Since TikTok’s launch, millions of dances have gone viral on the platform, with numerous white influencers appropriating the moves. This has propelled many of them to fame, while leaving the original creators of the routines condemned to obscurity.
One especially notable example is the case of ‘Renegade,’ when a 2020 New York Times profile revealed that the viral TikTok dance set to K Camp’s ‘Lottery’ was actually created by Jalaiah Harmon — a Black 14-year-old living in Atlanta — and not any of the white influencers made famous via her choreography.
Jalaiah still goes widely uncredited for the now infamous dance.
In 2021, TikTok dancer Addison Rae — the highest paid creator on the app — appeared on The Tonight Show, performing and“teaching” host Jimmy Fallon how to perform several dances initially choreographed by Black creators, still without crediting them.
Both were criticised for the oversight, which Fallon attempted to remedy by having the actual creators appear on the show via Zoom as well as providing proper credit via YouTube caption.
Still, Addison Rae is a TikTok-made-millionaire while the creators of the dances off which she got famous are, well, not.