Addison Rae’s recent appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has sparked an overdue conversation about crediting artists for their work. During the TikTok star’s appearance, she “taught” Fallon eight popular TikTok dances without initially giving any credit to the artists who created the dances. One of the dances was created by Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter, performed to Cardi B’s song Up.
Fans respond to the controversy
A video of the skit was posted on YouTube on March 26 and the description lists the TikTok handles of the original dance creators in its second paragraph, however, their names did not appear onscreen when the skit aired and they were not verbally mentioned. Since it was uploaded, the video has garnered over 32K dislikes.
When Rae was asked about this by TMZ, she said, “I think they were all credited in the initial YouTube posting, but it’s kind of hard to credit during the show.”
She added, “But they all know that I love them so much and I support all of them. Hopefully, one day, we can all meet up and dance together.”
When asked if she had any active plans to collaborate with the creators, she said, “for sure.”
A Twitter user responded to Jimmy Fallon’s tweet sharing the skit.
They called the performance an example of “white privilege” and wrote, “It’s an honor and privilege being Black but no one gives us that credit. We have been robbed of our contributions to society for centuries. This right here is not new!”
The View host Sunny Hostin even chimed in, calling the skit a “a miss” and asking Fallon to “give credit to the Black creators.”
She doubled down on her commentary, retweeting a side-by-side video of Rae doing the TikTok dance and Johnson’s original video. She wrote, “This says it all,” tagging Fallon in her post.
Mya Nicole Johnson responds
In the interview, she expressed, “As I started to think, I wish that could’ve been me and Chris performing our own challenge on the show.”
The 15-year-old currently has 612.5K followers on the platform, in comparison to Addison’s 79.2M. Despite her disappointment, Johnson made sure to add that she doesn’t have anything against Rae. She said, “We’re all teenagers” and added that she’s open to collaborating in the future.
The Texas-based dancer also spoke with Popsugar about the situation. Johnson expressed that as more time passes by, the situation grows increasingly bothersome.
She said, “My mom always tells me, ‘When it’s my time, it’s my time.’ I felt like that should’ve been my time and Chris’s time, because we created the dance.”
Since the incident, she “duetted” her and Cotter’s original dance video and wrote, “Me and @cchrvs made this dance! please make sure u give credits or use #upwmyaxchris.”
Johnson’s mother, Candice Rangel, also added her thoughts to the situation. In the same TMZ interview as her daughter, Rangel mentioned that she didn’t feel as though Rae’s comments and actions were done with the intention to steal from other artists. Although she said that Rae hasn’t reached out to her daughter to personally express her support or apologize.
Rangel said, “There are things that could’ve been done either during the performance or afterward, or even after the show, she could’ve done something personally from her page.”
She ended the conversation with, “They deserve the credit that they should get. At the end of the day, nobody goes to work to not get acknowledged for their hard work.”