Looks like Charli D’Amelio was dancing too close to the sun. The 16-year-old TikTok star has lost over 1 million followers in the past several hours following backlash to a YouTube video. She responded to the hate in a tearful Instagram Live Thursday morning, explaining the “misunderstanding.” It all started after Charli and her family (sister Dixie, mom Heidi, and dad Marc) continued to expand on Charli’s TikTok fame with a family YouTube channel. This week, they kicked off a new “Dinner With the D’Amelios” series where they invite over a “mystery guest.” First up is none other than James Charles. The food was prepared in-house by YouTuber and chef Aaron May, who has been working as a private chef for the D’Amelios (you know, when they’re not at BOA Steakhouse). The video generated a wave of backlash simply because the D’Amelio sisters do not know how to act.
For starters, Charli made faces behind the chef’s back as he described the menu, a plant-based paella and a classic Valencia paella with shrimp, chicken, and … snails. During the meal, Dixie picked up a snail with her fingers, made a disgusted face, and interrupted James Charles to ask, “What is it?” (Charles, by the way, was a surprisingly stellar dinner guest, carrying the conversation and keeping it from getting too awkward.) After the chef says snails bring “good luck and good fortune,” Dixie tries it, gags, and then runs outside to throw up. Meanwhile, Charli was snacking on bread and asking, “Do we have any dino nuggets?” When Dixie came back, she confronted chef May about the snails. “You have a child,” she said. “Like, what do you think is gonna happen?” We get it, Dixie, sometimes you don’t wanna be happy, but during a fancy private meal that’s being filmed for the very permanent internet? Later in the video, as the D’Amelios discuss their triumphs from the year, Charli complains that she won’t hit 100 million followers on TikTok on the anniversary of hitting 1 million. “Ugh, I wish I had more time,” she sighed. “Because imagine if I hit 100 mil a year after hitting a mil.” James Charles was unimpressed, joking, “Was the 95 [million] not enough for you?”
Over the next two days, Charli was inching closer to 100 million until fans started to unfollow in response to the video. The comments are overwhelmingly negative, calling the sisters “ungrateful” and “snobby.” By Thursday morning, Charli’s follower count had dropped by more than half a million. Charli hasn’t responded, but Dixie shared “the truth of something that was ridiculously blown out of proportion” on TikTok, basically saying the chef, whom her family has been friends with for “a couple of months,” knew she would have a bad reaction to the snail. On Wednesday, chef May told Hollywood Fix, he had no hard feelings whatsoever.
Charli went on Instagram Live Thursday morning to address the situation and the hate she’s received as a response to what she calls a “misunderstanding.” She explained that her team, including chef May, are “like family” and they “like to pull surprises” on the sisters, in this case, making them eat snails. They also know she’s a “picky eater,” which is why she made the “dino nuggets” joke, she clarified. While talking about the “messed up” messages and death threats she’s received, Charli began to cry. “People just, like, blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human being is not okay at all,” she said, wiping away tears and adding, “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.” Her follower count has continued to drop, now losing over 1 million. She added that part of her excitement for 100 million followers was because of a surprise she has “to help” fans. It may be a minor offense for the major backlash, but after their wildly successful year, 2020 was not going to let the D’Amelios off that easily.
This post has been updated throughout.