TikTok is a platform full of short-form content...but appropriation and colonization at the hands of white folks is long-form history.
Black TikTok creators are tired—tired of white creators whose inherent privilege affords them more followers, more sponsorship deals, more opportunities to secure talent reps and a myriad of other things...at the expense of Black content.
As such, one Black creator decided to get quite…creative. Megan Thee Stallion’s recent single “Thot Shit” is definitely the type of song that lends itself to a TikTok dance craze. Of course, the cream culture vultures were circling above, waiting to swoop in and recreate a video originated by a Black creator without giving them any credit. However, TikToker @theericklouis came up with a master plan. Look at this brilliance:
The video begins with Meg’s bars and it appears @theericklouis is about to bust out a quick 8-count. But...plot twist! “Sike, this app would be nothing without Blk people,” he captioned the video at the end.
Welp! It’s a natural progression to this mess—after all, it’s the Black TikTokers’ creativity that inspires the white theft in the first place. Leaning all the way into their unseasoned and uninspired unoriginality, white TikTokers aired their regularly scheduled appropriation programming and copied the “dance” unironically, with the assumption that the dance dupe was legit (with one of the young Karens showing how big mad she was at the accurate observation regarding Black folks’ TikTok contributions):
The video was a great response to a long-discussed issue within the TikTok community, specifically. Most recently, Jimmy Fallon came under valid scrutiny when he hosted a late-night sketch starring popular TikToker Addison Rae, without involving any of the Black TikTokers who created the dances the influencer recreated in the sketch. There wasn’t even a citation with their TikTok names in the lower thirds of the screen. Following the backlash, Fallon invited the Black creators on the show in a later episode so that they could get their consolation prize shine.
“[When it comes to] white social media creators, I don’t know their inside story, but from the outside [looking in], it really seems like they’re maybe getting credit for what we/I have created,” “Savage” TikTok dance creator Keara Wilson told The Root in a March 2020 interview. “So, young Black creators, we have to support each other and surround ourselves with positive people that know what they are talking about when it comes to this business because the window is open and we have to keep it pushin’ toward where we are trying to go.”
Keep it pushin’ (on these pressed culture vultures’ necks) indeed!