Tati Westbrook apologized to Jackie Aina in her 40-minute YouTube video, acknowledging that she was “blind” to Jeffree Star’s alleged racism.”Jackie, I’m sorry that I did not do the right thing and walk away from him then. I should have not been blind to the reasons behind the accusations of his racism. I shouldn’t have defended him and I regret any of the pain that I may have caused you,” Westbrook said in Tuesday’s video. Aina, one of the few Black women in the YouTube beauty community with more than one million followers, has continued to speak out against the racism within her industry and has denounced Star for years. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In her new YouTube video, released on Tuesday, Tati Westbrook gave a “long overdue apology” to fellow beauty guru Jackie Aina for being “blind” to Aina’s accusations of Jeffree Star’s racism. “Jackie, I’m sorry that I did not do the right thing and walk away from him then. I should have not been blind to the reasons behind the accusations of his racism. I shouldn’t have defended him and I regret any of the pain that I may have caused you,” Westbrook said through tears. Aina has accused Star of racism for years. In a 2017 “anti-haul” video, explaining why she would not buy certain products, Aina included Star’s makeup line, after he had allegedly insulted another Black beauty guru, Shayla Mitchell (MakeupShayla), according to Seventeen. Following that video, Star called Aina an “irrelevant rat” on Twitter. Later, in September 2018, Aina tweeted that she would not “excuse his blatantly racist behavior,” which included the use of racial slurs in past videos. “No one in the community should feel they are protected enough to continuously say things to make black women feel ugly and ashamed in their own skin,” she said.
—Naira Banks (@jackieaina) September 29, 2018Westbrook continued to work with Star after Aina posted her public letter in 2018. In the last few months, however, Westbrook and Aina appeared to be on better terms. “Recently, Tati reached out to me, and I feel like we don’t really see enough of mending bridges on YouTube — especially because the beauty community, we have the worst reputation for being messy and toxic,” Aina said in March video, which was a review of one of Westbrook’s beauty products. In Westbrook’s new video on Tuesday, the beauty YouTuber said she regretted not believing Aina’s complaints about Star’s behavior. “I let you down and I am so genuinely sorry for that,” she said. As one of the few Black women in the beauty community with over one million subscribers, Aina has been a valiant critic of the lack of diversity. The bio on her YouTube channel reads, “Changing the standard of beauty, one video at a time.” In an interview with The Cut published on Tuesday, Aina said that in her decade on YouTube, she’s “always just wanted to see more influencers like me become more mainstream,” referring to the dearth of popular Black creators on the platform.
A publicist for Aina declined to comment for this piece. A representative for Star did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment regarding Westbrook’s video, and Star has not publicly responded.