Jeffree Star Responds To Backlash Over His New “Cremated” Palette

Photo: Getty Images.
Jeffree Star is no stranger to beauty controversy. Who can forget the great Kat Von D feud of 2016? Or when he jumped into the Tati Westbrook and James Charles drama last year? Or the great stray hair debate of 2019? But his latest move might be his most divisive yet — especially considering the current COVID-19 crisis.
Last week, Star announced his new "Cremated" collection, which is set to launch on 22nd May. “Cremated is, like, my iconic catchphrase. ‘I’m deceased,’ it’s also a term that I like to use,” he said in a YouTube video. “You know when you’re blown away by something, and it’s so sickening? Me and my friends like to say, ‘B*tch, I’m cremated. Baby, I’m deceased.'”
According to Star, the collection was inspired by his gothic makeup style. His hero item, the Cremated palette, is a collection of pale ivory to jet-black powder shadows with questionable names, including The Morgue, Death Certificate, and Grave Digger.
While fans of Star took to social media to express their excitement for the line, it didn't come without backlash from others who felt the theme of the launch was highly inappropriate amidst a global pandemic that is currently claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
"Jeffree Star really putting out a palette named 'cremated' when almost 90,000 people just died in this country alone from coronavirus," one user wrote. "Not to mention the fact that it’s called the CREMATED collection which seems a bit tasteless in the current world situation," another agreed.
Some fans pointed out that Star's latest launch went into production months before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, but others argued that it could have been put on hold to be sensitive to the current climate. "Keep in mind there are hundreds of thousands of ppl literally dying," one Twitter user said. "Anyway, you could’ve saved this project for Halloween idk."
People were also troubled by the shade name Angel of Death, which has been used to describe the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. "I feel so foolish to have supported Jeffree Star for as long as I have," one follower wrote. "Releasing a cremated palette didn’t bother me until I realised one of the shade names is 'angel of death.'” 
Naturally, Star had a lot to say in response to his palette backlash. In an alleged Snapchat video, which is no longer available but was posted on YouTube, Star addressed negative remarks about his launch. "To me, it's so much more than an eyeshadow palette. There are so many meanings with my art," he says. "I created it for the world and it's allowed to be interpreted any way anyone wants to take it, but I always come from a good place."
Star went on to defend his new launch and its morbid theme. "On a real level you guys, my own father was cremated. My two dogs who passed away last year were cremated, so nothing always comes from a negative place," he argued.
YouTuber Sebastian Williams, who made a video about the Star-related backlash, reached out to him for comment — and Star allegedly responded by direct message. "People want to make it personal and be offended always, but the world just doesn't work like that," Star reportedly wrote.
According to Star, he didn't want to postpone the release for quality-control purposes. "I have three more eyeshadow palettes launching in 2020 and several new products launching and Cremated would've been moved to 2021, way later in the year," he reportedly wrote to Williams. "I never want to risk makeup becoming expired; that's not the best for the customer experience. I want my customers to get the best quality product."
Whether or not this launch is yet another example of Jeffree Star's long list of internet drama, or just a case of bad timing, it does pose a simple question: Is there ever a good time to launch a "cremated" palette? We'll let you decide.
We have reached out to Star for comment and will update this story when we hear back.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. It says you can protect yourself by washing your hands, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing (ideally with a tissue), avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and don't get too close to people who are coughing, sneezing or with a fever.

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