Influencers regarding the BLM movement

During these strange, politically divisive times of protests against racial profiling and police brutality, online influencers are expected to offer their take on these issues. However, despite many of these celebrities taking the time and effort to craft appropriate responses, inevitably some faced controversies due to their actions.

A prime example of one of these controversies is the hate that many influencers have received after ignorantly flaunting blackface makeup in order to “support” the BLM movement. Many Instagram influencers have donned blackface makeup and posted on their accounts, labeling these posts with ridiculous descriptions.

For example, singer Tania Saleh posted an image of her being “more black,” having darker skin and Afro-style hair. She labeled the post with: “I wish I was black, because my idols in music and dance are black, all the athletes I respect are black, even Bilal the first Muezzin in Islam was black.”

For obvious reasons, this was met with not so positive feedback. People bombarded her comments, swearing and cursing at her, telling her to take down the post and belittling her for her ignorance.

While many of the influencers who wore blackface were from other countries and may not have understood its racist history, others on YouTube should have known better.

 YouTube star Jake Paul, who has over 20 million subscribers, was allegedly seen taking advantage of the chaos going on during a protest, looting various stores with friends.

This is obviously a cruel attempt to take advantage of the Black Lives Matter movement. Furthermore, instead of issuing an honest apology for the damage he had caused, Paul denied all allegations. This put him under even more media fire, as there is incriminating evidence from several phone recordings from nearby witnesses.

In one of the videos, Paul and his friends were spotted at a mall in Scottsdale, Arizona that was being looted during a protest. They were seen helping out the looters.

After people accused him of joining in on the looting personally, he tweeted to assure his followers that he hadn’t.

 “To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” he wrote on Twitter. He also made a video on YouTube claiming that he was only part of the peaceful protest and did not have anything to do with the looting. However, soon after he released this information he was charged with trespassing.

As it turns out, though, this wasn’t the full scope of Paul’s protest-related controversy. On May 31, Paul announced his support for the end of racial profiling after George Floyd’s death, writing that he had started a fundraiser and urging followers to donate to also support the movement.

Inevitably, the truth was revealed. In a tweet to thank all who donated, he claimed that he had raised over $30,000 for the BLM movement. 

However, he was soon called out by another content creator known as “ThatMidgetAsian.” It was revealed that this content creator had actually raised all the money for the fundraiser, and Paul had simply linked his fundraiser in his videos. Paul had claimed all the credit for the funds raised. Putting aside his deception, this move makes even less sense when one considers that it would have been much easier to start his own fundraiser than to lie and risk facing the consequences.

Even though he has a smaller following, “ThatMidgetAsian,” or Frederic Chen, served as a prime example of what a person with influence should be doing with their fame.

Chen has been extremely active on many social media platforms, connecting with his audience in a beneficial way and trying to show them how to contribute to the cause. He is also supportive of the LGBTQ community.

 Even after raising large sums of money for charitable organizations, Chen never bragged and always thanked people for donating to different causes. After receiving an influx of new supporters following the Jake Paul incident, he has been raising the goal for his fundraiser in order to contribute as much as possible for the movement.

 The stark contrast between the responses of all three influencers are clear, and Chen is unmistakably the one who handled the situation best out of the group.