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An App That Left Creators in Debt

By: Reese Yan

Triller is a video app that functions like TikTok. The platform offered a contract totaling $14 million to 300 Black content creators. This was the largest ever one-time commitment of capital to Black creators. But after a year of recruiting people, Triller's way of payment to many creators has been erratic, and in some cases, nonexistent.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Triller’s payment to creators was normal. Black influencers were promised $4,000 per month, with half paid in equity. Triller also launched luxurious content houses in the Hollywood Hills and inked a partnership with the Sway Boys, a popular collaboration team. A-list of tik tokers were promised $10,000 per stream on TrillerTv. However, that all changed.

In late July, some creators received one-month payments, but some creators began receiving payments from months ago. Many even said they signed a deal with Triller but were left in deep debt. For some creators, after a year and a half, they still didn’t get paid.

The lack of payments has put some creators into difficult financial situations. Content creators reported missing car payments, rent, and loan payments. Some were forced to cancel trips, while others say they can’t afford food. Jahsy Johnson, 21, a content creator in Los Angeles, said he was homeless when Triller approached him for the program. After signing a contract with Triller, “I started looking for apartments and settled down on one,” he said. “But when I didn’t get the payments, I had to let it go.” He’s now temporarily staying with family. Another content creator, Baker, said, “they owe me money, and it’s been almost a year.” “I’ve sent multiple invoices. I don’t hear from them for months at a time. It’s always another reason why they can’t pay me.”

Because of Triller, many have had financial troubles. Triller will pay all the creators they are indebted to, and hopefully, this will never occur again.

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