TikTokers dance blocking escalator receives backlash from spectators

People seem willing to try almost anything for a good TikTok video – and viewers can’t get enough. But what happens when creating click-worthy content comes at the expense of others? Recently, some influencers and content creators have come under fire for the effects of their stunts and pranks on audiences, ranging from mild annoyance to serious physical or emotional damage.

An influencer sparked some of these conversations after her TikTok, in which she blocked the entrance to a public escalator in order to film a dance, went viral. Also a singer and YouTuber, Andra Gogan’s TikTok page is filled with these clips, in which a phone filming the scene is placed on a moving escalator step. The end result is a dance video that follows the slow backward climb of the escalator.

This particular clip, posted in mid-June and viewed over 30 million times, seems to have struck a chord with viewers, in part because, as a “behind the scenes” message, several people are waiting for Andra and his peer finish their dance before they can use the escalator.

Viewers in the comments section appeared to take issue with this aspect of the video, with many calling it “embarrassing.”

“Okay, do whatever you want in public, but don’t bother other people because you all want to make a video … goddamn kids,” one commentator wrote.

Another said, “It’s the lack of consideration for me.”

“When people waited, I literally died inside of a secondary embarrassment,” one comment read. Others, meanwhile, wondered what would happen if someone, in an emergency, needed the escalator at that time.

Not everyone denounced Gogan’s coup. As one viewer wrote, “Guess I’m the only one cold and waiting downstairs until they’re done. I’m not tripping, no rushing.”

News week attempted to contact Gogan for further comment, but did not receive a response in time for the post.

While briefly blocking the entrance to an escalator may be a relatively innocuous example, the backlash against Gogan addresses the larger question that arises when influencers, often relying on the motto of shock and novelty, involve those surrounding them when creating content.

Earlier this year, for example, two influencers were kicked out of Bali after their “prank” caught the attention of authorities. In the incident, which they documented on social media, Josh Paler Lin painted a blue surgical mask on Leia Se’s face, in a bid to see if she could evade COVID-19 mask guidelines – and endanger their fellow clients in the process.

Last week, a white influencer named Oli London “turned out” to be non-binary and Korean, despite not actually being Korean. The announcement, coupled with several surgeries in London to look like K-pop star Jimin, was viewed as deeply offensive by many Koreans and members of the LGBTQ + community.

Two TikTokers faced backlash online after a video showed them blocking an escalator in a busy mall while recording a dance routine. This image shows a TikTok advertisement in Berlin from 2020.
Sean Gallup / Getty Images

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