Ellie Zeiler, who was once known for her likeness to TikTok’s biggest star Charli D’Amelio, has found herself in the center of a storm after posting a video about the reasons for soaring gas prices – a break from her usual dance content.
The TikTok star boasts over 10 million followers on the platform, mostly for her dancing and lip-syncing content (and an uncanny resemblance to Charli D’Amelio), and has only just turned 18.
But, along with other influencers, Zeiler was chosen as one of the big TikTokers by the White House, who were briefed on the Ukraine invasion.
In her video, Ellie breaks down inflation and supply-demand economics, as well as how Russia’s role in global gas supply has been impacted. She concludes with a call to action for followers to donate to help in the refugee crisis.
Despite only being less than a minute long, the video sparked controversy, both in her own comment section and on wider social media.
“People getting their political information from here is exactly why our world is so messed up right now,” one commenter wrote. Another posted “Saying exactly what government tells you to say is called propaganda.”
On Twitter, some have claimed that Zeiler and other TikTok influencers are being “manipulated” into spreading these messages.
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SNL spoofs TikTok White House meeting
The controversy blew up further when SNL made a skit of the President addressing the TikTokers.
Speaking to Cheddar, Zeiler responded to the backlash. “I watched the skit, and it was funny. Then you turn it off and you’re like ‘but this is true – people are legitimately getting their media and information from social media.”
She also joked that they should have hired her to make it even more real.
TikTok star Ellie Zeiler, who attended the White House’s Ukraine briefing with influencers, reacts to SNL’s reimagining of the meeting. https://t.co/L8zKKnKwin pic.twitter.com/IoXeWBO3DM
— Cheddar News 🧀 (@cheddar) March 14, 2022
Ellie has returned to posting her normal content on TikTok, with daily routines, dances with her mom and pranks. But, many comments are still referencing her gas prices video.
The video in question has around 400,000 views at the time of writing – less than many of her other regular videos, which often cross into the millions of views.