Earlier this month, TikTok announced it would be celebrating Black History Month with rapper Nicki Minaj. The event was held via Zoom on Tuesday. But what was supposed to be a positive opportunity for Black content creators turned out to be another controversial move by the platform.
Based on E! Online, only 300 participants were allowed on a Zoom call with Nicki, and those locations and the Q&A section were dominated by non-Black content creators. Many TikTokers expressed their frustration online after this event.
On Twitter, Erick Louis (@theericklouis) said that TikTok was responsible for the event and criticized the platform’s treatment of Black content creators.
In one thread, Louis explained that in the past, they’ve led a strike against the app over how “anti-Black content creators face daily repression, theft, and harassment.” how to steal and fight black people”. Louis also said that singer Lizzo and rapper Megan Thee Stallion have both reached out to them to discuss TikTok’s Black History Month event.
“But as someone who has been on the wheel, you all need to be at the forefront: Tiktok,” Louis said.
Other creators on TikTok and other platforms similarly criticized events. TikToker Gabby (@imjusttalkingshitt) expressed her opinion while responding to another video by Bryan (@bryandiamond).
Gabby says most of their aggravation is on TikTok for “slapping BHM [Black History Month] on all the information for the event and then invite more non-Black people but black people are mediocre”. She also questioned the platform’s silence following the backlash.
According to videos on TikTok, @bryanthediamond gained some traction as one of many non-Black creators taking up space at the event. Bryan created a video in response to a comment saying that if they had known the event was only for Black creators, they wouldn’t have attended. They also went on to explain how they were invited multiple times and sent multiple links for the Zoom call.
Commentators agreed that white TikTokers should make space for Black creators at the Black History Month event.
“How disrespectful,” wrote one user.
“It should have been a Black color [people] the only event to raise black voices in Black History Month,” another commented. “We always let other disadvantaged groups have their space.”
On Instagram Live on Tuesday, Nicki addresses concerns of Black creators to let them know they were heard and understood.
The artist told fans, “I had a really great call, a really great Zoom, with TikTok today,” she said, according to E! Online. “Scream to everyone present. I hear you. I’ve heard what you guys are saying and let me see if I can schedule something for you. ”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Louis and TikTok via email. The Daily Dot has also reached out to Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo’s teams via email and phone and Nicki Minaj’s manager by phone.
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*First published: February 11, 2022, 6 a.m. CST
Linda Hamilton is a general reporting intern for the Daily Dot and senior journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. She has contributed to ORANGE magazine and the Good Morning Texas segments of Texas Student Television.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/tiktok-black-history-month/ Creators Blast TikTok Dark History Month Event with Nicki Minaj