Black Users Pioneered Clubhouse’s Hottest Trend. White NYU Grads Are Cashing In
New audio app Clubhouse is still invite-only, but controversy surrounding the room “shoot your shot: nyu girls roasting tech guys” has some early adopters already threatening to leave—and not the roasted tech guys. Many users have pointed out that Black creators had pioneered the “shoot your shot” rooms on the app, but have not received the opportunities and press now given to the white women behind “nyu girls roasting tech guys,” which recently hosted a room in partnership with pizza delivery app Slice and has been widely covered online.
“Shoot your shot: nyu girls roasting tech guys” is hosted by a group of young New York University graduates. According to Insider, up to 4,700 users gather in the room to hear the hosts choose someone to introduce themselves and “shoot their shot” at getting a date or connecting platonically with anyone else in the room. Shoot Your Shot has attracted prominent venture capitalists like Li Jin, Anthony Pompliano, and Seth Rosenberg, and is considered a breakout Clubhouse success.
While the Shoot Your Shot club is lauded for its mostly female moderators, users on Monday created their own room to ask the question: “Is 'Shoot your shot NYU girls' reappropriating black CH?”
“Shoot your shot” style rooms have been a staple in the app’s Black community. One similar "shoot your shot" style Club, #CuffHouse, has been running since November.
"This is not necessarily to fault the app itself or the NYU girls, but rather all the brands, journalists, and sponsors that didn’t do their due diligence," #CuffHouse host Iman says over Twitter DM. "Prior to this, shoot your shot rooms were often criticized for being a misuse of the platform but when young white girls do it, it’s praised for its innovation."
On Twitter, users are saying that the Black-lead SYS rooms haven’t just been ignored by mainstream users and press—they’ve also allegedly been suspended.
HOW INTERESTING is it that after months of black people hosting shoot your shot rooms and getting suspended for it, clubhouse gives a bunch of white NYU girls the “shoot your shot” club & they get monetized. jokes— bad_man_rob (@badmanrob2) February 16, 2021
black people started these “shoot your shot” rooms on Clubhouse and in a swoop white girls @ NYU were given an official club with monetization 😭😭— chioma 🐽🌈✨ (@theigbobrat) February 16, 2021
so crazy how shoot your shot rooms have been a big phenomena with POC on Clubhouse for months, but it’s the nyu girls roasting tech guys shoot your shot room that is making the waves on tech twitter and related press— lofi morbucks needs a job in a Panasonic (최유진) (@choi_clint) February 12, 2021
Neither Clubhouse nor Shoot Your Shot immediately responded to a request for comment, but users on Twitter are stepping up to amplify other, POC-lead “shoot your shot” style rooms like #CuffHouse.
"Systemic racism props white people up to benefit off the backs of POC; this situation is just another glaring example in a long list," Iman continues. "Having them be championed as the first to do it, seeing all the positive press and opportunities coming through for it when they’re stealing ideas from Black people and POC. It's disappointing to see it be co-opted and profited off of, while the actual creators of these ideas receive no credit, recognition or opportunities to monetize. Our Club #CuffHouse has actually been running shoot your shot rooms since November, with an emphasis on the inclusion of QTBIPOC, while the NYU room maintained a predominantly white and straight audience (both in moderators and individuals they choose to bring on the stage)."
Others are contemplating whether it would be best for Black users to leave the app altogether.
There are many "shoot your shot" rooms on CH, you just don't follow the people so you don't see them. @_ImanSaid @wynnaababy @urbanbagpipes @alsoknownasE @deoncarlette run #Cuffhouse— Shardul (@shardulgo) February 12, 2021
Glad the NYU girls are getting BI articles - other folks should get spotlight too. pic.twitter.com/CGlomCQsNz
I’m in this CH room discussing the NYU Shoot Your Shot room. It’s deep. Should black folks collectively walk away from the Clubhouse platform? Should we shield our ideas from the world? I feel like our ideas are so precious we shOuld go back to secret Black Panther meetings— Savannah Britt (@sav_britt) February 16, 2021
This is far from first growing pain for Clubhouse, which has seen explosive growth since its launch less than a year ago. The app has frequently been criticized for uneven moderation, allowing for the promotion of conspiracy theories, harassment, anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, and misogyny, according to The New York Times.