Keara Wilson, the creator of the Savage dance challenge to Megan Thee Stallion’s song of the same name, has been given copyright for her choreography.
Wilson, 20, created the viral dance moves to the song in March 2020, with millions of people imitating it, including the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Megan Thee Stallion herself.
With the choreography officially copyrighted, not only will Wilson receive proper credit but she can claim payment if the dance is used in a film production or video game, and can take legal action if she is not credited.
The move came after choreographer JaQuel Knight and Logitech joined forces to recognise black, indigenous and people of colour creators (Bipoc) and remove barriers faced by them. The partnership helped the creators get copyrights through Labanotation, a system that analyses and records movement. In doing so, they aim to pave the way for all creators to own and monetise their work.
Apart from Wilson, five other creators were surprised and presented with the copyright at a dinner celebration in Los Angeles. They are Young Deji, the creator of The Woah dance; Fallout Cortland for choreography to Doja Cat’s Say So performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards; Nae Nae twins for creating the Savage Remix dance to Megan Tee Stallion’s song of the same name featuring Beyonce; Chloe Arnold for the Salute a Legend choreography and Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter who created the Up dance for Cardi B.
“I just wanna say thank you so much to @jaquelknight and @logitechc for hosting such an outstanding event. Their mission is so important and I can’t thank them enough because they did not have to do this and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to say that I finally got my dance Savage copyrighted,” Wilson said on social media.
The move comes after many black TikTokers went on strike against the app citing cultural appropriation, and refused to make dances for songs. They were protesting non-black influencers recreating their dances and then reaping both financial and personal gains.
In March 2020, Jimmy Fallon invited TikTok influencer Addison Rae to the show, where she performed several dances created by black dancers who were not credited on air, which sparked the beginning of the movement.
TikTok has since come out with a statement highlighting its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and launching several new initiatives.
“We believe that the diversity of our community is a huge part of what makes TikTok a rewarding and inspiring place to spend time, and we’re driven to actively promote and protect it every day. Over the past year, our teams have continued working to elevate and support black voices and causes, while fostering an inclusive environment on our platform and within our workplace,” the statement read.