Popular YouTuber James Charles is set to lose millions of dollars after his videos have been permanently demonetised following his admission he sent sexually explicit messages to teenage boys.
The makeup artist has 25 million YouTube subscribers and was also dropped by major cosmetics brand Morphe following allegations from more than a dozen minors. According to Forbes, that means the 21-year-old influencer has lost his two main revenue streams, which helped him earn an estimated US$10 million last year.
Earlier this month, Charles released a video titled 'Holding Myself Accountable', in which he apologised for sending messages of a sexual nature to two 16-year-old fans. Charles insisted that both people had told him they were 18 when they connected over social media.
"The specific details of the interaction really don't matter because I f**ked up," Charles said in the video.
"I needed to take accountability for my actions and most importantly apologise to the people that were affected by them. These conversations should've never happened, point blank, period. There's no excuse for it."
YouTube then announced they were removing Charles from their Partnership Program, which allows creators to make money from their videos on the platform.
"If we see that a creator's on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community," a YouTube spokesperson said at the time.
Charles went on to say that further accusations laid against him beyond the two incidents he admitted to were false.
"Since posting that video, many other people have come forward with a series of misleading stories and false allegations which have been reported on by many people, creators and news outlets," he tweeted.
"My legal team has begun taking action against those that have spread misinformation and/or created completely fake stories, as this has gone too far."
Charles found success within the YouTube makeup community when he was a teenager himself, leading to him becoming the first male CoverGirl ambassador in 2016 when he was 17 years old.