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  • Writer's pictureMAGGIE SPAETH '23

From Renegade to Reality TV Star

One of the most popular social media apps, TikTok, has been the center of attention for about 4 years now. With over 680 million users, the app is growing larger everyday. Debatably the most popular group on the social media platform is known as the Hype House. Since December of 2019, the friend group has created merch, sold out meet and greets, and conjured up a joined fanbase of over 126 million. These followers and views come with something called a creators fund. This pays the House members, as well as thousands of other users funds for videos with high views or likes. Why is this the case? Are they really talented enough to be earning this kind of money?

The 15 second videos are no doubt addicting and feed into the modern love for gossip, drama, and media entertainment, but how will this transfer to hour long episodes? Netflix announced at the beginning of May that they will be releasing a new program branded as “stories of the most popular personalities on social media as they come into their own, fall in love and tackle the next stage of their lives.”

Announcements regarding new Netflix shows are most often a hit or miss, as in order for the new show to be released, another one must be stripped. So there has evidently been a heavy backlash that came with the cancelling of the hit show, The Society, for this new Hype House program. However the primary issue people have voiced is the casting choice. This includes Chase Hudson, Nikita Dragun, Kouvr Annon, Sienna Mae Gomez, Larri Merritt, Thomas Petrou, Alex Warren, and Jack Wright. Not only is this an oddly selected cast (as Nikita is not even a Tik Toker), but most of these characters are and have been topics of serious controversy.

For background, Thomas, Chase, Kouvr, and Alex are the only original members featured in this show. They each have had an uncovered past that put them on the front cover of drama magazines and although the waters have settled, many people still haven't forgotten. Sienna Mae, Jack, and Larri are seen as the less controversial members and are known for their positive attitude and promotion of love and peace. But even with these reliefs, many users are still terribly unsatisfied.

Since the release of this news, Netflix has lost many subscribers and their stock has evidently dropped. There has even been a petition circulating to have the show cancelled. Viewers claim to be tired of “immature/irresponsible” celebrities receiving high platforms. So is there a positive side to this? In most situations like these, there will be a side that supports them. In this case however, very very few people have said vocally that they will watch if released. I believe this is purely because of the attraction to drama or even to just make fun of the show. Personally, I will not be one of those people, Will you?

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