“To the victims, I am so, so sorry,” Charles said. “And I promise that, like, this will never, ever happen again.”
In a video message on his channel, Charles said he didn’t know the boys were underage.
“I trusted the information that was given to me, rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself in both of these situations, doing research into these people as a public social media profiles, whatever reveal their true ages,” he said in a YouTube video entitled, “Holding Myself Accountable.” “And therefore, these conversations would have never happened in the first place, but I didn’t do the research. And that is what is so embarrassing.”
Kat Tenbarge, a reporter on Insider’s digital culture desk covering influencers, platforms, and everything online, said Charles’ apology was well-received on YouTube, but elsewhere was a different story.
“According to the YouTube statistics, he has a really high like to dislike ratio, but on Twitter and other spaces where people have been discussing the allegations against him, the video was not well-received,” Tenbarge told Inside Edition Digital.
Tenbarge said it appeared many of Charles’ critics want to see the influencer face what they believe is accountability for his actions.
“I think what a lot of James his critics are looking for is a little bit more action from his sponsors, from YouTube as a platform… and Snapchat, which is the platform he actually used to message these people,” she said. “So I think in order for James to come back to it, there would have to be a larger process of accountability, probably involving some sense of the authority or the sponsors that platform him.”
Charles said he takes full responsibility for his actions and plans to be more careful moving forward in interacting with people on social media. “These conversations should have never happened,” he said. “Point blank, period. There is no excuse for it. There’s no if ands or buts.”
Inside Edition Digital has reached out to Snapchat, the platform on which Charles messaged the allegedly underaged boys, and is awaiting their response.