Black Tiktokers STRIKE after accusing White stars of 'stealing their moves'

Eric Louis, a TikTok star, said, 'We make the trends... and when we remove ourselves from the equation... it's nothing left but mediocrity'


                            Black Tiktokers STRIKE after accusing White stars of 'stealing their moves'
TikTok star Eric Louis (TikTok: @ErickLouis)

White TikTok stars are now accused by the Black TikTokers for not crediting their work and for becoming overnight stars with the stolen moves. 

Black TikTok stars have now gone on a strike and have refused to create viral dances claiming that the White TikTok stars will steal their moves and not credit them for their work. The no-dance strike exploded when Megan Thee Stallion released her latest song 'Thot S**t' on June 11, 2021, which typically led to the creation of a viral dance circulating on the social media app as what exactly happened with her song 'WAP' with Cardi B. On Tuesday, July 6, almost one month after the song's release, there were around 487,000 videos on TikTok set to the song but no dance trend has yet emerged.

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TikTok is known for its viral dance trends, which Black influencers say are often choreographed by them before the trend is picked up by white stars, many of whom have gained profitable success outside of the app thanks to their large follower counts like teenager Charli D'Amelio and Kourtney Kardashian's pal Addison Rae. Several Black social media influencers are saying that White creators not only fail to credit them for their work, they sometimes even taking the credit for its creation.  Both Charli, who has over 119.4 million followers, and Addison, who has 81.8 million fans on the app, have earlier been slammed for failing to give Black dancers due credit when recreating their work. 

This recent dance boycott by Black creators seems to have been started by Eric Louis, a 21-year-old TikTok star who uploaded a video on June 17, 2021, which was set to the tune of Megan Thee Stallion's latest hit. Louis posted the video captioned: "If y'all do the dance pls tag me, it's my first dance on TikTok and I don't need anybody stealing/not crediting." In the video, Louis starts grooving to the music with the words 'MADE A DANCE TO THIS SONG' above his head. But, instead of starting a choreographed routine, he flips the bird at the camera while the words above him change to: "SIKE. THIS APP WOULD BE NOTHING WITHOUT BLACK PEOPLE." This video now has more than 134,000 likes marking the beginning of the strike.

Louis thrashed what he described as "digital colonizing" and "exploitation of labor" of black TikTok creators and said the strike could go on indefinitely. "We make the trends... and when we remove ourselves from the equation... it's nothing left but mediocrity," he told the LA Times. "I can't tell you how long it's going to last, but I do want to say that I think this is an indicator of how frustrated the black community is. I feel like this isn't the last time something like this will happen." "Although he did not take my name," he noted that it is part of a bigger issue of "anti-blackness" on TikTok. "I know for me personally, this is a much wider issue outside of this digital colonizing. TikTok has a really big issue with just Black leaders and anti-blackness. What's kind of flown over people's heads is this issue concerning the exploitation of labor on the app."

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