photo courtesy of Google Images
By: Olivia Jaime
Lights. Camera. Action. Youtube is among the world’s largest platforms in which one can share all ones creations and ideas. Although it has benefits such as fame, fun, and money, it also comes with the price of drama and vulnerability. Recently drama started to stir up with the most influential beauty gurus on youtube: Jeffree Star, Laura Lee, Gabriel Zamora, Manny MUA, and Nikita Dragun.
One day, a picture was posted featuring Lee, Zamora, MUA, and Dragun making an obscene middle finger gesture. According to Zamora, they were trying to recreate Kylie Jenner’s birthday picture. The caption of the post was “—– is bitter because without him we’re doing better.” Fans thought this was aimed toward Jeffree Star since all four gurus in the picture were no longer friends with him. This thought was confirmed after Zamora tweeted, “Imagine stanning a racist, I could never.” They all ended their friendship with Star in 2017. Star had suffered racism scandals dating 10 years back and since then has apologized. As soon as this tweet was made, stans (fans) of Star did not take it. Immediately, the search for tweets and dirt against Lee, Zamora, MUA, and Dragun was in order.
After a short period of time, many offensive tweets surfaced from Lee, Zamora, and Dragun dating six years back. One tweet from Lee reads, “ Tip for all black people if you pull your pants up, you can run from the police faster. #yourwelcome”. Fans of Lee did not approve of this. One tweet from Zamora used racist and derogatory language to which he claimed “I honestly thought because my friend was black that I could use it with him. I playfully responded to my friend thinking it wasn’t serious in the comments.” This was no excuse to what he had said. Nikita had also put under the spotlight offensive tweets regarding racism, child abuse, and pedophiles.
After all of the old tweets were discovered, they were quickly taken down and apologies were being posted. Lee, Dragun, Zamora, and MUA all tweeted out or posted videos with lengthy apologies about their past decisions. The video that received the most attention was Lee’s, “My Apology” video. The video features Lee forcing her tears and many people believe that her apology was not sincere. Throughout the whole video she repeats that she made offensive “retweets,”, when in fact she tweeted them herself. The video only lasts 4 minutes and 43 seconds and half of the time she was wiping her nonexistent tears from her eyes. Lee had lost a total 568,897 subscribers within the last 30 days. MUA, Zamora, and Lee all stated they are going to take a break from youtube to reflect on their decisions. Meanwhile, Jeffree Star is happily continuing his life while the other beauty gurus are suffering.
CHS Student Thoughts
I recently asked a Cerritos High student who is also informed about these scandals and she has some opinions on all of this. Alanie Giron watches all of these Youtubers and she says that if she even was subscribed in the first place, this would be the reason to unsubscribe. I asked her what she thought about the tweets and she states, “ They were both at an age that they knew what they were doing, but still did it anyways.” I then asked her what were her thoughts on the apology was and she said that Laura Lee’s apology was, “fake and she didn’t really mean it.” I agree. Giron believes that Jeffree was not to blame in any of this since he did not tell any of them to tweet and it was all their decisions. I finally asked Giron if the youtubers deserve to lose subscribers and she said, “ Yes they deserve to lose subscribers because what they did was hurtful to people of color. As a makeup guru, you’re supposed to be welcoming and supportive of people of color.”
Youtubers have a big responsibility, especially if they have millions of people watching them and looking up to them. They are supposed to set a good example for the youth and the new generation. Despite their scandals, Youtubers are humans, too, who make mistakes. Although this was not a good experience for them, it was definitely a learning opportunity.