A segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” recently drew the ire of Black Twitter. The backlash began after TikTok star Addison Rae made an appearance on the March 26 episode of the show for a segment in which she demonstrated eight popular TikTok dances.
Critics blasted the piece, pointing out that during the course of the segment there was no credit given to the Black creators of the dances from which white TikTokers such as Rae have profited.
Journalist Touré decried the moment on Twitter, writing, “This is what white privilege looks like—Black creators innovate dances and do them amazingly but Addison Rae gets invited on Fallon to perform them in a ho-hum way. She’s not racist, Fallon’s not racist, but somehow the Black dancers are erased. Even though they dance better.”
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin also publicly voiced her disapproval with the segment, tweeting on Monday that the omission was a “miss.”
“Let’s give credit to the black creators……” posted Hostin.
Fallon has courted controversy concerning this subject before, as in a March 2020 episode of “The Tonight Show” in which TikTok star Charli D’Amelio also exhibited popular dance moves to the TV show host.
The topic of providing Black TikTok dancers proper credit was given increased visibility after the success of the “Renegade” dance. It became popular after a version by D’Amelio went viral, but was originated by a Black teen named Jalaiah Harmon.
A New York Times feature on Harmon and the dance caused an uproar among readers over the initial creator being shunted to the side.
Harmon told the Times last year that she felt similarly about not receiving her due recognition for creating the choreography.
“I was happy when I saw my dance all over, but I wanted credit for it,” Harmon said.
Now more Black dance creators on TikTok are calling out the platform to properly credit them for viral dances that are making popular TikTokers rich and famous.
“People have made [dancing] a business, so give the dance credit,” Bryan Sanon, the creator of the recent 100 Racks Challenge craze, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s like you make something and it comes from you and your soul or your brain, and someone else who is more popular or in a different position takes it and you don’t get recognized for it.”
Sanon also mentioned that it was a regular occurrence among Black dancers on the app to acknowledge the original choreographers, and emphasized the importance of this practice becoming commonplace.
“Smaller creators definitely give dancer credit, and people in my own community — the African American community on TikTok — definitely lean toward that aspect of the app, but things change when you do something that someone thinks is hot,” he said. “They will definitely run away with it. And that sucks. It happens to a lot of people that I know.”
Rae was asked by TMZ on March 29 to address the issue. She contended that Black creators “definitely deserve all the credit because they came up with all of these amazing trends.”
She added, “I think they were all credited in the original YouTube posting, but it’s kinda hard to credit during the show. But they all know that I love them so much and I mean, I support all of them so much. And hopefully one day we can all meet up and dance together. I think ever since the beginning, I’ve been talking with most of them. I definitely want to collab with a lot of them.”
Rae continued, “So, hopefully, once the world opens up, we can all meet up and do something together ’cause it’d be so much fun! And they’re all so talented and I definitely don’t do them justice. They’re amazing.”
A clip of the segment that included a list of the creators was later uploaded to the talk show’s YouTube account: “Do It Again: @noahschnapp, Savage Love: @jazlynebaybee, Corvette Corvette: @yvnggprince, Laffy Taffy: @flyboyfu, Savage: @kekejanjah, Blinding Lights: @macdaddyz, Up: @theemyanicole, and Fergalicious: @thegilberttwins.”