TikTok Under Fire Again After No Black People Were Named In Forbes List Of “Top-Earning TikTok-ers 2022”
“Tried to steal our bit, but you look like sh*t, ‘cuz we’re the ones that are down with it!” – The Clovers, Bring It On (2000)
The popular social media platform, TikTok, took the world by storm with its unexpectedly fast growth to become one of the top social media apps used worldwide. The video-focused app allows its users to post videos from 15 seconds to 3 minutes long. TikTok has been the birthplace of many prevalent dance challenges, such as the challenges associated with Doja Cat’s “Say So,” CKay’s “Love Nwantiti (ah ah ah),” Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” KCAMP’s “Lottery (renegade)” and many more.
HERE IT IS!! the full say so dance??
The app has been used as a way of exposure for businesses, creatives, and musicians alike, which many have been able to capitalize on. The problem is, there is a noticeable difference between the opportunities that Black creators of TikTok receive and those of their non-Black counterparts. The issue had been a long-stated sentiment within the Black TikTok community, leading Black TikToker’s to go on strike from creating videos. This was done to show the critical role that Black people have played in creating the TikTok trends that non-Black TikTokers have gained exposure and capital from.
The strike began in June of 2021, with Black creators refusing to create a dance to Megan The Stallion’s single, “Thot Sh*t.” The catchy song, supposedly designed to become the next TikTok trend, began an app-wide experiment. Black creators refused to make a dance to the song, or any other music, during the June-July timespan. With weeks of silence, the results were telling, leading to non-Black TikToker’s choosing to walk with their hands up as a “Thot Sh*t” Challenge.
the signature walk @helengrad @lucia_elaina
Stank ass walk? #foryoupage
The strike seemingly proved to the creators of TikTok that without the help of Black creators, non-Black influencers would have nothing to contribute to the app creatively.
However, not much has changed for Black creators, as Forbes names the top-earning TikTok influencers. The list consists of 7 TikTokers accumulating a combined $55.5 million in 2021.
The list is as follows:
1. Charli D’Amelio – $17.5 Million
2. Dixie D’Amelio – $10 Million
3. Addison Rae – $8.5 Million
4. Bella Poarch – $5 Million
4. Josh Richards – $5 Million
5. Kis Collins – $4.75 Million
5. Avani Gregg – $4.75 Million
The earnings from these influencers come from a combination of TV appearances, branding, modeling, sponsorships, performances, business ventures, etc., that these Tiktoker’s received as a result of their exposure on the app. However, many talented Black TikTokers do not have the amount of influence as their non-Black counterparts while being just as entertaining.
A few of our favorite Black TikTokers are (not in order)
1. Taylor Cassidy – @Taylorcassidyj
2. Kevin Jackman – @keatsdidit
3. Z – @lionesszee
4. Josh Neal – @theejoshneal
5. Tayden Seay – @saydenseay
6. Keyon – @itskeyonn
7. Drea Okeke – @Dreaknowsbest
8. Nate White – @nene_la_shiro
9. Wisdom Kaye – @wisdm8
10. Travawyn Taylor – @schoollunchtray
Users of Tiktok are not happy with the newly posted Forbes list. Many TikTok users believe that Black creators on Tiktok work hard to build and maintain their brand, but are unfairly casted to the side to market non-Black influencers. Many users who spoke out about the list can’t wrap their mind around how, even after the boycott, those who have been proven to not contribute to the TikTok community are so blatantly able to reap the benefits of those who do.
That’s insane that NO BLACK INFLUENCERS MADE IT TO FORBES HIGHEST TIKTOK EARNERS……WHEN ALL TRENDS COME FROM BLACK TIKTOKERS !!!!!! pic.twitter.com/WG9IxTEPBD
— ¥oshiko Wakum | Marketing and Media (@yoshikowakum) January 12, 2022
— AfroTech (@AfroTech) January 10, 2022
With all the backlash coming from fans of the famous app, hopefully TikTok will begin to push their Black creators more in the coming year.
Who are your favorite Black creators? Comment down below.