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Jimmy Fallon addresses backlash over segment that featured white TikTok star performing Black creators’ dances

Jimmy Fallon hosted several TikTok dance creators for a “Tonight Show” segment as he addressed backlash to a previous Addison Rae appearance that didn’t credit choreographers, many of whom are Black, for the viral trends they started.

The original segment, which aired on March 26, featured Addison Rae, a TikTok star with over 79 million followers who became known for performing dances and is now launching a music career. On the show, she performed eight TikTok dances she did not choreograph, set to songs including Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” But the show didn’t credit the dance creators on-air. Fallon touted Rae, who is white, in lieu of the actual choreographers of the dances she performed. The segment drew backlash, following a trend of Black TikTok creators not getting due credit for their viral dances.

On Monday’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” Fallon interviewed some of the creators of those dance trends, who also performed their original choreography. 

“On our last show before break, we did a bit with Addison Rae where she taught me eight viral TikTok dances, and we recognize that the creators of those dances deserve to have their own spotlight,” Fallon said, appearing to reference the online criticism of the viral Rae clip. “So right now, some of the creators will join me to talk about how their dance went viral and perform the dance themselves.”

Creators featured in the Fallon segment included Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter, the creators of the “Up” dance; Dorien Scott, the creator of the “Corvette Corvette” dance; Fur-Quan Powell, the creator of the “Laffy Taffy” remix track and Camyra Franklin, the creator of its dance; Adam Snyder, Nate Nate, Greg Dahl, the creators of the “Blinding Lights” dance; and Keara Wilson, the creator of the “Savage” dance.

Dance credit has historically been an issue on TikTok, where creators — many of whom are Black — can go uncredited for the viral trends that they start. The segment with Rae also sparked a discussion online about white creators profiting from Black culture, with many calling out that the show hadn’t even credited the dance creators on-screen. 

YouTube creator and social-media strategist Nathan Marcelin told Insider in a previous interview, “TikTok in itself is a platform that thrives on ‘trends,’ there’s no problem with that.” But, he said, “when content creators appropriate dances without doing the due diligence of finding out where it originates from and crediting those creators is where I think it gets a little muddy.”

Rae previously told TMZ that she hoped to collaborate with the creators of the dances. She also posted a screenshot of Monday’s “Tonight Show” segment on her Instagram story, saying she was happy the creators were highlighted. 

By Palmer Haasch | Insider

 

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