James Charles, the vlogger and social media star who became CoverGirl’s first man spokesmodel last fall, is currently knee deep in messy internet drama thanks to a series of now-deleted tweets he published while watching the movie It in theaters over the weekend. If that sentence made your stomach churn, I suggest you close this tab immediately, as things are only going to get worse.
This saga began Saturday night, when 18-year-old Charles disparaged the film on his Twitter account (calling it “awful” and “predictable”) while watching it, only to receive a clapback by its 14-year-old star, Finn Wolfhard.
At this point, fans of It and Wolfhard (who also stars in Netflix’s Stranger Things) began “attacking” Charles with tweets that both critiqued his theater etiquette and compared him to Pennywise the clown.
At this point, Charles decided to nip this minor internet controversy in the bud by doing the exact thing you shouldn’t do if you’d like an internet controversy nipped in the bud: he hastily recorded and published a two-minute apology video from the backseat of an Uber. As someone who has dealt with internet backlash in the past, Charles should have known better than to pour more fuel on the flames—deleting the tweets and issuing a one-sentence apology probably would have sufficed—but alas!
Because looking for the silver lining can be beneficial to one’s emotional wellbeing, I am choosing to view this video—embarrassing though it may be at first glance—as a gift. While specifically recorded as an apology for disrespecting Finn Wolfhard and the makers of It, Charles’s video contains several lines that can be used as responses to most personal drama, and I suggest you file it away for scenarios such as the ones described below:
When you need to apologize, but you’re in a hurry:
“So I’m currently in an Uber but I wanted to quickly make a video addressing this drama because this is getting way out of hand and and ridiculous and I just wanted to clarify things so it can be put to rest.”
When the person you’re subtweeting responds:
“[That] was the social media overexaggerator coming out in me, but it was rude and obnoxious and I’m apologizing for it because that was wrong.”
When a friend discovers you made disparaging comments about one of their recent Instagram posts in one of your group chats:
“I voiced my opinion because that is my job as a social media influencer, to talk about those things. Um.”
When your haters don’t know the difference between opinions and facts:
“The thing about an opinion is that we’re all able to have one, and it shouldn’t be this big of a deal.”
When your haters refuse to accept that we’re all able to have opinions and you need them to move on:
“I’m sorry for saying it was awful and being rude. I’m not sorry for having an opinion.”
When you’re the one being disrespected but need to gracefully work in a humblebrag:
“Being someone who is in the spotlight sometimes I really do understand what it feels like to work really really hard on something and put it out for the world to see. And having people be disappointed in it really, really sucks.”
When you get an email from Hallie Meyers-Shyer after writing about Home Again:
“The movie, if I’m being honest, was not awful at all. It was a fantastically made movie, the acting was great, the cinematography was absolutely beautiful, the plot development was great, the character development was great...When a big movie like that is gonna be released to the public eye, and millions of people are gonna watch it, people are gonna have opinions on it. That’s just how the world works.”
When you need your haters to move on:
“There are many more important things to worry about in the world right now rather than James Charles’s opinion of the movie It, so let’s just move on.”