No more Tiktok dances? Why this new trend is actually a protest
It shouldn’t be news by now that most of your favorite TikTok trends, dances, and other viral content has usually been started or created by black creators. Unfortunately, it’s very rare that people end up getting the credit they deserve for the TikTok trend they create. And now, it seems like black creators on TikTok have finally had enough. What are they protesting and how are they doing it? Let’s take a look into the details here.
I think Black creators should just stop creating content for like a good 6 months and just observe what these people come up with https://t.co/xJiXRnUdcX
— Annalise Keating (@Ariannnyy_) March 27, 2021
While there have been many instances of a black creator inventing a TikTok trend without rightfully getting their credit for it, widespread anger over this issue occurred all over Twitter following a dance segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a few months ago when TikTok star Addison Rae came on to perform a series of viral dances she did not create. The creators of the dances who were mainly black folks were not named.
This dance segment sparked a conversation all over social media on how black creators who so often are the ones to invent viral TikTok dances never end up getting their due credit. While TikTok stars like Addison Rae or Charli D’Amelio who have followed trend after trend and profited off of other creators’ dances boast millions of followers on the app, the inventors of the dances have much smaller followings and don’t get credit.
One Twitter user @Ariannnyy_ even suggested during this whole controversy: “I think Black creators should just stop creating content for like a good 6 months and just observe what these people come up with”. Well, it now seems like many black creators on TikTok have been following these exact words, as that is exactly what some people are planning to do now. How are they coming together to make this happen though?
Recently, several black creators on TikTok have pledged to no longer create dance challenges in protest of rampant cultural appropriation. This includes not creating a dance for Megan Thee Stallion’s new single “Thot Sh*t”. While most of Megan Thee Stallion’s singles have been widely popular on TikTok and have been used for tons of viral dances, it doesn’t look like this will be the case for “Thot Sh*t”.
Amanda Bennett, a Duke PhD candidate and cofounder of education collective Define & Empower, expressed to Buzzfeed News: “Black creators are tired of white people profiting off our work and appropriating Black culture. Unfortunately, many white people who consume Black culture have little respect or compassion for the Black people who are producing that culture”.
As for Daniel Akomolafe, a nineteen-year-old content creator whose TikTok username is Uniekue, he believes that “this strike of no longer doing TikTok dances was a long time coming”. For a while now, many black creators have been rightfully angry for not receiving the credit that they deserve for the work they’ve put into numerous viral trends, dances, and more. And finally, they’ve decided that enough was enough.
Akomolafe added to Buzzfeed News about the new “Thot Sh*t” single by Megan Thee Stallion: “It just so happened that the black community wasn’t doing a dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s new Thot Sh*t yet, and then the non-black Tik Tok community jumped on the sound because all they saw was a new trend to hop on, then we started realizing…they aren’t really giving anything”.
JaQuel Knight, the choreographer for the “Thot Sh*t” music video and the choreographer for Beyonce’s Coachella performance, even recently made history to be the first choreographer to copyright dance moves, and eventually, this may inspire other folks and black TikTok content creators to follow suit. Knight expressed to Variety: “Copyrighting movement is about putting the power back in the artist’s hands”.