They say that you should (TikTok) dance like nobody's watching, but when you're a social media celebrity, it's probably wise to always keep in mind that everyone is watching.
Charli D'Amelio, the 16-year-old Queen of TikTok, unfortunately recently learned that the hard way. After receiving major backlash from a YouTube video she starred in, D'Amelio has lost over 500,000 followers (and counting) on TikTok, despite almost closing in on the 100 million milestone she had set out to hit before her one-year annivesary of hitting 1 million followers on the app.
The D'Amelios (Charli, Dixie, their mom Heidi and dad Marc) recently started a YouTube series called "Dinner With the D'Amelios." For their first installment, they invited the girls' close friend James Charles over to share a meal prepared by the family's private chef, YouTuber and chef Aaron May. May had prepared for them both a plant-based paella and a traditional Valencia paella with shrimp, chicken, and snails. As May was describing what was on the menu, however, Charli made disgusted faces behind the chef’s back. Then, when May described that the snails represent “good luck and good fortune,” Dixie ate one, gagged, and then actually ran outside to throw up. Her mother chastised her for being "dramatic." As Dixie made a scene outside, Charli asked, “Do we have any dino nuggets?”
Many were taken aback by the D'Amelio daughters' behaviour, saying they were being impolite and blind to their privilege for even having someone in-house to cook for them. Then, to make matters worse, later in the video, Charli complained that she wouldn't hit 100 million followers on TikTok on the timeline she wanted. “Ugh, I wish I had more time,” she complained, “because imagine if I hit 100 mil a year after hitting a mil.” To this, Charles jokingly replied, “Was the 95 [million] not enough for you?”
Looking at the comments on the YouTube video and on social media, it's clear that fans are mad. One day after the video was posted, it reached such a level that both Dixie and Charli felt the need to respond.
"I would never in any way wanna be taken as disrespectful, especially from an out-of-context 15-second clip," Dixie said in a video captioned “the truth of something that was ridiculously blown out of proportion” on TikTok.
"Basically, that clip, that wasn't in the original video, is my team and chef Aaron May trying to convince me to try snail, knowing that I would have a reaction," Dixie continued. "I love chef, and I would never disrespect him in any way." On November 18, chef May told Hollywood Fix that he felt the incident was blown out of proportion, that "it's all good" and there's "no animosity."
Then Charli took to Instagram live to express her distress following the criticism and hate she's received online, saying, "I don't even know if I want to do this anymore. [...] At the end of the day, just be nice. You can say I don't have basic human decency, but I'm still a person no matter how many followers I have." The teenager, who has spoken out about her experience with cyberbullying before, also shared a link to a mental health resource site, writing, "if anyone is struggling please do not hesitate to ask for help! you matter!"
Refinery29 reached out to the D'Amelios for comment.