Jimmy Fallon addresses his TikTok dance segment with Addison Rae. Here's why it sparked backlash

When singer and internet star Addison Rae performed some popular TikTok dances last week with Jimmy Fallon, it resurfaced frustrations about Black internet creators not getting the credit they deserve.

In 20-year-old Rae's appearance March 26 on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," she performed eight popular dance trends from the social video app TikTok, many of which were originally choreographed by BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color).

The clip, presented by the show as a fun way to bring online trends to primetime, sparked heavy backlash as an embodiment of a larger conversation concerning viral internet stars: that BIPOC content creators aren't getting the proper recognition for creating online trends that their white counterparts then reproduce and benefit from, often in more mainstream settings. 

Upon the late night show's return April 5 from a previously-scheduled vacation, Fallon addressed backlash by inviting several of the original TikTok choreographers on the show. 

Singer Addison Rae teaches host Jimmy Fallon TikTok dances on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Fallon invites some original TikTok dance creators on 'The Tonight Show'

Fallon returned to the show and welcomed several of the original dance creators to speak and dance remotely. 

"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."

The creators who joined Fallon were Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter ("Up"); Dorien Scott ("Corvette Corvette"); Fur-Quan Powell and Camyra Franklin ("Laffy Taffy"); Adam SnyderNate Nale and Greg Dahl ("Blinding Lights"); and Keara Wilson ("Savage").

"Our thanks to all of the creators for joining me tonight," Fallon said, giving them a round of applause. 

Rae wrote she was "so happy these creators were able to be highlighted" on her Instagram story Monday night, urging her followers to "show them love." 

Why people are upset about Addison Rae's TikTok dances

Many online voiced concerns that Rae's segment on "The Tonight Show" erased those who came before her. 

"This is a miss @jimmyfallon," tweeted "The View" host Sunny Hostin. "Let’s give credit to the black creators."

"White privilege is not creating a single movement in these dances, but getting the opportunity to go on national TV to teach Jimmy Fallon instead of the actual creators," added @StephMcNasty

"This is cringey," wrote @tanyachen. "But what’s worse is that Addison has been catapulted to being the face of viral dances created by mostly black tiktokers." 

In addition to those later invited on the show, the "Tonight Show" YouTube account's posting of the clip included TikTok handles for other creators of dances featured in Rae's appearance: "Stranger Things" star Noah Schnapp ("Do It Again"), @jazlynebabee ("Savage Love") and @thegilberttwins ("Fergalicious"). 

Addison Rae responds to the backlash

Rae told TMZ on Monday it was "kind of hard to credit during the show," but stressed her admiration for the original choreographers and said she wants to collaborate with them "one day." 

"I definitely don't do them justice. They're all so amazing," she said, adding it "was never my intention and they definitely deserve all the credit, because they came up with these amazing trends." 

Representatives for Fallon and Rae did not return USA TODAY's request for further comment. 

"If me or any of my friends saw this being pitched – we would speak out and tell him A. It’s not a good look PR wise and B. It continues the American tradition of valuing white artists who steal the work of Black artists," tweeted journalist Femi Redwood, noting the segment  "calls into question who is on (Fallon's) staff."

Aside from Rae, Fallon – as well as "Live with Kelly and Ryan" and "Entertainment Tonight" – recently welcomed TikTok superstars Charli D'Amelio and David Dobrick, who are both white.

"Black streamers & content creators have to work TEN times harder than white creators do," tweeted @blackapinaa. "It’s so annoying to see white people do the bare minimum and get all this recognition, but black creators have to do this and that or this and that x, y, z.. to be on that level. Frustrating." 

"Where are the black people who made these dances? Why aren’t they on jimmy fallon?" tweeted user @reportxed.