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How TikTok star Charli D’Amelio bounced back from backlash after ‘disrespectful’ video


Charli D’Amelio recently hit 100 million on TikTok (Picture: Instagram)

TikTok star Charli D’Amelio might be the most-followed creator on the platform, but it doesn’t mean she’s immune from controversy.

Just this week, she and her sister Dixie came under fire for a video that some viewers deemed ‘disrespectful’, including one moment where Charli said she wished she could have reached 100 million followers on TikTok within a year of hitting one million.

The 16-year-old later issued a tearful response, describing the controversy as a ‘misunderstanding’.

Influencer CEO Ben Jeffries has weighed in, explaining she handled the backlash well.

‘She went live to apologise to her followers and to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the fact that her words had come across the wrong way,’ he told Metro.co.uk.

‘Going live indicated to her followers that her apology wasn’t scripted or prerecorded and I believe showed that she was genuinely sorry.

‘Her apology and sincerity would indicate that she has learned her lesson and reaching 100 million followers would suggest that her followers have forgiven her so I don’t imagine she’ll find herself in a situation like this any time soon!’

Becoming the first TikTok star to reach 100 million followers is clearly a huge achievement, with Ben adding: ‘She is the first person to reach this by a long way and I’d predict her growth will only snowball now.

‘It also highlights the fact that the app still has huge power in the US (and worldwide), despite the year it has had. 

‘That being said, we have already seen Charli begin to move beyond the app, launching a podcast with her sister Dixie, who also boasts a large TikTok following, and focusing more efforts on YouTube. I would predict that as her following continues to grow, Charli will look at finding a variety of platforms on which to speak to her followers.

Charli and Dixie are two of the biggest creators on the platform (Picture: WireImage)

‘Charli has also already released a line of merchandise. I would expect to see this continue to expand, with many creators now offering their followers merchandise and/or other digital assets. It will be interesting to see what she does next.’

While it took a fair few years for T-Series and PewDiePie to hit the 100 million mark on YouTube, Charli has managed it on TikTok in just two.

According to Ben, that’s partly down to TikTok’s user experience.

‘This is partly because when YouTube launched, social media was nowhere near as popular as it is now. However, I think it also has a lot to do with TikTok’s user experience and the way people engage with creators on the app,’ he added.

‘Where users might turn to YouTube to watch long-form video content – how-tos and tutorials for example – they are turning to TikTok for short, digestible, and fun videos, which is exactly what everyone has needed during the pandemic.

‘The templates TikTok is based on also foster a sense of community that means creators can and will gather huge, highly engaged followings.’

Charli came under fire earlier this week for the video, with the star going on to address the backlash.

She said: ‘Blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human is not okay.

‘You can hate on me for whatever I’ve done, but the fact that all of this is happening because of a misunderstanding, like, I just feel like that’s not okay.’

Charli continued: ‘And if this is the community that I’m in and the community that I put myself in, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore.’

The day before, Dixie made a TikTok video stating that the situation had been ‘ridiculously blown out of proportion.’

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MORE : Charli D’Amelio celebrates becoming first person to reach 100 million followers on TikTok


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