Problematic on TikTok is a weekly column that unpacks the troubling trends that are emerging on the popular platform and runs on Tuesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.
Seth Macfarlane’s Family Guyis known for its boundary-pushing and crass humor, and a variety of sound bites from its twenty-one seasons (thus far) have gone viral on TikTok.
However, the TV show’s jokes are wont to be offensive and their resulting TikTok audios have the power to do the same.
Case in point, a new Lois Griffin TikTok audio is trending and some of the videos aren’t using her likeness for good.
The audio, in which we hear Lois saying “yeah, I don’t know, I guess I’m not woke, okay? You win with your gay stuff,” was first used by queer TikToker Winter Vanity (@winter.vanity). In her 2022 video, she lip syncs to the sound while dressed as Lois.
The audio gained steam in February of this year and has now been used in almost 13,000 TikTok videos. Some have been lighthearted and take the idea of “wokeness” to a hyperbolic and comedic degree: one TikToker used the audio to poke fun at how some nouns in Romance languages like Spanish are gendered.
“When I fail Spanish because I keep misgendering the words,” they wrote in the overlay text of their TikTok using the Lois Griffin audio. Similarly, another TikToker joked that they’re not woke because they “misgender[ed] a table” in French class.
But, others are using the audio to be transphobic. TikTokers have used the audio to make fun of neopronouns, transgender lesbians, and the concept of raising children without gender.
Many TikTokers, transgender and cisgender, have called out the use of the audio for its transphobia and general prejudice.
“These videos are just transphobic,” a non-binary, male-identifying TikToker wrote in the overlay of their video using the audio. “Get over yourselves lol gender is complex.”
“Most people using this audio are just being awful,” another TikToker wrote in the overlay text of their video.
Why it matters
Online rhetoric about marginalized groups translates into action.
Right now, the transgender community is facing an immense amount of antagonism in the U.S., in the form of anti trans state legislation, transphobic statements from folks with a wide reach, the deaths of trans people, and public harassment.
Lily Contino, a transwoman who was verbally harassed while at a California Cheesecake Factory location, spoke with the Daily Dot about the origins of transphobic hate.
“It’s tough times out here for trans people,” Contino told the Daily Dot last week, adding that what is said online “empowers and emboldens people to act out in public.”
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