With the population of media services like TikTok, teens becoming famous is easier than it’s ever been. The surge of accessibility has thrusted many young influencers into the spotlight.
Being in the spotlight can be an incredible amount of stress for even adults, so one could only imagine the pressure it could put on high school teenagers. With this public eye on them at all times, and with the ignorance that comes with adolescence, it is almost inevitable for these teenagers to be caught up in incidents.
One of the main scandals that these (typically white) influencers get caught up in is having videos emerge of them saying the n -word, or participating in other racist or sexist behavior. When videos like this come up, typically on the app TikTok, it inspires a surge of “canceling.” The term “cancelled” is exactly what it sounds like. It essentially means that the person’s reputation is in a way ruined.
Typically, when popular creators are caught up in scandals such as these, they make some form of apology, whether it be done as a video or simply typed in their notes app. In many cases, it is a repetitive thread for these apologies to be insincere, seeming as if they are apologizing not because they are sorry for their actions or genuinely feel bad for those that they offended, but because they were caught and want to save face for their loyal followers.
While all media platforms have influencers caught in scandals such as this, TikTok is probably the most prominent right now, as there are so many young creators on the app who have been thrust into the public eye, some even appearing on Superbowl commercials.
One of the bigger incidents to have come up from this is from popular creator Chase Hudson, commonly known as “Lil Huddy” on social media. Something that separates Hudson’s incident from others is the fact that he said this on his own live stream, whereas in other cases the word is said on someone else’s stream or they mouth the word in a lip sync video.
Hudson’s is unique as it shows that he hadn’t just been saying it alone with friends, but rather it shows it is a word commonly in his vocabulary, that he said purposely in front of everyone on his live stream.
Following this event, his comment section has become full of a diverse array of people, either hyping up the creator and siding with him or the ones who disagree with his actions. One can always find his comment section full of ironic comments, like people calling him a “melanin/black king” or commenting the emoji of a black man wearing a crown.
For every troll, there is one person supporting him, making claims like “we forgive you,” or “it’s not that big a deal.” Ironically, most of these commenters always happen to be white. The issue with this is that it is not their apology to accept or reject. It is instead an apology directed at their fans of color whom they may have offended.
One commenter, lasagnette, a fan of Hudson, commented, “It’s okay chase I forgive you :(,“ but user Frick******, responded by saying, “lmao no you’re white girl it’s not yours to forgive.” Other commenters were more upfront and blatant in their support, user _alissamarie_ stating, “GET OVER IT!!!! He didn’t say the hard r.”
Hudson’s situation is just one of the many examples of white or nonblack influencers saying the n-word. Another popular creator who has come under scrutiny for his usage of the word is influencer Mattia, a nonblack influencer who also said the word during a livestream.
These incidents raise the question: who can say the word, and who can forgive for the wrong person on saying the word? Historically, the n-word has been a word used to horrendously oppress black people in America.
This is Jaden Fields’ first year on with Echo publications, but she took journalism the year prior. She’s very excited for what the year will bring.
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