mama owl controversy

@mathmanx/TikTok @noahglenncarter/TikTok (Licensed)

What’s up with the Mama Owl controversy?

“She’s breaking a breach of trust”


Anna Good

Pop Culture

Mama Owl (aka @mathmanx) is a TikToker who is known for accepting DMs from viewers and turning them into skits. Controversy surrounding one of her older TikToks—referred to as the “pay your penance” video—has picked up steam in recent days across social media.

Mama Owl has worked as an educator in the K-12 system and will act out the stories sent to her. Many of them are worrying, and the fact that she acts out the child’s side of a story can sometimes be disturbing or off-putting for viewers to watch.

Short haired woman in a tie-dyed shirt looking at the camera.

The video that has gotten people up in arms, however, is one she posted a while back that isn’t easy to find at a glance, if it is still available on her account. Several TikTokers, such as @ur_a_real_1 have reposted the most disturbing part of the video. Trigger warning for what amounts to a reenactment of the sexual assault of a minor. 

What she chose to do with the story of a student who had been sexually assaulted by a school cleaner was, of all things, to act out the hypothetical situation (as she wasn’t there and we don’t see the story that was submitted to her, it is uncertain how much of what she depicted was true). Even if it is, many people find the fact that she acted it out extremely disturbing and are calling out the TikToker for this older video.

@noahglenncarter People are upset with Tik Toker Mama Owl because of her “pay your penance” video #mamaowl #foryou ♬ original sound – NoahGlennCarter

Reactions to the Mama Owl controversy

People have taken to Reddit and other social media platforms to talk about this latest discourse, with many commenting that they thought her vibes were off all along.

“If they are real stories it’s concerning that she’s just telling these VERY personal and private stories about children online. She’s breaking a breach of trust and most of her videos feel like watching a HIPPA violation in real time,” Redditor u/Icy_Goal3113 noted.

Another Redditor wrote, “She’s always kinda weirdly creeped me out with the kid acting stuff. A 40+ year-old person [dressing up] as a child is just weird. But esp reenacting a S A of a child. Like at what point is crossing the line?” 

TikTokers are, of course, also commenting on the situation, with people like Noah Glenn Carter (@noahglenncarter) sharing their takes, complete with screenshots of her videos.

“People are upset with Tik Toker Mama Owl because of her ‘pay your penance’ video,” he wrote in the caption. He shared just a brief clip from one of her controversial videos in a greenscreen behind him. In it, Mama Owl says, “It’s too bad you’re trans. I can’t get the full effect.”

A younger man looking disturbed at the camera with a video of a woman in the greenscreen behind him.

Without knowing anything about Mama Owl’s content, it can certainly be jarring for this to be your introduction to her. Noah tells viewers that the video is over a year old, and at the time it was posted, there wasn’t any backlash about it.

So why is the video blowing up now?

According to Noah, some of Mama Owl’s students found the video and started sharing it “in an attempt to get her fired from her teaching job.” She tried to address the situation, but in doing so blamed everyone but herself for the content she put out, and in turn caused some of her older “questionable at best” videos to circulate as well.

In her explanation video, Mama Owl said that a video from two years ago that has now been circulating in light of this controversy was one that a trans person requested, “who wanted someone to bring to light the violence that trans people have to put up with specifically in religious spaces.” and that half of the hate messages she has been receiving for that video were from people with bible verses in their bios.

Mama Owl did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via Instagram direct message.

The Daily Dot