James Charles and Manny MUA Apologize After Shading Alicia Keys for Starting a Beauty Line

Kelsey Stiegman
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Stefanie Keenan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stefanie Keenan - Getty Images

From Seventeen

Earlier this week, the news broke that Alicia Keys is launching a beauty line with e.l.f. cosmetics. And because, apparently, we can't have ANY nice things in 2020, there's already drama surrounding the launch. Don't worry, though, Alicia herself remains completely unscathed.

Here's what happened: when the news broke, headlines indicated that Alicia was releasing a beauty brand, but didn't specify what kind. Beauty YouTubers James Charles and Manny "MUA" Gutierrez both responded with pointed subtweets, indicating that celebs who don't actually wear makeup, shouldn't be starting a makeup line. This was very obvious shade to Alicia, as she famously stopped wearing makeup years ago.

"Does anyone else get slightly irritated when celebs come out with entire makeup lines? Especially when those celebs don’t even wear makeup…I'm like girl," Manny's tweet read.

Around the same time, James wrote: "People who do not wear makeup should not be coming out with makeup brands but that’s just my opinion." He then followed with another tweet that read, "reworded the original tweet because people assumed I was shading my own friends or people I love which is not the case lol." This came after fans began speculating that his tweet was about his bff Charli D'Amelio, who rarely wears makeup and recently dropped a makeup collab with Morphe.

The gag is, Alicia is actually starting a skincare line.

Once they found out this information (which they would have known, if they'd read more than the headline, btw), both Manny and James deleted their tweets and posted public apologies.

In his statement, James acknowledged that he jumped to judge Alicia before knowing all the information.

"Yesterday I posted a subtweet about how I thought some celebrities shouldn’t launch makeup lines. It was about @aliciakeys. A few years ago, she announced that she no longer would wear makeup, so I was bothered because many celebrities come into the beauty space as a cash grab without any actual passion and then leave," he wrote.

"I deleted the tweet after a few mins because it’s childish to indirect tweet some one & I am not the gatekeeper of makeup. Anyone should be able to secure their bag and it’s not up to me which brands people should or shouldn’t support. I’m glad that I DID delete it because after reading further, I learned that the beauty line is SKINCARE," James continued.

"This was my mistake and I should’ve read more before tweeting, because literally who BETTER to talk about keeping your skin clear without makeup? Regardless of my intention with my tweet, it ended up being a microaggression against someone I respect, so to @aliciakeys I owe a direct apology – I’m sorry. It wasn’t my place to gate keep this industry. I can’t wait to support and try out the products and I know the brand will be worth a billion in a few years."

Manny's apology was eerily similar. He, too, admitted that he is not the gatekeeper of the beauty industry and echoed James' statements about celebrity makeup lines.

"So yesterday I tweeted that I get slightly irritated when large celebs create cosmetics lines when they don’t wear tons of makeup because I saw the news that Alicia Keys is releasing a beauty line. I only tweeted because I know that she stopped wearing makeup years ago, but I should have researched more to discover that she is working with elf cosmetics to develop SKINCARE," Manny said.

"I get defensive of the beauty community because so many celebrities only come out with cosmetics lines as a cash grab, but I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and regardless I know I am not the be all end all boice of makeup… anyone can create what they want to create! That’s the beauty of our community! I apologize to those who I upset with my tweet and to Alicia keys for being so quick to make a judgement – there is room and space for EVERYONE in this community."

Alicia herself has not yet responded to their apologies and I would bet all the money in my bank account that she couldn't care less.

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