Black TikTokers are fed up with not getting the credit they deserve for starting social media’s most popular dance trends. Now they’re going on an online strike to protest against white creators who steal their work.
Most recently, there have been several reports that state Black creators on the video sharing platform have staged a strike refusing to make a new dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s newest TikTok-made song, “Thot S**t.” Reason being, Black TikTokers don’t want to see white creators stealing yet another dance trend from them.
This past weekend, TikTok creator Erick Louis (@theericklouis) posted a video online saying that he made up a new dance to Megan’s song but before he could reveal it, text on the video said, “Sike. This app would be nothing without [Black] people.”
@theericklouisIf y’all do the dance pls tag me ? it’s my first dance on Tik tok and I don’t need nobody stealing/not crediting♬ Thot Shit – Megan Thee Stallion
According to Insider, other Black creators like @wazzamray and @erykahh also posted TikTok videos mocking dances/trends white users were creating in lieu of an official dance that had yet to go viral.
Moreover, dance TikToker @dominiquelaraine amplified the boycott with comments under her video that read, “Bestie, we were going on a strike” and “So you ain’t got the memo, we not helping them this time.”
Over the last year, TikTok has quickly become the biggest social media phenomenon that’s made a major impact on the music industry. So much so that many artists have adopted the “TikTok formula” to make their songs more appealing for creators to create unique choreography and signature dance moves to them.
However, in doing so it’s made Black creators on its platform more vulnerable to others appropriating Black culture for their own benefit. And in the end, Black TikTokers remain uncredited for being the original trendsetters.
We’ve seen this happen in real-time with people like Jalaiah Harmon who’s responsible for creating the famous “Renegade” dance, but it took an outcry from social media users online to help her get proper credit for it. Other instances include a segment of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in which Black TikToker’s dance crazes were used, but white creators instead were invited on the show to demonstrate them on national television.
This trend of copying Black culture without giving proper credit has been an uphill battle that dates back several decades, and unfortunately nothing has changed.
Staging a boycott against white creators on TikTok is a powerful statement for Black creators and ownership, but still the questions remains, what’s next for these TikTokers?
Black creators should not have to go to great lengths to protect themselves if it means they have to limit their creativity. It’s unknown whether or not TikTok will step in to speak up on this recurring issue but the fate of Black Tiktokers as of now is still up in the air.