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Jimmy Fallon Addresses Backlash Over Tonight Show Addison Rae Segment


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Last Monday, talk show host Jimmy Fallon invited nine TikToK dance creators to perform on The Tonight Show, in an effort to quell the widespread criticism he has received following a recent Addison Rae segment, according to People Magazine.

This came after Addison Rae, a popular TikTok star, came onto the show to promote her new single ‘Obsessed,’ and to perform a series of eight viral TikTok dances with Fallon. The dancing segment, which was only a couple of minutes long, quickly drew criticism online, as Rae did not credit the mostly Black content creators who made up these dances.

Jimmy Fallon and Addison Rae performing the controversial segment. Photo sourced through Teen Vogue.

This isn’t the first time that Rae has been criticized for not giving credit where credit is due. Last year, the TikTok star came under fire after she and another popular TikTok creator, Charli D’Amelio, popularized the ‘Renegade’ dance-— without ever giving credit to the 14-year-old Black creator who actually made it. Jalaiah Harmon, the actual talent behind the dance, spoke out against the stars, firing back through TikTok videos in an attempt to set the record straight. “I was upset,” she said. “It wasn’t fair.”

Jalaiah Harmon’s ‘Renegade’ dance became one of the biggest dances of the year. Photo thanks to the New York Times.

So when Addison Rae came on The Tonight Show and didn’t give credit once again, for many it felt like deja vu— and it seemed as though she hadn’t learned her lesson. Fans immediately criticized the viral star, as well as the show which gave her a platform. In response, she praised the dance creators, stating: “I definitely don’t do them justice. They’re amazing.”

However, Jimmy Fallon decided that praise alone was unlikely to rectify the situation, and decided instead to invite the viral dance creators onto the show. Prior to their segment, Fallon decided to address the controversy, stating: “On our last show before break, we did a bit with Addison Rae, where she taught me eight viral TikTok dances.” He then continued. “Now, we recognize the creators of those dances deserve to have their own spotlight, so right now, some of the creators will join me to talk about how their dance went viral, and then perform the dance themselves.”

During the segment, Fallon spoke with Dorien Scott, Mya Nicole Johnson, Keara Wilson, Chris Cotter, and others— giving these rising talents a platform to shine. These creators welcomed the chance to talk about their passion and share their experiences going viral. For many of us, these dances have become incredibly familiar during the quarantine, bringing us a little bit of in the midst of all this monotony. So it seems as though its about time that we give credit to the people who gave that to us, and give them a chance to shine just like Addison.

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