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Addison Rae on Jimmy Fallon Is a lot Deeper Than Just Dancing

Addison Rae recently guest starred on the “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon to promote and perform her first single “Obsessed”. However, it isn’t her singing performance that everyone is talking about. The social media universe was up in arms after a side by side video of Addison performing the dance to “Up” by Cardi B was shown next to the original creator, @theemyanicole.


It is clear that compared to Emaya, the creator of the dance, Addison did not do it justice. Not only was there more passion in Emaya’s dance but it also contained all the correct movements. Some parts had been altered slightly by Addison. Although it wasn’t just Emaya’s dance that Addison performed on the “Tonight Show,” there were several other dances created by Black Tik Tokers that premiered that night. 


Jimmy Fallon placed credits to all of the creators underneath the YouTube video of the segment, but even credits aren’t enough to settle the flames of this fire. This is because the issue is not so much that Addison performed other people’s dances, but that these Black creators did not have the opportunity to perform them themselves.


Addison is a popular Tik Tok star with almost 79 million followers, and although she provides credits to dance creators whenever she uploads on the platform, people rarely get the opportunity to actually watch the original creator. Even on Tik Tok, Addison rarely creates dances of her own. She instead participates in the trending dances from black creators which skyrockets her videos to the top of the search results. 


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Tik Tok is also notorious for hiding content from Black creators and other creators of color. Earlier this year, NBC news reported on the inequality of Black creator content on the platform and said, “Tik Tok hasn't been immune from the appropriation of Black trends by white users and moderation issues that have plagued Black users on other social media platforms” (Rosenblatt, 2021). This type of issue directly relates to the lack of Black creator content being featured on the “for you page,” as well as the recognition of dances given to the Black creators.


In fact, Tik Tok star Charli D’Amelio faced a controversy of her own when she became the queen of the “Renegade,” a dance first started by Black creator Jalaiah Harmon. Nobody knew that Jalaiah created the “Renegade” because Charli never mentioned her or provided credits to the original dancer. Although the internet ultimately learned who Jalaiah was, she never gained the kind of following that Charli or Addison currently have. 


Having Addison perform these Tik Tok dances on the “Tonight Show” doesn’t promote these Black Tik Tok creators, it only boosts Addison’s followers. If the “Tonight Show” or any other talk show wants to have Tik Tokers dance for their viewers, then they should have the original creators represent their own dances on stage. This would ensure that the dances are portrayed accurately and to the fullest extent, by the people who worked hard to create them.  



Rosenblatt, Kalhan. “Months after TikTok Apologized to Black Creators, Many Say Little Has Changed.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 13 Feb. 2021, www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/months-after-tiktok-apologi...


Junior, Film major and Women's Studies minor
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