on house arrest

YouTube star and CoverGirl model James Charles sparks controversy yet again

Another year, another James Charles controversy. The YouTube makeup guru, who rose to fame in 2016 as the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl, ran afoul of Twitter users for raving about the phrase “the house” in a recent video… and mentioning neither the rest of the phrase nor its significance in ball culture and the drag community.

“This is by far my favorite thing to say right now,” Charles says in the March 22 video. “Me and my friends are all obsessed! I heard about it from another YouTuber named Rich Lux. Basically, any time something is very something else, you can say it is ‘the house.’”

The 19-year-old then uses his version of the phrase in some example statements: “Oh my gosh, it’s very, very cold outside! It’s cold, the house. Ew, that outfit is so ugly. That outfit is ugly, the house. ’The house’ is the new best way to put emphasis on anything.”

While some users dinged Charles for missing a word or two — the phrase is actually “the house down” “the haus down,” with “boots” added for extra emphasis — others criticized him for not knowing the phrase’s origin.

By the way, Drag Race alum Manila Luzon gave a crash course on proper usage back in 2012.

According to We the Unicorns, Charles eventually responded to the backlash in a since-deleted tweet, saying, “hey @ gays i’m aware that the full phrase is “house down boots” from erica andrews/drag culture! in my vid i simply shared a short version that i’ve been hearing a lot. glad many of you chose to drag me for likes instead of educating me/other lgbtq kids that may not have known!”

Aside from his 2017 Ariana Grande diss and his 2018 feud with the cast of It, Charles previously sparked controversy with a 2017 joke referencing the Ebola crisis in Africa.