It’s no secret. Black people are the sole reason social media is popping. This latest protest on TikTok is proving that point easily.
Megan Thee Stallion’s new summer anthem “Thot Sh*t” is tailor-made to go viral on TikTok. The song, which also serves as a clap back to conservative pundits who had something to say about “WAP,” has a catchy hook, plus the instructions for the dance are quite simple. Still, if you noticed, there are no viral moments anywhere featuring Thee Stallion’s latest single, and that’s on purpose.
Black creatives on TikTok have grown really tired of not getting the credit for the plethora of dance moves they have created on the app that white users jack without shame and get all recognition for their flavorless attempts at recreating them.
In response, Black TikTokkers have decided to go on strike and have not created any viral dance moments using Megan Thee Stallion’s new single, and it’s working.
Instead of actual dance moves, Black users give the impression they’re about to bust out the choreography, ultimately giving viewers the finger and walking off.
As expected, the YTs really copied the protest dance and made videos doing the same routine, clearly and hilariously missing the point that it was made to call them out.
If you click on the song on TikTok, you see nothing but melanin-deficient users trying their best to do something worth copying and failing miserably because they have no Black creative’s dance moves to jack. Jazmine Moore, a 20-year-old TikTokker, spoke with Mashable in a piece about the boycott and Black TikTok user’s reluctance to create dance moves while using “Thot Sh*t” as a moment to make a stand.
“We observed over the years on TikTok that most dances on the app are originated by Black creators. And creators who aren’t Black will water it down to do the bare minimum of the dance and claim it as their own,” Moore told Mashable. “So when this song popped up, everyone knew that someone was going to make a dance to it. But Black creators collectively agreed not to make one.”
Of course, there is the issue with boycotts that come with not being seen at all. One user who goes by the handle Skai Beauty is one of the few Black creatives who still decided to develop choreography despite the boycott going strong. She did receive some compliments for the routine, but also some criticism as well for participating. “It shows their blatant disrespect and disregard for Black creators,” the 22-year-old creator told Mashable via an Instagram DM. “However it’s [the strike] still a loss for us in the situation because people who have talent or who [are] creators live to create. We shouldn’t have to suppress our talents because our oppressors are obsessed with theft.”
As expected, her routine was copied, and she was not credited.
Despite its insane popularity thanks largely to Black users and the pandemic keeping folks inside, TikTok has been called out for its treatment of Black creatives. The social media medium has been accused of discrimination against users of color, primarily Black creators. TikTok was accused of designing an algorithm in 2019 that suppressed content from Black creators. TikTok was also called out for blocking hashtags related to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. The company would later apologize, calling it a “technical glitch,” and promised to support the Black Community. According to an NBC News report, little has changed on that front.
Black users’ content was still showing up below their white counterparts, with some Black users claiming their content speaking on racism being flagged as “hate speech” and removed from their pages.
Do better, TikTok.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz83