CoverBoy James Charles apologizes for 'degrading' tweet about Africa and Ebola

CoverGirl’s CoverBoy James Charles is under fire for a tweet many are calling offensive and degrading.

James Charles made headlines last year for becoming CoverGirl’s first ‘CoverBoy’ — the first male ambassador for the cosmetics giant. Now he’s making headlines again, but for not-so celebratory reasons. The 17-year-old makeup guru apologized for this (now deleted) tweet that many on social media are calling stereotypical and degrading to Africa:

“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’….”

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The tweet was quickly deleted, but Charles didn’t initially appear to be too apologetic — he reportedly blocked Twitter users who called him out on his “stereotypical thoughts.” His original tweet was captured and reposted on Twitter, and social media quickly reprimanded him for stereotyping.

“I will no longer support your company as long as he’s on the campaign. This was stereotypical & degrading to Africa. @COVERGIRL @COVERGIRL,”one user tweeted. She continued, “@COVERGIRL by allowing him to be on your campaign. I personally feel the company reflects these same stereotypical thoughts.”

“Unfortunately they probably care more about him having millions of followers than him being degrading,” another stated.

Hours later, Charles officially apologized in a series of tweets:

“I am extremely sorry. Regardless of my intentions, words have consequences. I take full responsibility and will learn and do better,” the 17-year-old stated. “…I was told what to say and that’s not how an apology should work,” he continued in another tweet, before stating he was traveling to South Africa as part of a school trip, and it was never his intent to offend anyone.

“I feel awful for posting what I said. I understand why what I said was offensive and ignorant. I look forward to exploring the country and learning much more about the people and culture…”

For the record, South Africa hasn’t reported any cases of the most recent strain of Ebola. Users were also quick to point out that Africa is a continent not, a country…

Shortly after James’ apology, the cosmetics brand commented on Twitter:

“James Charles’ tweet does not represent COVERGIRL’s perspective. We agree his statements were inappropriate but appreciate that he has issued an apology. We are an inclusive brand and respect all people and cultures.”

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