Let's Check Back on How the Black TikTok Creators' Strike Is Going

Megan Thee Stallion's new single isn't doing the numbers on TikTok like it would if Black creators made a dance for it, proving the point about their impact.

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Image: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Earlier this week, The Root covered the ongoing efforts of Black creators on the app who want to let all of the white creators who have gotten comfortable with pilfering and profiting from their creativity that they have had E N O U G H.

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Here’s a quick update by NBC News on the impact of Black TikTokers refusing to create dances to Megan Thee Stallion’s new single “Thot Shit” for non-Black users to put their own sauceless, boiled goose-ass spins on.

As they say, the numbers don’t lie:

In the past, Megan Thee Stallion’s music has been a powerhouse, driving viral choreography on the platform with hits like “Savage,” “Body,” and “WAP.”

“Savage” has been used in more than 22 million TikToks, “Body” in 1.5 million, and “WAP” more than 4 million.

But “Thot S—-” has so far only garnered 165,000 videos.

If Black TikTokers had decided not to go on this content-creating strike, the numbers for “Thot Shit”-related videos would more than likely be astronomical at this point, as they have been for Megan’s previously released singles.

Therefore, it’s obvious that what Black creators are saying is true: the viral nature of many TikTok videos is both built upon and thrives off of their work.

NBC spoke to Erick Louis, the TikToker who posted the original video that helped the strike movement gain traction on the app. To him, the issue is not that white creators are replicating the choreography created by Black users, but it’s more of a matter of giving “credit where it’s due.”

“It just speaks volumes. We have these experiences outside of TikTok. As Black folks, we’re used to galvanizing, marching, protesting, having to scream and yell to have our voices heard. It’s weird that it’s also having to be translated onto a space where people are supposed to divulge their creative endeavors and engage creatively,” Louis said. “It’s supposed to be a safe space but even in those spaces we’re forced to make a statement and protest.”

TikTok released a statement to NBC, saying in part that the app–which is among the top of the most downloaded and used social media platforms in the world–is a “special place because of the diverse and inspiring voices of our community, and our Black creators are a critical and vibrant part of this.”

“We care deeply about the experience of Black creators on our platform and we continue to work every day to create a supportive environment for our community while also instilling a culture where honoring and crediting creators for their creative contributions is the norm,” the spokesperson said.

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That’s all fine and dandy, but based on what’s happening now with the dance strike and also with previous attempts by Black creators to draw attention to the app’s habit of suppressing their voices in the past, it seems like there’s still some work that TikTok needs to do in order to truly make it a place where Black creators can thrive and get their coins just as Addison Rae and them folks have.

This also makes me miss my dearly departed Vine, because they would never.

   

DISCUSSION

By
Canedude16

Here’s a better idea: Get the hell off of Tik-Tok and NEVER come back. Black creatives need to start thinking a lot bigger than “Going Viral” on some sketchy app that is a glorified Vine. Then again, creating intricate, highly skilled dances to mediocre pop rap shouldn’t be a goal either. I’d love to see these creatives do something bigger, better, something with an actual future. Let’s be honest, the influencer, “Going Viral” culture isn’t a long term aspiration, because as we’ve seen time and time again, creatives that get sucked into that rarely get out of that trap.

Look at RDCWorld on Youtube, they created a ton of great content, and used that to get beyond the “We need to go viral” ecosphere. They are heading off into the world of actual, televised comedy. The Tik-Tok creatives desperately need to find a way of doing that. Then again, creating a dance doesn’t have nearly the long term impact as topical comedy... Tons of people can repeat a dance, very few people can successfully repeat a comedy sketch and have it be just as funny as the original..