A young TikTok user’s DIY special effects caught Hollywood’s attention, users on TikTok panicked about disappearing likes and views, a show on Instagram Live is going viral for putting “white people on the spot,” and a 3D fashion show “broke the internet”—all that and more viral news and stories to keep you in the loop this week!
This TikToker’s Superhero Video Got The Attention of Disney’s CEO
Julian Bass is just 20-years-old, and his DIY special effects videos are making him Hollywood famous. Bass has been posting videos and editing tutorials since last year, but it was his superhero reel on the app that captured the attention of the internet this week—along with Hollywood executives and stars, like Disney CEO Bob Iger, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, and actors Josh Gad and Mark Hamil. In the 20-second video, which has received 6.5 million views, Bass is seen transforming into his “Favorite Heros” like a Jedi, Ben 10, and Spider-Man, complete with special effects, animation transitions, and even costume changes. Bass reshared the video on Twitter with the caption: “if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated.” Twitterverse didn’t disappoint. He got even more attention on the platform with nearly 23 million views and more than 579.9K retweets, which included several from celebrities. Many even called for Bass to be cast as Miles Morales in the live action version of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Sure enough, Iger replied to the post saying: “The world’s gonna know your name!!!” The newfound attention even got him a spot on ABC’s Good Morning America, where he created another video on TikTok that received 451.6K likes. While it’s no secret that TikTok has turned into a space for young people to express themselves, it has also become a platform that’s launching the careers of young creatives.
For an “unknown portion of time” on Thursday afternoon, several TikTokers reported that they were seeing “zero” likes on posts. And then everyone panicked. While the app quickly responded to fix the problem, they didn’t release any info on what might’ve caused it. News and jokes about the problem, and speculation about what was behind it, began to spread on Twitter under the hashtag #tiktokshutdown. The glitch, which came “at the worst possible time,” prompted some young users to speculate that the glitch was actually linked to the recent news that the app may be banned in the U.S. While TikTok has been under fire for some time for its security issues, its handling of user data, and roots in China, India has now officially announced that they are banning the app, and now the U.S. government is also “looking” to ban it. While the ban would have a huge impact on young users (it was after all, the breakout social network of the pandemic), other companies who have been vying to be the next TikTok have taken advantage: Instagram has already launched Instagram’s Reels in India following the ban. Some TikTokers have even been posting about migrating to apps like Byte if the ban does go through.
Though comedian and writer Ziwe Fumudoh’s series Baited With Ziwe has been on YouTube since 2017, it has gained a lot of recent attention after moving onto Instagram Live, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. Known for grilling and “putting white people on the spot,” Fumudoh asks white guests straightforward questions about race like “How many Black friends do you have?” or “What do you qualitatively like about Black people?” Her “breakout moment” came a few weeks ago when infamous influencer Caroline Calloway was interviewed and asked about “cancel culture,” her activism, and “allyship cookie[s].” Many called it “riveting cringe available, truly must-see TV.” While the statistics aren’t available for the Instagram Live videos, Ziwe (@ziwef) has 90.2K followers on Instagram, where she broadcasts the series weekly—and the uploaded interviews on YouTube have garnered thousands of views. Other notable guests have included Rose McGowan and cook Alison Roman, who went viral in May for her “feud” with Chrissy Teigen and backlash she received regarding “racist” comments she made about Teigen and Marie Kondo. Amid the protests, Instagram has become a platform for political content to discuss topics on race and how to better support and amplify Black voices.
Contemporary clothing brand Hanifa (whose celebrity clientele base includes American Idol’s Fantasia, Lizzo, Cardi B, and Kylie Jenner) and its designer, Anifa Mvuemba, has been going viral after debuting her Pink Label Congo collection on Instagram Live through a “game changing” virtual fashion show that was shot and produced using entirely 3D models. The models “walked” down a runway with the clothing draped on their “three dimensional” curves. While the show aired in May, recaps have continued to go viral as users reshare photos and clips on other social platforms. Donye Taylor, CEO of The Digital Footprint, reshared a video of the show on Twitter that has received 1.7 million views, with the caption: “Never seen anything like this.” According to Mvuembra, she chose Instagram to create access and “give everyone a front row seat to the detail and delicacy of the clothes.” The @hanifaoffical Instagram account has 301K followers. However, a week later, the designer found herself having to “reclaim the moment” after Forbes reported that Bigthinx, a fashion tech company, was promoting its own livestream of “the first-ever digital 3D fashion show.” Several Twitter users, comments from brand followers, and even lifestyle media brand Essence showed their support for Mvumeba, resulting in Forbes retracing their statements and taking down the article entirely. The designer told the New York Times that when the initial article came out in the middle of the George Floyd news and Black Lives Matter protests, it felt like a “slap in the face” and was just another example of “the widespread erasure of Black women’s contributions to the arts and culture.” Hanifa has gotten even more attention after Beyoncé featured them as a Black-owned business she was supporting with the release of her surprise “Juneteenth” single. YPulse found that 51% of Gen Z and Millennials say brands can support Black Lives Matter by amplifying the voices of Black leaders. As for Instagram Live, the feature has been having a moment during the pandemic as many brands and celebrities have flocked to the app in an “era of live content.”
Young users on TikTok are rating their takeout and home cooked meals using the hashtag #FoodReview–which has more than 20 million views.
Meanwhile, other TikTokers are showing off their DIY furniture projects with #furnitureflip.
A college student claims she was fired from her internship after posting a “satirical” TikTok video criticizing the ideology around “All Lives Matter.”
Netflix’s The Baby-Sitter’s Club remake is making Gen Z fall in love with the popular ‘90s series.
Teen star Lexi Underwood of Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere is launching her own Gen Z video series about Black Lives Matter.
This viral Google search autofill is summing up “American life” for many during the pandemic.
Fast fashion brand Boohoo is under fire after being exposed for alleged poor working conditions in their supplier factories.
Shein is getting backlash from fans after reportedly selling a necklace with a “swastika charm” and Islamic prayer mats as “decorative rugs.”