Marketers are reportedly underpaying Black influencers compared to white people with less followers
- Bloomberg's Businessweek found that
Black influencersare underpaid compared to white peers.
- Sometimes they're even paid less compared to white creators that mimic their content, the report found.
- Black influencers told Bloomberg they would get paid in products as opposed to cash.
White people who are popular on
The same is true for when Black influencers have more followers or are doing creative work that's later appropriated by white people, the report found, citing interviews with dozens of influencers. Sometimes they're not paid but instead given products from
In one example Bloomberg reported, 22-year-old Sydnee McRae, who is Black, has more than 1 million followers on
It led to a $700 deal with the Universal Music Group to promote rapper Lil Tecca's "Out of Love." A white
There are several similar examples highlighted by Black influencers in the report, including McRae, Stacy Thiru (1.4 million TikTok followers), Kenny Knox (843,000
The disparity goes against the meritocratic promises of the social media platforms, where supposedly anyone can get famous, and disadvantages Black creators in a market worth $10 billion each year, the report said.
Their accounts are also heavily monitored, with Knox losing a Target gig for using the N-word in a recent video. Other white influencers like Felix Kjellberg appeared to get away with worse, including anti-Semitic jokes, filming dead bodies, and throwing un-masked parties during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the racial reckoning of 2020, marketers seemed more willing to work with Black influencers and engage in conversations about inequity, the report found. Previously Black creators were told not to post about
In June, Instagram's product chief said the company was taking a harder look at whether its algorithms held a bias against Black people. About two years prior, an Instagram employee who worked with the influencer partnerships team, resigned over concerns about the disenfranchisement of Black people on the platform.
But creators are skeptical about whether the brands are actually changing their ways, Bloomberg reported.
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