Asian American content group the North Star Boys recently went viral but not for good reasons.
The group consists of Asian American content creators: Sebastian and Oliver Moy, Tyler and Kane Bray, Oliver and Ryan Nguyen, Darren Liang, Bae Merola, Regie Macalino, and Justin Phan. The members range in age from 18 to 22 years old. Formed by Oliver and Sabastian Moy, the North Star Boys self-label as “The first Asian-American Content Group.” Like The Hype House, they classify as a collective of content creators joined together for collaboration, sharing social media accounts.
While the group has dedicated followers across just about every social media platform from YouTube to Instagram, TikTok is where the large majority of their fanbase lives. Together, the members have 4.8 million dedicated followers on the app, while their videos can gather up to 66 million views.
Not everyone deserves a lollipop 😢
Despite having 300K followers on Instagram, many were embarrassed after a recent post. The collective shared a couple of staged photos in which the members posed in front of a “stop Asian hate” mural.
Immediately, the post drew criticism. Comments labeled the group’s photos “embarrassing” and “performative.”
Fellow Asian American content creators responded by creating their own social media posts. Some sarcastically commented, “They figured out how to stop Asian hate!”
It went so far that many other creators even began to parody the North Star Boys’ photos. This included recreating it in “thirst trap” or “K-Pop” styles.
Fighting racism one dance at a time ✊
Others directly explained and broke down why the North Star Boys’ post was such a failed approach to spread awareness on Asian hate. Since COVID-19, there has been an increase in hate crimes against the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community, including violent acts, such as slashings, beatings, shootings, and verbal abuse. The largest cities in the U.S. have reported a 164% rise, according to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino.
Now, the North Star Boys have responded to the criticism in a TikTok video of their own.
Oliver Moy spoke on behalf of the group, defending the photoshoot. He began the video by saying that they have never claimed to be activists and are certainly not performative ones.
That is not a thirst trap, and we are not activists nor do we try to be. And, we are surely not performative activists. We are simply a group of seven best friends who came together to achieve our goals in hopes of inspiring others to do the same…
— Oliver Moy
He then responded directly to the parody TikToks. He suggested that their critics question themselves before questioning the North Star Boys.
And, to those who are mocking us with your TikToks, I want you to ask yourself, ‘What are you doing for the movement?’ Because it looks like you’re making fun of us for trying…
— Oliver Moy
To say the North Star Boys’ response video was not well-received is to put it lightly. The group’s TikTok is filled with comments, continuing to clown and criticize the collective group.
Many TikTokers even felt that the North Star Boys’ response was simply gaslighting. According to Wikipedia, “Gaslighting is a colloquialism, loosely defined as making someone question their own reality.” Basically, it’s a form of manipulation achieved through physiological means.
Netizens are even calling it the “worst ‘apology’ ever.” One could argue that it’s technically not actually an “apology” but instead defending one’s actions.
The above video briefly includes more footage than is seen on the North Star Boys’ TikTok. Additionally, the group’s TikTok video mentions at the end that viewers can visit the link in their bio for more context. From there, it directs to their YouTube channel in which they have a longer video posted in which all members speak on the controversy.
With an arguably more detailed and thoughtful response, netizens could hear the collective group’s full story on the matter. As a result, the YouTube comments are in great contrast from TikTok’s.
Watch the North Star Boys’ full TikTok below:
Stop Asian Hate