TikTok star Zoe LaVerne’s Instagram account has been deactivated, following days of backlash from fans after a video re-emerged of saying a racial slur whilst lip-syncing to the 2018 song ‘Motorsports’.
19-year-old LaVerne is one of TikTok’s most prominent influencers (just don’t tell her about Charli D’Amelio’s follower count).
At the time of writing, she boasts a following of 17.2 million users on the app, as well as 2.9 million followers on her now-deleted Instagram – which makes her decision to delete it all the more surprising.
After all, this isn’t the first time LaVerne has faced scrutiny from fans. Following her messy break-up with fellow TikTok star Cody Orlove, he uploaded a video of her lamenting over D’Amelio’s success – something which inevitably caused her to face major backlash.
Update, September 12, 11:55am EST: Zoe LaVerne has taken to her private fandom Instagram account to explain why she took down her main account. She explains that a combination of factors including mental health issues and “AWFUL rumours [sic]” about her led to the decision to take what she describes as a “break”. She reassures fans that she will continue to go live on her TikTok user account.
Why did Zoe LaVerne delete her Instagram?
In the past few days, an old video of LaVerne has been circulating on Twitter where she lip-syncs to Nicki Minaj’s verse in the 2018 song ‘Motorsports’.
As many fans have pointed out, in this clip she failed to skip past the use of a racial slur in this song despite seemingly skipping past a different curse word in the verse.
zoe laverne skip b word say n word pic.twitter.com/NIyH0Pd5jj
— ☂︎ kaywee ☂︎ (@t0ychic4) September 3, 2020
The clip went viral in the first week of September. In response to the growing backlash against her, LaVerne said in a video statement that the clip was from her musical.ly account in 2o16, and that lip-syncing racial slurs “wasn’t a big deal back then”.
Not zoe laverne normalizing saying the n word in 2016 pic.twitter.com/gOWOIxDFo8
— ┊͙ ʟᴏʀᴇɴxɪᴀ ✨?? (@lorenxiaa1) September 5, 2020
This is despite the song ‘Motorsports’ only being released in 2018, which would presumably make the video two years old as opposed to four years old like she claims in this video.
This response to her lip-syncing did not go down well with fans, with one Twitter using despairing: “why did ya’ll give her a platform [sic]”.
so zoe laverne was talking about how lip syncing the n word wasn’t a big deal back then. IS SHE ACTUALLY SERIOUS? why did y’all give her a platform i— pic.twitter.com/jZJkRaq3yF
— ruby | BLM (@OVERLOOKH0TEL) September 6, 2020
Another user accused LaVerne of attempting to “normalize” the use of this slur, while another simply called Zoe and her fans – who she has dubbed her ‘ZoeHoes’ – “childish.”
It would appear that this latest influx of online scrutiny has become too much for Zoe, as drama account The TikTok Shaderoom has confirmed with screenshots that she has deactivated her account.
Visiting her Instagram account now will take you to a broken link.
While some Twitter users celebrated – with one user declaring “YES ITS FINALLY OVER [sic]”, this does lead to the question of what’s next for this TikTok influencer.