The Black TikTok dance strike: Why creators are refusing to create new trends

Theo Salaun
black creators tiktok dance strike

Black TikTok creators have made waves in the platform’s community by going on a “dance strike.” Reacting to a lack of credit, some creators are refusing to make dances as proof that the platform depends on their creativity.

With TikTok continuing to be one of the highest-reaching, fastest-growing social media platforms, there has been concern over the lack of credit and exposure for Black creators. As is popularly noted, while white creators find tremendous success with dance videos — the Black creators behind those dances go relatively unnoticed.

Notably, TikTok stars like Addison Rae have come under backlash for profiting off of dances they did not create and failing to credit those behind them. Now, some Black creators are striking in order to prove that other, particularly white, creators will struggle to come up with dances without their help.

Started by TikTok’s Erick Louis (@theericklouis), Black creators are refusing to make dances for Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot S**t.” A Twitter thread from LeslieMac shows just how hilarious some of the results have been.

As LeslieMac notes, there’s a new trend in which Black creators refuse to make a dance for “Thot S**t” in order to see what their white cohorts will come up with. And now, seeing what people did come up with… the point seems to have been proven.

With a song about hands on knees and shaking ass, the most popular dance videos seem to involve arms raised high. Unsurprised, Twitter is reacting by 1) laughing and roasting, and 2) noting how much TikTok influencers rely on Black creators.

A popular TikTok in response involves a white woman, ‘xosugarbunny,’ agreeing with the second point: “I don’t ever wanna hear another f**king white woman say that TikTok dances and TikTok trends aren’t entirely stolen from Black women.”

Contrasting the song’s hands-on-knees lyrics with the arms-raised-high dance attempts, sugarbunny brutally roasts those who refuse to credit Black creators for TikTok trends.

The issue over credit is rightfully earning its shine, as it has existed for the entire platform’s lifespan. When Addison Rae was criticized for profiting off of dances she did not originate, the star agreed that it was “hard to credit during the show.”

Well, it seems like TikTok influencers should start figuring out how to credit the originators behind their dance videos. If not, the strike may continue and the platform’s choreography will struggle.