The cosmetica company lauded Charles as a "boundary-breaker" who would "fearlessly express" himself. However, nearly three months later, CoverGirl was forced to distance itself from one of the 17-year-old's tweets joking about ebola.
He quickly deleted the offensive comment, but not before the quick-fingered internet could take a screenshot.
"'I can't believe we're going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?'" wrote Charles. "'James we're fine we could've gotten it at Chipotle last year'...."
The backlash was swift and obvious. Besides being an insensitive, reductive, massively stupid statement, the World Health Organisation cleared Africa of ebola over a year ago.
Fellow CoverGirl ambassador, Zendaya, shared her "mood" as the drama unfolded.
Naturally, CoverGirl went into full damage control mode:
James Charles originally posted a PR-provided apology ("I take full responsibility and will learn and do better") that he soon deleted, in favor of a less polished mea culpa in which he accidentally referred to Africa as a country.
Charles would continue his apology in an interview with Affinity Mag, in which he seemed to use that foolish mistake to prove his sincerity.
I hope that my apology, which openly admitted to originally posting a BS PR apology, and contained a mistake calling Africa a country instead of a continent (proving that no 3rd party proof read it), comes off as sincere and real. It was straight from me, and I feel awful.