By Brianna Bush
TikTok sensation Addison Rae took the stage on the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” as a multi-segment guest on Friday, March 26. She performed her debut single “Obsessed” in her first-ever televised act and sat down for an interview in the studio with host Jimmy Fallon. The controversy started when Addison took part in a TikTok-themed segment alongside Fallon.
In the two and a half minute segment entitled, “Addison Rae Teaches Jimmy 8 TikTok Dances,” Fallon holds up eight signs that show the name of a TikTok dance as Addison proceeds to dance to them. People at home watching instantly noticed that the creators of the dances received no credit for their choreography – many of whom were Black creators.
Those taken back by the performance took to TikTok and Twitter to vocalize their frustration because they felt that this segment was “a missed opportunity for the original Black creators,” as Natasha Jokic of BuzzFeed states.
“This is an over stealing of Black creators’ content and choreography,” said TikTok creator @soogia1 after posting a short clip of the segment and giving her thoughts on the show.
Other TikTok users responded to her performance with a video of a side-by-side comparison featuring Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter, dancing to their own choreography of Cardi B’s “Up,” alongside Addison Rae’s 10 second clip of her performing the same exact choreography.
Twitter user @ginfueledbrat said, “This would have been the perfect opportunity for you to lead by example and in giving Black creators their due credit. This opportunity could have been huge for them.”
Although there was an overwhelming amount of people who weren’t happy with what took place, there were some who simply enjoyed her rendition of the dances. Users showed their support by posting her segment to their Tiktok feeds praising her dance moves.
Rae eventually responded to the backlash she received on Monday, March 29 telling TMZ, “I think they were all credited in the original YouTube posting. It’s kind of hard to credit during the show. But they all know that I love them so much. I support all of them so much. Hopefully one day we can all meet up and dance together.”
Even with her response, many still feel that her sincerity is debatable including creator Mya Johnson.
“I was very surprised because it’s like ‘Wow, I made a dance that’s made it all the way to TV,’” Mya said in an interview with PopSugar. “My mom always tells me ‘When it’s my time, it’s my time.’ I felt like that should’ve been mine and Chris’s time, because we created the dance.”
“I think that it is unfair that she got a platform from doing these dances created by black creators and does not give them the full credit they deserve,” said Marley Jacobs, a University of Tampa freshman biology major. “Black creators do not get enough recognition for their influential role on the platform, and it is disappointing that Addison does.”
Although the handles of the Tiktokers who created the dances to the songs were in the description of the YouTube video, many felt that they still did not receive the recognition that they deserved.