Black Creators On TikTok 'Strike' To Protest Stolen Viral Dances
Black TikTok users have vowed not to create a dance for Megan Thee Stallion’s newest banger, and the results are eye-opening
As a society, we like to tell people who’ve had their creative work ripped off that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” a quote attributed to Oscar Wilde. But most forget the second half of the saying, “…that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” Which is a flowery way of saying copycatters wish they had original ideas. And so it goes with Black creators on TikTok, who have grown tired of white influencers stealing their dance moves on the app and go on to gain fame and fortune for appropriating their viral moves.
The fervor started back in April when Addison Rae appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. The TikTok star took part in a skit that had her dancing to various viral TikTok dance challenges — and almost all the dances were originally choreographed by Black creators and none of them were credited for their ingenuity until Fallon was called out.
So this time around, when Megan Thee Stallion’s newest bop, Thot Shit hit YouTube, Black TikTokkers decided to sit this dance challenge out.
One creator @thericklouis shared a video where it looked like he’s about to dance to the song, instead, he gives a middle finger to the camera in protest.
Some white TikTok users didn’t seem to get the point of the video and recreated @thericklouis’s video by posting similar “middle finger to the camera” videos.
The irony was not lost on one Twitter user who wrote, “Even when given NOTHING, these Colonizers still steal EVERY crumb, not realizing what they are stealing is the point of why NOTHING was given,” the tweet reads. “I was like watch, even this finger salute and bounce will become the craze. Yep!Woman facepalmingWoman shrugging. Trifling thieves! #BlackLivesMatter.”
One Black TikTok user did decide to upload their own choreography to the platform. And, well. You can guess what happened next.
One Twitter user didn’t understand the controversy, but that tweet has since been deleted.
Here’s a quick explainer for those who are confused.
Did you create the dance? Awesome. Are you copying a dance you saw on TikTok, or other social media platforms? Awesome. Credit the people you “borrowed” it from. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
The problem with white creators taking credit for other’s work is that the white creators are usually the ones who end up with the fame, the views, and the brand sponsorships, while the original creators get nothing. Not even recognition.
As some TikTokkers struggle to come up with a dance on their own:
A few Black TikTok creators decided to create a dance to Thot Shit that was too hard to copy.
Here’s a hint, for the, let’s be real, white TikTok dancers who will try to pass this dance as their own creation? Stretch…hydrate…warm up…and give credit where credit is due.