If you have TikTok, you probably know who the D’Amelio sisters are.
I’m 26 years old and not embarrassed to admit that Charli, 16, and Dixie D’Amelio, 19, are two of my favorite creators to watch on TikTok. Their content mainly consists of dancing and participating in viral trends, and their fun personalities helped them skyrocket to millions of followers.
I like them because they remind me of how my friends and I were at that age. They both seem like very sweet and down-to-earth girls enjoying life and their time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, the spotlight also involves the cancel culture mob watching their every move, and now they’re attacking them over a video they posted with their family.
What Did Charli and Dixie Do?
With the amount of hate they’ve received, you would think the D’Amelio sisters did something horrible. However, all they did was post an episode of their family’s new YouTube series, “Dinner with the D’Amelios,” with their parents and fellow influencer and friend James Charles.
If you’re anything like me, you saw nothing wrong with this video. In fact, you thought it was funny and charming to see two of the most famous teenagers in the country having fun with their family. However, some fans thought the video made the girls look bratty and ungrateful by being rude to the chef and treating their fans like numbers.
Fans criticized Dixie for being rude to their chef and family friend Aaron May after she threw up a snail, but Dixie quickly clarified what happened on a TikTok video. She said, “My team knows I throw up a lot. I throw up at the smell, the thought, or the taste of anything,” she said. “So, when they saw the snails, they were like, ‘Oh, let’s get her and try to see if we can get a reaction out of her.’…I love [our] chef, and I would never disrespect him in any way.”
Charli was criticized for asking her parents if they had any “dino nuggets” after Dixie threw up. Though some viewers could tell Charli was joking around with her family, many fans took it as her being ungrateful for having a private chef. She went on Instagram Live to clarify that she was joking around. She was also criticized for saying that it would be cool to hit 100 million followers on TikTok within a year of hitting one million. Though she meant that she was excited for how much she has grown over the past year, fans took it as meaning that she sees them as numbers.
The sisters were also criticized for how they spoke to their chef, their parents, and James Charles. I don’t know about you, but it was very clear to me in the video that this was nothing but two teenage girls joking around. Both girls insist that they had no malicious intent and were simply having fun.
What Their Chef and James Charles Say
Since so much of the criticism was geared towards how the girls treated Chef Aaron May, many fans were curious to hear what he had to say. Before he had a chance to respond, Dixie took to TikTok to clarify that he is a family friend.
Dixie said, “My family and I have been working with Chef Aaron May for a couple of months now, working on content for our channel and working on content for his channel, and [we’ve] made an amazing friendship. Before I even get into anything, I’m so grateful for every single person that follows me, every single person I care about, every single person I work with, every single person who works with me because I’m just so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had.”
To the surprise of many fans, Chef May didn’t perceive their behavior as rude at all. When he was confronted by the paparazzi, he said, “I would call it ‘fake news’ right now. Those girls are the greatest, I love them. It was all fun and games. Not at all, not at all [were my feelings hurt]. I don’t expect her to love the snails. Like I said, somebody thought it would be funny to feed them snails, and they reacted the way they reacted. It’s all good.”
The D’Amelios’ creative director, Tommy Burns, also defended the sisters. When asked about Dixie eating the snail, he said, “It was my idea. We’re in the content business, and I’ve known Dixie and Charli for a long time, I’ve known the family for a long time. I knew Dixie would eat it, she’s fearless, she’s afraid of nothing. I knew she would try it, I knew she probably wouldn’t like it.”
James Charles was also quick to defend the sisters, tweeting, “This charli situation is NOT sitting right with me. 100M followers in one year & y’all expect her to know how to be a perfect role model? Death threats because she’s a picky eater & made a joke about a milestone? 30+ year olds dragging someone half their age?” [sic]
What This Says about Cancel Culture and Online Bullying
The backlash included more than petty comments from fans and losing hundreds of thousands of followers. The sisters have shared horrific hate messages and threats of violence they’ve received, some telling the girls to kill themselves.
Charli tearfully defended herself against the threats on Instagram Live. She said, “All of this is happening because [of] a misunderstanding. I just feel like that’s not OK, and if this is the community that I’m in and the community that I put myself in, I don’t know if I wanna do that anymore.”
Charli continued, “I know that this is gonna be a huge joke to whoever sees it, but like, at the end of the day, just, like, be nice. I feel like it’s not that hard, and you can say whatever. You can say I’m disrespectful, you can say I don’t have basic human decency, but at the end of the day, I’m still a person.”
My heart goes out to Charli and Dixie for the amount of hate they have received. This goes to show not only how toxic (and honestly dumb) cancel culture is, but also how the internet provides the type of anonymity that allows someone to forget that there’s a person at the other end of the screen. The bullying comes from fans and trolls on Twitter, but also from publications like The Daily Mail, who seem to think it’s funny to bully two teenage girls.
I urge everyone reading this to think of what you were like when you were 16 or 19. Would you have been an absolute angel if you were in front of a camera? I sure as heck know I wouldn’t have, which is why it’s important to remember that cancel culture is nothing but throwing stones at glasshouses. Nobody is perfect, even though cancel culture likes to think some people are and destroy those who aren’t.
We live in an age where social media is a dominant factor in our lives. Most of us simply scroll through in our downtime, while others make careers out of a social media presence. This has led many to forget that there’s a person behind the social media content and often leads to unnecessary cyberbullying and harassment. The D’Amelio sisters simply posted a video of themselves goofing around with their family and got attacked by some who perceived their behavior as rude. It’s truly sad to think about because it’s a perfect example of how social media culture has caused some of us to lack empathy for others.