Triller, a short-form video app similar to TikTok, offered hundreds of Black content creators millions of dollars last fall that many say they haven't received, a report by the Washington Post revealed.
In total, $14 million was promised in contracts to as many as 300 people in the "largest ever one-time commitment of capital to Black creators," Triller said in November 2021 news release.
However, Black creators are still struggling to get paid by the company almost a year later.
A detailed Washington Post report revealed that many haven't received any of the money promised or are being paid infrequently, according to more than a dozen first-hand accounts from Black creators, managers, and former Triller employees.
As TikTok's growth skyrocketed from 2020 to 2021, Triller sought to beat out its competitor.
The app launched content houses in Hollywood, splurged on lavish dinners and cars for TikTok's most followed, and even promised star content creators $10,000 for streaming on TrillerTV.
According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the company specifically promised a number of Black creators $4,000 per month, with half paid in equity.
Now, Black creators tell the Post that they have been forced to follow Triller's demanding schedule and vague requirements to receive what has become infrequent payments.
Many of the creators who signed Triller contracts said the app has left them facing debt and eviction and skipping meals to get by.
“We were made to look like fools,” David Warren, who holds over 500,000 followers on TikTok, told the Post.
After Triller began making headlines last month for its alleged inconsistent payments, a number of Black creators said they began receiving back payments.
However, the payments came under the condition of signing a confidentiality agreement, creators said.
Triller CEO Mahi De Silva disputed the allegations saying 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,” De Silva said. “No other medium has done as much as Triller has for this often overlooked and underrepresented part of the creator economy.”