has never been prosecuted. In 2019, the rumors culminated in a HuffPost report detailing 21 on-the-record accusations of sexual assault against Torres, who maintains active social-media profiles and continues to release music under new aliases,” says Insider.

Now going by they/them pronouns, Jessie Slaughter, AKA Damien Leonhardt, talked to famed journalist Chris Hansen on March 25 on YouTube. According to reports, Leonhardt publicly accused Torres of molestation beginning in April 2009, when Leonhardt was 10 and Torres was 24. Hansen launched an ongoing YouTube investigation into Torres in March and has since interviewed more accusers.

Leonhardt shared an account of Vanity grinding on underage girls at a large party in Florida, and a cake smash incident that led Vanity and Leonhardt engaging in a sexual interaction for the first time, with Vanity instructing Leonhardt on how to suck his dick, since Leonhardt didn’t know how to at their age “He at least knew that I was underage, because I could not have passed for anything above 15,” Leonhardt told Insider. “And I would have been a tiny 15-year-old. I’m only 4-foot-10 now.” They also noted “He was quite violent… A lot of it was under the guise of ‘this is BDSM,’ and he would sexualize violence.”

On March 2, 2018, Leonhardt publicly accused Torres of rape, writing on Tumblr according to Insider: “I will say loudly, clearly, and without hesitation, Dahvie Vanity/David Jesus Torres raped me. He is an abuser; sexually, emotionally, and physically. I am not afraid of him anymore; I am not afraid of the fanbase he got to attack me til I recanted my statement when I was 11-12, I am no longer staying silent. Not after so many young kids got hurt after me.”

Others began to come forward, as well as former employees that witnessed other incidents, including a former merch rep seeing Vanity make out and grope a 13-year-old.

Fast forward to the current times, Chris Hansen got involved, in comes Jeffree Star, who is ready to get in the spotlight and spill any tea, but also to dispel any thoughts that he supported Dahvie Vanity. Now, judging from those who are in bands that have come out to say it’s very hard to not know what people are up to on long band tours, it’s very unlikely that Star wouldn’t have known that Vanity was crossing lines. And as the digging continued, someone found Tweets from Star from 2010.

 

He has since wavered back and forth between support and not support: 

  

 

Centennial Beauty quotes his discussion with Chris Hansen of ‘To Catch A Predator’

“Back in the day, there was a lot of crazy rumours about Dahvie,” he told Hansen on live-stream. “There was never any criminal charges against him. He was never put in jail for— I know there was one instance, but he never served real jail time. There was no criminal case against him.”

He went on to say that during that time, people in the music world were “not sure what was really going on.”

“It was very believable but then at the end of the day, there was no proof,” Jeffree explained.

The viral star took responsibility for the tweets saying he did call Dahvie a “child molester” because he genuinely believed it at the time.

“Did I ever see an actual sexual crime? Absolutely not. Did I see weird inappropriate behaviour? Yes,” he admitted.

 

And just like that, Jeffree’s fans believe and move on, while others questioned Hansen’s drive to talk to a big celebrity, and the fact that he gave his questions to Jeffree ahead of time, which is deemed in journalistic situations such as this one, unethical. Star gets away again with little to no damage of his reputation.

 

JAMES CHARLES V. JEFFREE STAR, TATI WESTBROOK

There are so many places where you can get this information, but for the sake of this article, here is it’s a placeholder and a spot where you can find thorough information.

SOURCING:

Jezebel: An Extremely Intricate Guide to Beauty YouTube’s Never-Ending Beef: Shane Dawson vs. Jeffree Star vs. James Charles vs. Tati Westbrook

The bottom line is, after James Charles’ store was shut, it was realized that Star was his distributor (most likely though Killer Merch, but not named by name in my sources). Jeffree then released a very thinly cover your ass video to remove himself from the drama. Dodging bullets again.

