Emma Hallberg seen in the new video

Emma Hallberg / TikTok

Influencer gets called out for ‘still blackfishing’ 3 years after initial controversy in viral TikTok

'Thought you looked familiar.'


Samira Sadeque

Internet Culture

Published Oct 1, 2021   Updated Oct 1, 2021, 11:15 am CDT

Emma Hallberg, a Swedish influencer, is once again getting called out for blackfishing—over three years after the initial controversy she was embroiled in.

TikToker @tootyfruity000, who goes by Lu, duetted a recent video from Hallberg’s TikTok and called her out. 

Hallberg’s video, which was posted to TikTok Sunday, shows her getting out of a car in a pair of knee-high boots and a black T-shirt with Tupac’s face on it.

She steps out of the car, closes the door, and starts walking. 

The video has been viewed more than 10 million times since it was posted. Hallberg has nearly half a million followers on the platform.

In Lu’s duet of Hallberg’s video, she questions, “Still fishing (huh)?”

“Thought you looked familiar,” the text overlay reads.

Lu included screenshots featuring past articles about the 2018 controversy as well as messages Hallberg shared via Instagram. 


In 2018, Hallberg was under fire after her followers found out she was white. While Hallberg never claimed to be Black, they were under the impression she was due to her darker complexion and subsequently accused her of blackfishing. In response, Hallberg said she never “claimed or tried to be Black.”

One message featured in Lu’s TikTok shows an exchange between Hallberg and another person in which the sender confronts her for “posting as a colored person.” In that exchange, Hallberg claimed that her change in skin color was due to a natural tan. 

“Of course there’s a difference in my skin tone because I get very tanned NATURALLY when I’ve been in the sun! I’m NOT ‘posting’ as a colored person,” she says in part of her reply. “I’ve never tried to be or look black.”

The other screenshot featured in Lu’s TikTok is of a post she made on her Instagram Story around the same time.

“I do not get my sponsorships, work opportunities and collaborations because of the color of my skin,” she wrote in that story. “I get it because of the way I style my clothes and create my makeup looks.”

That story was a part of a series in which she aimed to explain, in detail, why she appears darker in her photos. She showcased photos of her parents and brother to prove that her whole family tans easily and posted photos of curly hair on a woman, claiming it was her mother’s. 

After Lu’s video went viral earlier in the week, with more than 480,000 views, criticism against Hallberg poured in.

“There’s literally nothing to argue. I tan easily in the summer too,” one user wrote. “But my lips didn’t get bigger, my hair texture didn’t change.”

“A tan doesnt change your hair texture or facial features to match that of a POC,” another claimed. “Thats blackfishing.”

Hallberg’s own TikTok video got flooded with similar comments after Lu resurfaced the allegation. 

“Isn’t she that white girl?” one person commented. 

“Not y’all defending her?? She’s not naturally tan if you look at her older pictures she is in fact a pale white woman who tans heavily to look mixed…” another wrote.

Hallberg, who responded to the initial criticism, has yet to address the current remarks. 

The Daily Dot has reached out to Hallberg and will update the report if she responds.

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*First Published: Oct 1, 2021, 10:28 am CDT