It has been a particularly wild week for influencer and TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, after a backlash to her latest video and a feud with veteran social media scrapper Trisha Paytas saw her lose half a million followers on TikTok.
If you’ve seen bits and pieces of this saga on your timeline, or noticed some mysterious posts about paella, then what follows is an attempt to break down, as coherently as possible, how exactly this week’s big TikTok drama unfolded.
It all began with a video on the D’Amelio family’s YouTube channel, in which private chef Aaron May cooked a fancy dinner for Charli, sister Dixie, their parents and special guest James Charles (of course James Charles is involved in all this).
The video itself generated a backlash, thanks in part to the sisters’ treatment of the chef. The pair expressed disgust at the menu, which included a traditional paella with snails – Dixie gagged and vomited at the food, while Charli asked for Dino Nuggets instead.
Later in the piece, D’Amelio complained that she would likely not reach 100 million TikTok followers on the anniversary of her hitting one million, which seemed to be a real problem.
TODAY IN AWKWARD: Charli D’Amelio complains about not getting 100M followers in 1 year. James Charles responds “Was the 95M not enough for you?” Things get pretty awkward. Dixie D’Amelio scrambles to end video. James takes over and does outro. Charli is left confused. pic.twitter.com/t13aTmbR2h
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) November 16, 2020
“Ugh, I wish I had more time, cuz imagine if I hit 100 mil a year after hitting one mil,” she said, to which a slightly salty Charles responded “was the 95 [million] not enough for you?”
Viewers reacted negatively, calling the sisters “ungrateful” and “snobby”. Trisha Paytas’ spider senses clearly started tingling at this point, because she weighed in as well, criticising the pair in a series of timely TikTok videos.
Social Blade shows a drastic dive in followers in the aftermath of the dinner video, with Charli dropping 500,000 in a single day. Soon after, she took to social media to do some damage control, sharing a tearful live video about the “messed up” things people have said to her online.
She explained that chef May is a family friend who knows that she is a “picky eater”, and went on to say:
“People just, like, blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human being is not okay at all … You can hate on me for whatever I’ve done, but the fact that all of this is happening because of a misunderstanding, I just feel like that’s not okay. And if this is the community that I’m in and the community that I put myself in, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore.”
UPDATE: Charli D’Amelio cries on live. Charli says she’s been getting messages telling her to kill herself. She adds it’s all a misunderstanding and that she wanted to get to 100M because she had a surprise for her fans. pic.twitter.com/DDQRwWtRp2
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) November 19, 2020
James Charles, meanwhile, stepped in to defend his friend, comparing the situation to when he was publicly shamed by former collaborator Tati Westbrook, saying:
“This charli situation is NOT sitting right with me… 100M followers in one year & y’all expect her to know how to be a perfect role model? death threats because she’s a picky eater & made a joke about a milestone? 30+ year olds dragging someone half their age? feels familiar.”
Dixie also joined the pile-on, snapping back at Paytas by posting (and then deleting) a video in which she used a racial slur while rapping along to an N.W.A. song.
TikTok star Noah Miller chimed in to defend Charli, criticising Paytas for having a go at a younger rival, after which she finally responded, saying “age shaming is so unbecoming – try harder.”
Chef May has since said he has no hard feelings about the dinner incident, and D’Amelio’s follower count has since bounced back, so the drama appears to be over for now, although given the way these things tend to go, we probably haven’t heard the last of it.