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.’”
lgbt community i’m so sorry pic.twitter.com/4zAH9fDBdQ
— dani (@dcagiunta) March 25, 2019
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.
when he said “new” my little gay heart broke a little. so many young gays barely know some great shit in our history. I know he’s not being malicious but like damn boi
— ashley (@kinsey_six) March 26, 2019
As a gay person, I am disgusted. The phrase is “the haus down boots” and was coined by the late, great Erica Andrews. You’re gay, and whether I like it or not, a fairly famous gay guy. As representation for the community, you’re responsible for knowing your shit. https://t.co/DDyEwNTzjI
— paris? (@ntertrom) March 26, 2019
If I hear a str8 white girl say “the house” and it’s cause of James Charles and not black trans women and drag culture….., im gonna go feral
— lukas ? (@flouncy_magooo) March 26, 2019
James Charles: T is for The House. That make up is good the house.
— austin ???? (@austxnh) March 26, 2019
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!”
— HTX MUA PARI$ HEELTON (@ImTheBombDotCom) February 16, 2017