Khabane "Khaby" Lame recently overtook Charli D'Amelio to become the most followed account on TikTok, and while it's notable and worthy of media coverage, there was certainly a wrong way to frame this story, as proven by The New York Post's headline from yesterday.
Laid-off factory worker unseats Charli D'Amelio as top TikTok star with 142.8M fans https://t.co/w6RlpMjAQy pic.twitter.com/BS6vijIFOE
— New York Post (@nypost) June 23, 2022
The tweet from the Post, a publication known for its sometimes poor sensitivity in handling issues of race, set off alarm bells for naming D'Amelio but referring to Lame, a Black man who is obviously one of the most famous people on social media, as merely a "laid-off factory worker." Many took this slight as racist and dismissive of Lame's accomplishment. Soon, Twitter users began harshly criticizing the NY Post in the QRTs.
The American’s name was mentioned, but Khaby Lame who just achieved the highest feat on TikTok is called a “laid-off factory worker” because he's black. Whíte people can't stand black excellence. Smh! https://t.co/PINEImOflI
— BeksFCB (@Joshua_Ubeku) June 24, 2022
Khaby Lame unseats random white girl with rich parents as top TikTok star with 142.8M fans (see I can do it too) https://t.co/vLY6P2kCqg
— Zach Douvris 🏳️🌈🇬🇷 (@StarFishVO) June 24, 2022
bro imagine you become a major celebrity and they call your ass 'laid-off factory worker' next to someone's real name https://t.co/bLKiHAmDfJ
— Wolfman//Jack, SchmidMaster (SchmidGenesis Arc) (@Jack_S_Wolfman) June 24, 2022
Upon further inspection, it's plausible that this was a mere oversight on the part of the Post's social team rather than an intended, malicious slight. The actual story in the New York Post names Lame in the first sentence and seems to highlight the impressiveness of Lame's rise to TikTok fame after being laid off from his factory job at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Former machine operator Khabane Lame has become the most followed star on TikTok — two years after he created an account on the social media app after losing his job during the pandemic," goes the story's lede. D'Amelio is not mentioned beyond being named as the person Lame overtook to become the most followed creator on TikTok. The rest of the story theorizes why Lame grew so popular on the app and tracked his quick rise to fame.
The Post updated the story's headline to name Lame and apologized for the oversight in a follow-up tweet.
UPDATE: We apologize for not using @khabylame's name in our original headline https://t.co/w6RlpMjAQy
— New York Post (@nypost) June 24, 2022
Jun 24, 2022 at 04:28PM EDT
A Concerned Rifleman
Jun 24, 2022 at 07:28PM EDT in reply to
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