The true story behind TikTok’s ‘Jamal did it’ meme and how it turned controversial
‘I feel bad for the real Jamal, you all need serious help’
Jamal did it is the latest meme going around on TikTok, also known as Jamal is innocent. The trend shows a slideshow of photos showing a crime and Jamal has been framed for it in every slideshow. But who is Jamal and what is the surrounding controversy with the new TikTok trend? Here’s everything you need to know about Jamal and the TikTok trend.
When did the ‘Jamal did it’ trend start on TikTok?
On 2nd April 2022, the TikToker @rodolfo.lopez1034 posted a video using the song You Gotta Move by Mississippi Fred McDowell. The video showed a scenario using emojis where someone stole KFC and at the end of it a kid called Jamal got the blame. Since then the video has had over two million views and thousands of likes. However the trend didn’t really blow up until September when TikToker @gerborg posted a “Who stole the picture?” story. One guy was shown with a picture frame stashed into his shirt and the last person was black and the caption read: “Last one suspicious…#Jamal.” Since this video was posted it has had over 17 million views and almost three million likes.
Why is the Jamal trend controversial?
Since this trend became increasingly popular, referencing Jamal at the end of slideshows on TikTok has become fairly common. For example, one person started a slideshow with “who stole the cookie?” and it ended with Jamal however three white kids were shown before Jamal. Another video from @doriannftjamal asked “Who is the serial killer?” and it even referenced Jeffrey Dahmer before ending the slideshow with a photo of Jamal.
The trend has gained negative attention from people who perceive it as the promotion of racism. TikToker @jamalisinnocent posted a video with text overlay which read: “I started doing these as a joke but now ya’ll sound racist as fuck what has this world turned in to? I feel bad for the real Jamal/Abraham Clinkscales, ya’ll need serious help.”
Who is the real Jamal?
Okay so the real Jamal is an actor called Abraham Clinkscales. He is known for Boo! A Madea Halloween which came out in 2016 and Broken Matters which was released in 2014. He’s a lot older now compared to the photo going around on TikTok as he recently graduated earlier this year. You can follow Abraham Clinkscales on Instagram here.
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