Tiktok star Jonathan Peter was catapulted into the spotlight after finding fame sharing method acting videos on Tiktok reveals his experience with horrifying racial abuse he is subjected to online in a bid to bring the issue into the light.
The handsome 21 year old from California, has 3.2M followers on his @iamjonathanpeter account having joined TikTok in February 2020 – launching his social media career as a side hustle.
His following grew dramatically after he began creating “unique point-of-view” videos, which consist of him acting out a fictional scene solo.
Although he now makes $15,000 a month – and has even been able to buy a $30,000 Maserati – it has come at a hefty personal price of dealing with racist abuse on a regular basis.
Jonathan says the experience is like “creating content with handcuffs on” because he is unable to touch on politically-charged topics such as the police without receiving heavy backlash.
Worse still, he claims trolls have compared him to a monkey and made slavery jibes.
The abuse is so severe that the TikTok star no longer goes live on the site, because he will receive a barrage of comments from people poking fun at his voice and “big lips”.
“Black creators genuinely find it hard to make a name for themselves on social media, so for me to do it in just a few months was shocking,” Jonathan told Jam Press.
“I make content for people so that their lives can become better, but constantly opening up social media to racism makes you wonder if straining your body for others is worth the racism.
“The most popular racist comment I receive is people calling me the N word.
“I usually get this when I go live because they know I’m going to see it and they want a reaction.
“I’ve had people spam the monkey emoji in my comments section too – I’ve even had to filter this emoji out so it doesn’t show up.
“People will also say things like ‘the good old days’ or ‘I miss those days’ when slavery is brought up.
“It’s hard because I want to keep entertaining my followers but it takes such a toll on you and just makes me upset because I don’t understand racism.”
Jonathan claims the issue isn’t just on TikTok, revealing a particularly nasty incident on Omegle, an online chat website.
He said: “I came across two strangers who straight up told me I was the animal that just escaped from the zoo and proceeded to make monkey sounds.
“They left the call before I could even respond but I know so many Black people experience this unprovoked.
“I don’t understand how you can hate someone for something that is out of their control and something they never chose.”
Sadly, the star believes addressing the racism head-on only makes things worse.
He said: “The best thing you can do is ignore it and keep making content.
“A lot of these people on the internet get satisfaction by seeing it affect you and your work.
“In my experience, I have seen other creators address it and they attract an audience of racist people who constantly joke about it for months until it just dies out.”
Despite struggling with the trolling, Jonathan has decided against quitting social media.
He said: “People will only leave hurtful and racist comments if they see you doing well.
“If people don’t see you as a successful individual they don’t need to bring you down – in a way it’s a sign that you’re winning and should keep pushing and make them even madder.”
Jonathan is certainly successful, earning between $5,000-$15,000 for brand collaboration posts, between $3,000-$10,000 via the TikTok Creator Fund and up to $1,000 from live videos on TikTok.
At the moment, he’s focused on turning his social media stardom into a Hollywood career.
He added: “I am working towards an acting career.
“I plan on winning an Oscar in the near future and potentially opening up my own studio where I will direct and produce my own movies and TV shows.”