TikTok star Addison Rae faced criticism from Black Twitter after her recent appearance on the Tonight Show, starring Jimmy Fallon, where she performed her culturally appropriated versions of TikTok dances and failed to credit the Black creators, reported BET.
The skit, which could have easily featured the original creators teaching Fallon the dance moves, instead had Rae, who is white, perform stiff interpretations of the dances that looked vaguely like their predecessors as Fallon held up cards with the names of the dances. No mention was made of who created them in the live version. However, after the wrath of Black Twitter, the people at the Tonight Show did go back and properly credit each choreographer for the YouTube version of the segment.
The Fallon episode is not Addison Rae’s first venture into the appropriation of Black culture. She has done this before.
In 2020, Rae released a video last year with Charli D’Amelio doing some flavorless versions of the viral TikTok dances. The two became known for the “Renegade” routine Jalaiah Harmon created. Once again, Rae did not give Harmon her due, but sure enough, she took the chance to dance the 2020 NBA All-Star game. Harmon was neither included nor mentioned at this performance.
Addison Rae’s criticism is largely because were it not for Black creators on TikTok, she wouldn’t have any content. All of her success can be traced back to the “Columbusing” of dances like the “Savage,” created by Keara Wilson, where Rae delivered a watered-down version to her followers and presents it as her own original dance sensation.
Black Twitter had a lot to say about this per usually when Black people are robbed of their credit for their work. Reaction to Rae’s performance ranged from ravenously funny to critically thought-provoking. In all, “what you’re not gon’ do, Addie,” is take what’s ours and not– at the very least, give us a shout out.
the lack of energy. where’s the excitement, addison rae? pic.twitter.com/ibcoUtPC6X
— sk (@kirkxxs) March 28, 2021
“honey! why don’t you show the family the cool moves you learned on the clock app!” pic.twitter.com/8Zq21NEp8e
— 🌬 CARIANNA 🌾 (@cari_mclellan) March 29, 2021
— Jo 🧚🏽 (@jojoscircus99) March 29, 2021
The fact that you are so dismissive when POC try and explain the thing to you is a huge part of the problem. They said the same thing about Elvis and Beatles (“they are just songs and dance moves!”) and now we have whole generations not knowing WHO actually created rock n roll.
— Amberwilson (@Amberwi39851540) March 30, 2021
Someone stealing your hardwork is not funny. Not one of thise dances was created by that girl so how does she get to profit from it. This country has a long history of stealing from black creatives and not giving them their just due.
— Iná Clan (@RamaDaZoeGod) March 30, 2021
Is…is she trying out for middle school cheerleading?
— Let’s see what 2021 has in store for us… (@HailMaryHumble) March 30, 2021
Addison Rae is currently en route to colonize this dance https://t.co/nnLa4x5zkI
— All Black Lives Matter🖤 (@KaiTribble) March 30, 2021