Now I am a fan of all things memes and general internet humor. I'm usually out of the loop though, even though I am on Twitter 24/7. The end of last week, I noticed all of my followers saying "Damn Daniel," I assumed that everyone knew the same Daniel (although unlikely). I was too sheepish to ask what is "Damn Daniel," I'm only 18 and yet I seem to not be in the "know". Finally after a restless night of sleep tossing,turning and wondering why Daniel was so damn, I asked a friend and she linked me to the infamous video. I chuckled, but I did not find myself laughing as hard as everyone else on the internet was.
I thought the video would fade into obscurity soon, but here we are into next week and Damn Daniel is even more popular. Imagine, a Vine has allowed a young man by the name of Daniel Lara to become insanely famous. So far, Vans has given him a life supply of Vans, he has appeared on Ellen and even gotten a scholarship. All of this because of a viral video that he didn't even talk in. The Vine now has over 320,000 retweets. It's remarkable. I asked myself, how come black people who go viral do not have these same opportunities.
The term "on fleek" took the internet by storm last summer. You would see on fleek on advertisements and Instagram captions galore. Many people neglected to credit the creator. Peaches Monroee, whose real name is Kayla Newman. She is the young black girl who began the craze that is 'on fleek'. Her video has gotten over 32 million loops, but where are her scholarships and endorsements? Where is the money that she is owed for originating that phrase? Companies such as Denny's and IHOP have used this phrase many times. In a recent interview with The Fader, Monroe says, "I can't explain the feeling. At the moment I have not gotten any endorsements or received any payment. I feel like I should be compensated."
It's not undeniable that Peaches Monroe created this phrase, it's well documented but where are her offers? Damn Daniel went viral and that allowed him to gain a world of opportunities, similar to Alex from Target. I understand Vine, Snapchat and the likes own the content that is posted on their apps, but if companies are generating money from the usage of certain content, then the creator should be compensated in some way.
Nicholas Fraser, better known as the 'why you always lying' guy, became famous overnight. He didn't expect his music video to go viral. Aside from a few blog mentions, Nicholas has not gotten any farther opportunities from his video that had all of us singing and using the meme. The song was very catchy, but Nicholas has not gotten any endorsements or TV appearances since his video.
The truth of the matter is black people are not being acknowledged or credited for their viral videos and the entertainment they bring to apps such as Twitter and Vine. They aren't getting appearances on Ellen and they aren't getting paid either. I believe that this needs to change, we need to allow black people to get just the same opportunities for entertaining us on social media. Many black Viners have started dances, how come they aren't appearing on Ellen to perform those dances or getting scholarships to dance academies? They have so much to offer, but they get overlooked for mediocrity like Damn Daniel.