James Charles Defends Controversial ‘Mugshot Challenge’ After Backlash Over ‘Distasteful’ TikTok Trend
7 April 2020, 08:52
James Charles said it was “never my intention to trigger anyone” following criticism over his take on the TikTok ‘mugshot challenge’.
James Charles, 20, posted photos of himself appearing to look bruised and bloodied after applying smudged makeup as part of the controversial ‘mugshot challenge’ trend on TikTok.
The trend sees users record themselves applying smudged eyeliner and messing up their hair before posing for a ‘mugshot’ style picture to make it look like they’ve been arrested after a bloody fight.
This article contains mentions of violence and domestic abuse.
After trying out the bizarre trend for himself, of which millions have been sharing on TikTok recently, James uploaded his snaps to Instagram alongside the caption: “Mugshot.”
James then received a lot of criticism on his post, with one person writing: “At a time where domestic violence is through the roof due to Covid-19 and victims of abuse are forced to remain home with their abusers, you choose to make bodily harm trendy or attractive?"
Another commented: “With an increase in domestic violence due to isolation, this post probably doesn’t vibe right for people suffering. Just a thought.”
“This is such poor taste,” wrote another of James’ followers, as a fourth said: “So distasteful and disrespectful.”
James later addressed the criticism on Twitter, saying he deleted the post from TikTok.
However, James’ pictures remain on Instagram.
He wrote to his 5.1million followers: “Despite the fact that hundreds of other influencers and artists have done something similar, I deleted the mugshot trend because it was never my intention to trigger anyone & it's a waste of time trying to have an open discussion with people who hate me regardless.”
In a now-deleted tweet he said: “Only I could lazily smudge on some purple eyeshadow and fake blood to recreate a dumb tik tok trend and have it twisted into an actual scandal lol.”
He also pointed out The Weeknd’s new album cover shows him bleeding from the nose, adding: “I love him and his music!!! i’m just pointing out a double standard and trying to ask why it’s ok with him but not with others.”
Replying to a fan who questioned why he posted the photos, James wrote: "It’s a tik tok trend going around where people post their 'mugshots' and has nothing to do with domestic violence whatsoever. love you [sic]."
Meanwhile, one of his followers made a valid point: "I don't think it's just you, it's the trend itself which is triggering for many."
James isn't the only influencer to take part in the trend, with #mugshotchallenge being tagged over 146.8million times on TikTok.