Why Jeffree Star And James Charles Are In Hot Water With The USDA

Neither Jeffree Star nor James Charles is a stranger to controversy. The popular beauty influencers, who found fame on YouTube and parlayed that success into beauty lines, merchandise, and millions of dollars, have frequently found themselves at the mercy of angry hordes. 


In a 2021 interview with E! News, Star, who has since relocated from California to Wyoming to farm yaks (really), expressed regret for all the drama in which he's been embroiled over the years, describing his behavior as "childish and stupid."

Charles, meanwhile, has been putting his foot in it for just as long, starting with a racist joke about Ebola back in 2017, per Insider. Similar to Star, the beauty YouTuber has publicly feuded with several celebrities, too, from Ariana Grande to the cast of "IT," as well as other famous makeup artists within his community. 

In fact, the two feuded themselves after Star called Charles "a danger to society." However, the social media stars were on common ground when PETA and the USDA pointed the finger at them.


Jeffree Star and James Charles got too close to these animals

According to Paper magazine, in November 2020, several big-name influencers, including Jeffree Star and James Charles, were widely criticized after a company called Bananas Monkey sent them baboons and capuchin monkeys as part of a promotional stunt. 


The social media stars were accused of exploiting the animals after posing for photos with them to promote the fledgling clothing brand, with online critics describing the stunt as "cruel" and "horrific." 

Journalist Yashar Ali shared a video to Twitter of several influencers' posts. "Using primates like this is not only abusive, but also ends up encouraging private ownership of primates," he wrote. Another user responded, "Ugh can they just stop with using animals as props. It's 2020, we don't need this s**t anymore."

One Twitter user pointed out that "these so-called influencers should be ashamed." Star, in particular, came under fire because he promotes his own makeup line as both vegan and cruelty-free. However, he previously used an alligator while launching a palette called Blood Money, leading to further accusations of hypocrisy. 


Posing with a monkey did nothing to help Star's reputation. PETA decried the stunt as a "bizarre and cruel promotion" and submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act. 

TMZ subsequently confirmed that Bananas Monkey owner Kevin Keith had been reprimanded for failing to "adequately maintain direct control of the animals" for the photos. He was issued a stern warning on that basis.