Jimmy Fallon addresses Addison Rae's TikTok dance controversy, welcomes original creators

Nine original creators demonstrated the dances themselves Monday night.
Published April 6, 2021 2:45 p.m. EST
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After getting rightfully reamed out by the internet for having influencer Addison Rae demonstrate a series of TikTok dances choreographed by Black creators on The Tonight Show just weeks ago, host Jimmy Fallon addressed the controversy on Monday night's episode.

"On our last show before break, we did a bit with Addison Rae where she taught me eight viral TikTok dances," Fallon said. "Now, we recognize that 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."

In that original segment, which aired on March 26, Rae rather stiffly performed eight dances popularized on TikTok while Fallon silently held cards cueing the next dance behind her. 

This time around, many of the original creators appeared remotely to share the story behind their dances and perform them in a 12-minute segment.

The dancers included Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter, who created the "Up" dance to the Cardi B song; Dorien Scott, creator of the "Corvette Corvette" dance; "Laffy Taffy" creator Fur-Quan Powell and choreographer Camyra Franklin; Adam Snyder, Nate Nale, and Greg Dahl, creators of the "Blinding Lights" dance; and Keara Wilson, creator of the dance set to Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage."

Johnson and Cotter had addressed Rae's segment previously on Slate's ICYMI podcast.

There, Johnson shared, "My first response was, 'Dang, that's crazy.' I'm happy, and I'm like, 'She's really doing all the moves that we came up with.'"

"But then when you sit down and think about it," she continued. "It's like, everybody's time is going to come. I started to feel like it should have been our time to do that. And even the other dancers. I just felt like that would have been our time to shine, and I'm pretty sure that the creators of those other dances would have wanted the same."

Social media was ablaze with similar criticisms last week as the clip went viral, with many on Twitter questioning why the names of the original creators weren't even noted, and why a white woman was chosen to perform their work.

(This, by the way, was the second time The Tonight Show included such a segment, previously featuring the also white Charli D'Amelio performing.)

Putting it most succinctly was Twitter user @fancycatxo, who wrote, "Stealing from black entertainers and having white 'creators' regurgitate it to the masses is american history 101." 

Days after her segment aired, Rae addressed the fiasco with TMZ, saying, "It's kinda hard to credit during the show, but they all know that I love them so much. I mean, I support all of them so much. Hopefully one day we can all meet up and dance together." 

Now, while there's no denying Fallon's new segment was in response to all of the backlash, seeing each dancer proudly and skillfully show off their choreography made for a sweet moment.

As Wilson put it, "I never expected [my dance] to blow up like it did, I just did it for fun, honestly. Then I just kept seeing it grow; celebrities were doing it, little kids were doing it. But I have to say, seeing my dance bring joy to people throughout quarantine was definitely the best part."

That's the spirit.

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