TikTok has been called out for leveraging Black creators’ intellectual property to propel the app’s popularity among users but has largely done little, until recently, to pay them back for their talent.
In response, digital content-driven companies like Triller have boasted equity opportunities for creators of color. In a news release shared with Essence on August 2, the video-sharing service recently announced that Black creators make more money on its platform than TikTok or Instagram.
A new Washington Post expose’ written by lauded investigative reporter Taylor Lorenz, implies otherwise. The story points out that content creators were promised “stability in the form of a lucrative, year-long deal with Triller, a short-form video app that looks and functions similarly to TikTok,” but have not seen anything materialize after nearly a year.
Payments (which were reportedly supposed to total nearly $4,000/month) were described as “erratic and, in some cases, nonexistent.” The Washington Post reported they spoke to a litany of creators contracted with the company under the promise of anonymity to avoid backlash on the condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation. According to The Post, creators were asked to sign documents ensuring “confidentiality to receive their pay or risk ‘forfeiture of all equity consideration’.”
This comes after the company’s November 2021 announcement stating they’d committed to offering one-year contracts worth $14M to 300 Black creators.
“By funding creators at scale, we can build upon our strategy of empowering the Black creator community and create new integration opportunities for smart brands,” said Bonin Bough, Triller’s Chief Growth Officer, who has led the initiative for Triller. “We are excited to bring this new generation of creators into the Triller ecosystem and help them thrive.”