YouTuber James Charles has responded after he came under fire for having contestants in his new reality series, Instant Influencer, make fake apology videos as part of the competition.

For those who missed it, the makeup mogul asked his four remaining contestants to film mock videos of themselves apologizing for a fake scandal in the most recent episode of his show, which aired on May 8, 2020.

“As an influencer, when you grow a following, you will either say or do something that people might not like or might not agree with and eventually, you might have to apologize,” he explained.

But some people were not happy with the task, and they quickly started to slam the beauty guru online.

“The way he just confirmed that when white [make up artists] are being called out on their racism or any form of bigotry that the apology videos are not as sincere as y’all really want us to believe,” one fan wrote, to which James quickly replied, “This is a reach. This has nothing to do with skin tone. Influencers of every race have had to apologize for things in the past. This challenge was a lighthearted way to poke fun at cancel culture (hence the stupid scandals) and was in no way meant to invalidate actual bigotry.”

“I can only speak for myself — I’ve had scandals that I have taken very seriously and addressed, such as the ebola joke, but I’ve also been involved with stupid ‘scandals’ due to cancel culture where I’ve had to laugh it off,” he added. “It’s just reality TV. Not that deep.”

For those who missed it, back in 2017, the influencer came under fire for seemingly making a joke about people from Africa having ebola.

“‘I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola.’ ‘James we’re fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year’….” the social media start wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

He later apologized, writing, “I am extremely sorry for my tweet and I felt like s**t for saying it … It was never my intent to offend anyone and I am sorry.”

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