Makeup store Morphe said goodbye to YouTuber Jeffree Star, after weeks of public trepidation in the YouTube beauty community. Star has been charged with use racist and offensive language, and also manipulate others makers and people close to him.
“Today we made the decision to discontinue all commercial activities related to Jeffree Star and related products,” a tweet from Morphe’s account reads. Currently, Star’s products will remain on the site, but a tweet from the Morphe account says this will change to “the coming weeks,” without giving a specific date. Star’s relationship with Morphe was once a major source of income for the creator, who has launched several lines with the company and has become a face for his brand.
So far, Morphe has said nothing publicly about the accusations against Star or surfaced videos showing the creator with racist and other offensive language. But that’s only part of it. Star is in the midst of several controversies, some more serious than others. On the one hand, the aforementioned videos are resurfacing and arriving at a time when several prominent YouTube personalities, including Star’s close friend and collaborator Shane Dawson, are struggling with past videos with racially insensitive or offensive content.
On the other hand, there is a situation that feels more like high school drama: rumors are spreading about Twitter DMs and text messages. This is a bit complicated, so stay with me: YouTube creator Tati Westbrook made a video in 2019 suggesting that co-makeup YouTuber James Charles used his influence to inappropriate progress with another man. Coincidentally, Charles also worked with Morphe for one a few of his own palettes. Following Westbrook’s accusation, fans of Charles who bought his Morphe collection recorded videos of themselves destroying the palettes and posted them on TikTok and Instagram. The video resulted in Charles losing millions of subscribers and he eventually posted his own video on the subject. It is said to have been viewed more than 30 million times before removing it.
Then there were rumors of rumors: More specifically, Star was behind the Charles rumors and deliberately spreading them. Last week were Star and Dawson accused by creator Tati Westbrook from gaslighting and manipulating her through those rumors in a public feud with Charles.
YouTube drama often takes the form of countless videos and responses published by creators to tackle what is happening in their corner of the internet. With the beauty community, the financial implications can be slightly more extreme. Makeup lines, especially eyeshadow palettes, are a serious source of income for the top makers of the beauty community – and for Morphe, which carries lines like Jeffree Star Cosmetics. Morphe has turned the cosmetic line rollout into star-studded events, with in-store appearances of influencers so popular in malls that need extra security.
For example, according to Morphe management, who spoke to Star and Dawson about the line’s potential profit, Star and Dawson’s “Conspiracy” palette was expected to generate $ 17.5 million in in-store sales and another 17, $ 5 million on Star’s website. seven-part documentary series, as well as Star’s own calculations. The first batch of 60,000 units released by Star and Dawson sold out within 30 minutes. The YouTubers and Morphe released 60,000 units as soon as possible. They also sold out quickly. Prior to the Conspiracy palette, Star had worked with Morphe on some of his other lines, including one earlier this year.
As important as it is for Star to sell its collections in malls across the country, it’s just as important for Morphe to carry high-profile personalities in the community. Emine ErSelcuk, Morphe’s then vice president of Global Retail, said in a 2019 interview that working with beauty creators, many of whom have millions of subscribers on YouTube, played a role in the company’s early life its success.
“We partner with influencers who are true to the vision of that beauty influencer,” ErSelcuk told Retail Insider. “And we have been very successful with this formula.”
Star may continue to sell its products through its online store and other potential physical store partners, but Morphe’s decision to publicly distance itself from the relationship is a clear rebuke. It is not clear whether Morphe will work with Star again. The edge has asked Morphe for more details on the extent of the company’s decision to “discontinue all commercial operations.”
“As we look to the future, we will continue to share updates on what awaits the Morphe brand,” the company said in a tweet.