Here's Why Addison Rae's Non-Apology to Black TikTok Creators Really Missed the Mark
Yet again, another missed opportunity to highlight Black talent.
Between his hilarious "Thank You Notes" skit and entertaining "Wheel of Impressions," Jimmy Fallon is known for being the funnyman of late-night television. However, he majorly missed the mark on the March 26th episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with guest star TikToker Addison Rae.
In an attempt to learn a few new moves, Fallon held up cue cards naming popular TikTok dances, while Rae simultaneously demonstrated each dance's choreography. What was originally a sketch aimed at showcasing the app's most talked-about dances quickly became a larger discussion on the internet surrounding Black TikTok creators and the lack of giving credit where credit is due. And while not all of the creators of the dances in this compilation are Black, the larger conversation on TikTok dances has surrounded the lack of credit for creators of color.
Viewers and fellow TikTokers were quick to question why the original dance choreographers weren't there—at the very least virtually—to teach or demonstrate the dance themselves. Or why the show didn't air their TikTok videos prior to Rae teaching. Basically, it felt like Rae was copying and pasting without citing or naming any sources. It's important to note, the original dance creators did not receive screen time credit (neither verbally or in writing); however, the show did list each dance with their corresponding creator in the YouTube video description.
As the weekend played out, viewers waited for Rae or Fallon to issue an apology for not attributing proper credit. When Monday, March 29th, rolled around, TMZ took it into their own hands and approached Rae in L.A. to question her about the controversial sketch. When asked about the lack of crediting, she blamed it on the format of live TV. "It's kind of hard to credit during the show," she explained, but not before adding that all the appropriate TikTok handles could be found in the original YouTube video post.
The 20-year-old TikToker assured everyone that she loves them "so much," and hopes for a day they can all record a TikTok together.
"But they all know that I love them so much. And I mean, I support all of them and hopefully we can all meet up and dance together."
I mean, really? God forbid, they don't know how much you love them. Addison, if you really love and support them as much as you say you do, you would have seen why this is wrong and spoken up sooner.
"I definitely don't do them justice," she laughed.
Rae also reiterated, "I had so much fun and I'm very grateful and thankful," during her—apology doesn't seem like the right word given the fact she didn't say the word sorry once—TMZ interview.
By no means are Rae and Fallon malicious people. But, it is time to wake up and see the careless mistakes that could have been easily avoided in the first place by doing the right thing.
Real change won't happen if people, especially celebrities, keep going on apology tours. Instead of copying a dance, maybe Rae can give a shout-out to the creator (with their username) who invented the sick dance moves? Likewise, it's also on Fallon's shoulders to lift up creators from all backgrounds, despite the color of their skin. Many people are trying to "make it big," and if we keep highlighting the same kind of people, how are we ever supposed to see change?
Here all the dances alongside their creators' handles from the episode:
Do It Again - dc: @noahschnapp
Savage Love - dc: @jazlynebaybee
Corvette Corvette - dc: @yvnggprince
Laffy Taffy - dc: @flyboyfu
Savage - dc: @keke.janajah
Blinding Lights - dc: @macdaddyz
Up - dc: @theemyanicole
Fergalicious - dc: @thegilberttwins