Black TikTok creators say they've had enough of being overlooked by their white counterparts and are going on strike.
This time around, Black TikTok influencers have decided not to make a dance challenge to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot S**t” released earlier this month and Twitter is clowning white people for lacking creativity and originality.
The TikTok account @defineandempower.co, a self-described “Black feminist education collective,” explained the strike.
“…previously women TikTokers like Jalaiah Harmon and Keara Wilson created, K Kamp’s renegade or Meg Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix.” However, the Black women who created these dances were often uncompensated for their work and social media stars like Addison Rae stole their work and performed inferior versions on a national stage. Black TikTokers refusal to have their work and culture appropriated taps into a larger history of white capitalist profiting off the unpaid labor of Black Americans.”
While people went on Twitter to clown white TikTok influencers for their lack of originality, others highlighted the importance of Black creatives.
“Look at the impact of Black creatives. Black ppl been giving viral dances all through this Panini (since forever really). Then go on strike & now it’s dead over there. Clearly @tiktok_us paying the wrong ppl. Nobody pushes the button like Black ppl do,” a Twitter user wrote.
Look at the impact of Black creatives. Black ppl been giving viral dances all through this Panini (since forever really). Then go on strike & now it’s dead over there. Clearly @tiktok_us paying the wrong ppl. Nobody pushes the button like Black ppl do. pic.twitter.com/f2eU13G8SX
— Love ????????♀️ (@ZADDYNOBUCKZ) June 22, 2021
I'm so here for the #BlackTikTokStrike. Funny how all the non blk tik tokers forget how to dance and havent come up with anything since it started. All these influcers making bank off copying black creaters. Let it last all summer. Respect and pay black creaters!!!
— Zakiya Soleil (@ZakiyaSoleil) June 22, 2021
In January, TikTok launched a program that would help 100 Black creatives hone their skills and talents over the course of a three-month period, as Blavity previously reported. TikTok’s aim was to help creatives turn their ideas into careers. At that time, the social media platform was aware of criticism coming from the Black community and stated “Black TikTok drives culture.”
“Our Black creators and artists have touched so many people across the country and around the world. Without them, TikTok would not be the vibrant and creative community we aspire to be,” TikTok said in a press release obtained by Blavity.
However, five months later, Black TikTokers still believe they are being ignored and overlooked by the social media platform.
Social media star Addison Rae Easterling became famous from her videos on TikTok. In March, she performed several TikTok dances in person on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as if they were her own.
After receiving backlash, Fallon underwent damage control and invited the original creators of TikTok dances “Corvette Corvette,” “Up” and “Savage” on his program virtually.
But Black TikTok users are hoping this strike will be enough for the platform and users to understand the importance of Black creatives.