Today’s brave, bold journalists often let Twitter serve as their editor’s desk.
If they see something on social media they want to embrace, no matter how large or small the movement, they pounce on it. Far-left entertainment sites like TheWrap.com and Variety often take this approach, particularly to maintain progressive narratives.
We saw that, again, this week with the Los Angeles Times.
Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” took a break from Trump jokes to interview Addison Rae March 26. She’s a TikTok superstar who crossed over into mainstream fame during the pandemic. Fallon coaxed Rae to perform a compilation of dance moves that originated on TikTok, but because both Fallon and Rae are white the fluffy segment quickly became … problematic.
The L.A. Times captured it all with a zeal that would make Woodward and Bernstein blush.
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….
“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.
To complete the outrage narrative, the L.A. Times cited such Twitter luminaries as:
- Dracula Spectacular
- Jabba the Slut
- Miss Mango
The reporter, hoping to cap a likely Pulitzer Prize winning effort, reached out to both “The Tonight Show” and Rae for comment. To be fair, other woke news sites jumped on the “controversy,” too, including Vox, HuffPo and Decider. Vox slammed Rae’s moves as “oddly lethargic.”
While we wait for an official response from “The Tonight Show,” and perhaps a new “hostage”-style apology from Fallon, TMZ was on the case.
One of the site’s video journalists caught Rae on the street, minding her own business, and asked her for her reaction to the “uproar.” Rae said the dance creators were mentioned in the YouTube notes attached to the video, which is accurate, but to do so on live TV would be awkward.
“It’s kind of hard to credit them during the show,” she said, keeping her composure and her dignity in the exchange. “They all know that I love them so much.”
Then again, had Rae credited the various choreographers during the show that wouldn’t be enough, either, according to Vox.
Even if Addison Rae gives you credit for your dance on her TikTok post (they’ve all been getting better about this!), that doesn’t mean much to a marketing executive or a talent booker who comes across her video as an example of why she’d be good at selling lip gloss. The same mechanisms of celebrity, the ones that favor “family-friendly” faces (a.k.a. young, beautiful white kids from middle class backgrounds), are still very much in play here, especially when that fame is largely driven by algorithms that serve people what they already want. So yes, that Addison Rae video is cringey, but there are more important things to criticize here.
Of course, the woke mob already has it in for Fallon, another reason this “controversy” happened. Fallon dared to humanize then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, putting a fat target on the host’s back.
It’s why he had to perform a humiliating apology on his own show for a single blackface appearance performed 20 years ago. Yet fellow late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who repeatedly wore blackface on TV, never had to undergo such a ritualistic shaming.