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Addison Rae taught Jimmy Fallon TikTok dances, but Twitter remembers who created them

Many of TikTok’s viral dance challenges were started by Black creators, but you wouldn’t know that by watching Friday’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” which saw one of the app’s biggest stars, Addison Rae, perform several dances without crediting their choreographers.

What was intended as a fun moment between Rae and host Jimmy Fallon — who are both white — backfired over the weekend as Twitter users demanded recognition for the people whose choreography was featured on the show.

“Stealing from black entertainers and having white ‘creators’ regurgitate it to the masses is american history 101,” one person tweeted after Fallon shared a clip of Rae busting a move to eight different songs.

“I think Black creators should just stop creating content for like a good 6 months and just observe what these people come up with,” wrote another in a tweet that had amassed more than 261,000 likes.

Representatives for “The Tonight Show” and Rae did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

Included in the TikTok dance compilation were:

  • “Do It Again” (recorded by Pia Mia, choreographed by @noahschnapp)
  • “Savage Love” (recorded and choreographed by @jasonderulo)
  • “Corvette Corvette” (recorded by Popp Hunna, choreographed by @yvnggprince)
  • “Laffy Taffy” (recorded by D4L, choreographed by @flyboyfu)
  • “Savage” (recorded by Megan Thee Stallion, choreographed by @keke.janjah)
  • “Blinding Lights” (recorded by the Weeknd, choreographed by @macdaddyz)
  • “Up” (recorded by Cardi B, choreographed by @theemyanicole)
  • “Fergalicious” (recorded by Fergie and will.i.am, choreographed by @thegilberttwins)

(The choreographers’ names have been shared by Twitter users and confirmed by Buzzfeed.)

The backlash surrounding the “Tonight Show” segment — which Fallon first introduced alongside Rae’s fellow TikTok phenom Charli D’Amelio — reminded many of 15-year-old Jalaiah Harmon, the mastermind behind the first viral TikTok challenge, “Renegade,” which helped make D’Amelio and Rae famous.

Harmon has since received credit for her work — and danced with D’Amelio and Rae on the platform — but has not reaped nearly as much fame or exposure as her white counterparts.

TikTok sister duo Charli and Dixie D’Amelio are under fire for their “plain rude” behavior while dining with fellow social media star James Charles.

Before joining Fallon for the TikTok dance tutorial, Rae took the “Tonight Show” stage to perform her debut single, “Obsessed,” which came out earlier this month. Rae and D’Amelio are the most popular faces on the Gen Z-dominated platform, with 78.9 million and 111.5 million followers, respectively.

“It’s kind of hard to think about it, because I feel like the growth happened over the pandemic,” Rae told Fallon of her social media stardom.

“Before the pandemic happened, I was going to events and stuff like that, but I’d only see probably 10,000 people — which was insane to me. ... So even just imagining 78 million ... I don’t even feel like that’s a real number ... I’m just having fun, so I don’t really think too much about it.”

See more reactions to Rae’s “Tonight Show” appearance below.


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