Black Creators Say Triller Left Them Stranded & In Debt

Multiple Black Creators Say Triller Left Them Stranded & In Debt After Luring Them Away From TikTok, Still Owing Them Millions

Short-form video app Triller is being put on blast by a handful of Black creators and influencers who say the app owes them millions of dollars after uprooting many of them and luring them away from brand deals and opportunities on other apps.

In a Washington Post report shared on Wednesday, Black creators told the publication they had been paid infrequently or not at all since signing contracts earlier this year. The outlet conducted more than a dozen interviews with Black creators, managers, and former Triller employees to get to the bottom of the alleged confusion.

Last fall, Triller boasted about offering as many as 300 Black content creators contracts totaling $14 million.

“We are excited to bring this new generation of creators into the Triller ecosystem and help them thrive,” Bonin Bough, Triller’s Chief Growth Officer, said in a press release.

Triller Left Creators Starving, They Said

Unfortunately, many of the creators are not thriving at all.

The app reportedly asked the creators to boast about the app on competing platforms and required them to post eight times in one month, creators said. They also were not allowed to post more content on apps like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels or other social platforms more than they posted on Triller, making it difficult to make outside income.

William Horne, 20, in Southgate, Michigan on July 19, 2022.(Lo Braden for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Some fed up creators, who chose to stay anonymous due to fear of retaliation from the company, now say they have been left deep in debt after signing contracts, according to the report. A number even face eviction and skip meals to make ends meet after months without the company’s promised money.

David Warren, 22, is one of the brave creators who moved from Arizona to a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, near a dance studio, where he could attend classes five days a week and make videos. Warren now says he questions the ethics of Triller and apps similar in their industry.

“This program was meant to make us financially free and to empower Black people,” he said. “They told us that so much was going to happen for us. We were made to look like fools,” Warren said.

Triller Denies Being Shady With Creator Payments

According to the Washington Post, Triller disputes that there have been problems with creators’ pay. In a statement, Triller chief executive Mahi de Silva said that the company “has met its financial commitments to the creators in this program and will continue to do so.”

“We specifically take pride in our role in creating a platform that celebrates Black creator content,” he said. “No other medium has done as much as Triller has for this often overlooked and underrepresented part of the creator economy.”