 

Later on, with the collaboration of Shane Dawson, a docuseries is released on Star, and the trailer teases the drama between himself, Tati and Charles, but then never delivers on the tea, even with promises from Dawson and Star saying that they would be showing it. Considering Tati’s release on how Dawson and Star pushed Tati to destroy Charles, it’s hard to say if maybe that’s the reason they never touched on the subject or not. And as previously mentioned by Tati Westbrook, it was brought to her attention that James Charles was to create his own line at Morphe before she came to destroy. (See Shane Dawson section for reminders/details.)

 

JEFFREE STAR OUTS TOO FACED ON NIKKIE TUTORIALS PALETTE PAYMENT

While some commend Star for this next one, it’s important to note that while it did help Nikkie Tutorials in the end with her authenticity that the secret was finally out and she was able to address it, Jeffree has this habit of sticking himself in people’s business where he doesn’t belong. And if this particular incident went south instead of being praised, Nikkie Tutorials could have gotten in deep shit if she signed an NDA and still shared the info with Star.

The second episode of Shane Dawson’s nine-part documentary with Jeffree Star re-opened the drama that occurred in 2017, which means he would have had time to clear sharing the info. It’s unclear if he had permission to use this information in the docuseries.

“Shortly after in 2017, Jeffree got involved in a public feud with TooFaced CEO Jeremy Johnson. The pair argued about the origins of the popular unicorn makeup trend and Jeremy called Jeffree’s brand “clown makeup”. So, Star clapped back and revealed that Jeremy had underpaid Nikkie,” according to PopBuzz.

Fans started utilizing Twitter to institute a boycott in 2019 after finding out this information:

Nikkie then had to address the drama, years after it happened, and addressing how hard she had to work to get her authenticity back after Two-Faced changed the quality of the palette before shipping, causing a ton of negative reviews and hate toward her and her product.

And once again, Star got away with spilling the beans in 2017 during a feud HE WAS IN, by throwing the distraction of Nikki Tutorials under the bus.

 

FINAL: THE HALO EFFECT VS. THE BAD GUY

Many have called to the idea of the Halo Effect when it comes to situations that Jeffree Star has landed in with his co-conspirators. Many accept and expect Star to be venomous, full of tea, and “well that’s just Jeffree” being a way to classify him without holding him accountable. Squaring off with these other makeup artists, or having partnerships with those who don’t live as viciously or haven’t been #FoundOut, as my buddy calls it, puts them in the spotlight, but at the cost where people may find out what you’ve done. And sometimes an apology doesn’t cut it, depending on the accused circumstances.

Take James Charles for example: Many didn’t know the things that Tati Westbrook brought to the table, and while Charles is still operating and seemingly surviving, there’s still a large audience that took Tati’s word as bond, and will not “fux wit” Charles after the spilled tea.

Star, on the other hand, has always portrayed the Evil Queen. The Bad Guy. The one that can say or do anything because he’s always been bad, so our expectations have been lowered significantly. Similar to (so sad to say this) Eminem or Kanye West, there are legions of those fans that no matter what they’ve done, they still love, respect, or worship them. Other examples have been Morgan Freeman’s Sexual Assault accusations, or Chris Brown’s violence against women. Somehow, these people still have fan-bases, and it’s a psychological thing we as humans do: As long as someone is delivering on my expectations, why would I correct their behavior? And that’s now Star gets by. As long as he continues to be the person we know him to be, mean and “bitchy,” people will not get mad or cancel him.

As an example, Star released a palette during the Pandemic called “Cremated” when thousands of lives are being lost to Coronavirus. And while this was deemed distasteful to many, others blindly gobbled up the newest product. Nobody expected him to “not go there” because that’s who Jeffree is – pushing the boundaries, so it was accepted, and our timelines were filled with giddy gals showing off a basic set of colors you could pick up from CVS, in which they paid far too much to purchase.

With this in mind, it is pretty clear that Jeffree Star not only doesn’t give a fuck when it comes to his paper trail, but that no matter how canceled he becomes, many will still blindly worship him because it’s convenient, and then his followers don’t have to feel bad for being a former supporter (like us Harry Potter fans dealing with J.K. Rowling’s Transphobia).

 


 

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