As a platform built largely on imitation and loose copyright regulations, TikTok stars have seen few repercussions for their content—until yesterday.
Hype House members, 15-year-old Charli D’Amelio and 16-year-old Madi Monroe have chosen to apologise after copping some backlash for a recent collab when the two girls jumped on TikTok’s latest trend— imitating cosplayers with exaggerated movements.
In the video, the viral stars act out a rendition from the popular anime show Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai. Charli‘s caption from her since-deleted video read “POV we’re cosplayers,” and anime fans across the internet immediately called out the creator for mocking the cosplay community.
Now, both Charli and Madi have issued apologies.
In a video posted to TikTok, Charli starts by saying she just got off a flight and discovered the cosplay community “being not very happy with me.” She explains that the video was taken the wrong way. “I was not trying to bring down anyone. I respect and love all types of content creations.” She finished by saying she is so sorry if the community thought she was being a bully, she has learned from this mistake and it won’t happen again.
Madi posted a similar apology to her TikTok, saying she saw lots of people on the app jumping on this trend and didn’t realise it was offensive. She addressed her cosplay followers, saying, “I think you guys are so creative and so cool and I love you guys so much.” She pleaded that she is never trying to bully anyone and that she is really sorry.
Though cosplayers have since thanked the girls for their respectful apologies, many users are standing by Charli and Madi’s decision to make the video in the first place.
Fans have pointed out that cosplay is a hobby, not a culture. They argue that cosplay is not a marginalised community and that outcry like this minimises the struggles of communities who face genuine discrimination because of their ethnicity, race, culture or religion on a day-to-day basis.
However, members of the cosplay community have responded to this stance by explaining that cosplay is far more than just a hobby— it is a coping mechanism for many suffering from trauma or mental health issues.
Opinions aside, we applaud the teenage stars for taking accountability, issuing timely apologies and handling this situation maturely.
Which is more than we can say for a lot of creators double their age.