Striking Black TikTok creators demand equal credit and compensation for content

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By Brooklyn Neustaeter, CTVNews.ca Writer

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TORONTO, Ontario (CTV Network) – Tired of not receiving credit for their creativity, many black content creators on TikTok have joined a widespread strike and refuse to create new dances on the app until ‘they are properly credited and remunerated.

The #BlackTikTokStrike does not call for users to quit the app or stop posting content. Instead, black content creators are sharing videos calling what they say is preferential treatment for white creators who receive millions of views performing dances they’ve appropriated from black creators.

The strike began in late June and as of Thursday morning the hashtag was viewed on TikTok more than 3.6 million times.

TikTok content creator Fur-Quan Powell told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday that he’s decided to take a hiatus from making his popular dance videos for now to highlight how black creators are. essential to the platform.

“White designers get more credit because I feel like they might think they’re more refined, [but] they never even gave black creators a chance or an opportunity to even be on the mainstream, ”Powell said in an interview from New Jersey.

The strike centered on Megan Thee Stallion’s latest song, “Thot S ** t”. Unlike her last viral song with Cardi B, “WAP,” there isn’t a single trending dance video on the new track. Some creators say it’s on purpose.

Powell says TikTok is known for its viral dances, but they are often created by black designers. He says this is unknown to most app users because they don’t get credit for their work.

CTVNews.ca has contacted TikTok for comment, but has not had a response at the time of posting.

Powell personally experienced a white TikToker using a song he created to gain a career opportunity.

Known online as FlyBoyFU, Powell is also a recording artist and is famous for creating the “Laffy Taffy (Remix)”, which was danced by millions of people on TikTok. Powell created the song while his friend, Indie, created the choreography for the dance.

However, late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon invited TikTok star Addison Rae Easterling to perform a series of eight viral TikTok dances on his show, including Powell’s “Laffy Taffy (Remix)” in March.

Easterling didn’t create any of the dances she performed in the show. The original creators were also not credited during the show. The late show did not release its usernames until later in the description box of the segment’s YouTube video after the episode aired.

“When I first saw Addison up there I was a little disappointed because I felt like this was my moment, I should have been able to have the opportunity to go,” said Powell said.

“My fans want to see me play, they want to see me dance and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is your opportunity, why is this person up there?’” He added.

Powell said it was “really hurtful” for a white creator to take credit for his content.

After considerable backlash, Fallon invited the actual creators of the dances into his show, acknowledging that they “deserve their own spotlight.”

Powell made an appearance on the show in April, but says Fallon did the bare minimum by inviting him after the Easterling segment.

“It was really hurtful because you see a lot of people in the world, they do your dances, they do something that you created, [but] they never know what we creators are going through, ”explained Powell.

“I just felt like I should have been up there,” he added.

Going forward, Powell says he wants to see TikTok give the original creators proper recognition when someone else uses their songs and dances.

“I feel like TikTok should have a tag where it has the option to put dance credit or song credit when you upload a video – they don’t give you that option, so a lot of people are left out, ”Powell said.

He said the creators of Black TikTok wouldn’t have had to go on strike if there had been an option to credit the content in the first place.

“A lot of these black designers are creating these dances that go super viral and get people all over the world dancing and they are literally being left out and I feel like there is so much more to do,” Powell said. .

Note: this content is subject to a strict embargo in the local market. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you cannot use it on any platform.

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