During a Q&A posted to his Instagram Story on Wednesday, Sept. 15, a social media user asked the 22-year-old beauty influencer what Ariana did to make James previously call her the "rudest celebrity" he'd ever met.
"literally nothing," James replied in his since-expired post, as seen in a screenshot that a fan shared on Twitter. "the fact that I said that is one of my biggest regrets of my career & it still follows me 4 years later which sucks."
James, who took a break from YouTube earlier this year after being accused of sending "inappropriate" messages to minors, went on to say he plans to record a video review of Ariana's upcoming R.E.M. Beauty line.
"I plan on talking about it more in depth when I film my review of REM," James added. "all I can hope is that people listen with an open mind."
During a 2018 makeup tutorial that James filmed with fellow YouTubers Ryland Adams and Shane Dawson, Shane asked James to name the "rudest celebrity" he's ever met, and the makeup expert's answer was the 28-year-old Grammy winner. James said that after he posted from one of Ariana's shows, she followed him on Instagram and sent a supportive DM, but that he discovered she had unfollowed him hours later.
According to James, Ariana told him that some of her fans had voiced issues with her decision to follow his account, since he previously posted a disparaging tweet about Africa and the Ebola virus. He later apologized for the controversial remarks.
"I messaged her back, and I was like, 'Hey, did I do something wrong?' And she literally was like, 'Hey, babe, I saw a lot of angry tweets from my fans, and I would never want to disappoint them, so I unfollowed,'" he shared. He went on to say he found it "really disappointing" of Ariana to "stoop to the level of listening to people bullying me, just to appease them."
Ariana has yet to publicly respond to James' comments or recent mea culpa.
In July 2021, James returned to YouTube after taking a hiatus from the platform in April amid accusations from two minors that he took part in inappropriate conversations with them on social media.
"I owe a massive apology to anybody I have hurt or anybody I made uncomfortable with my actions," James said in April footage. He alleged the two victims told him they were 18, and he "engaged in flirty conversation" until learning they were underage.