One of the TikTok stars called upon to spread President Joe Biden’s claim that Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine are responsible for inflation blamed misogyny for the negative reaction she received.
Ellie Zeiler, 18, said thousands of people have shamed her for her pro-Biden TikTok clip where she discussed soaring gas prices and Russia’s effect on it earlier this week.
The teen, who has more than 10 million followers for her fashion posts, claimed that out of all the 30 TikTok-ers who were contacted by the White House to attend the briefing unpaid, she has been singled out for being a young woman.
‘Misogyny is very much alive and well in the media,’ Zeiler said in a TikTok post on Thursday as she claimed reporters harped on her despite the fact that she was not the only young woman deployed in the White House’s plan.
‘Isn’t it interesting that out of all 30 creators, I’m the only one being body shamed and discredited for being a young woman interested in politics on social media.
‘In the last couple of days I’ve gotten thousands of grown men and women shaming me for my body, shaming me for my education, shaming me for me wanting to be interested in politics and shaming my parents for how they raised me,’ she said.
Ellie Zeiler, 18, blamed misogyny for the negative reaction she received when spreading President Joe Biden’s claim about the cause of inflation on TikTok
The teen shared comments from her first video taking inappropriate shots at her. Critics, however, said most of the backlash came from the fact that Zeiler does not have the authority or credibility to discuss inflation in a minute-long TikTok
Zeiler, who has more than 10 million followers, produced a video explaining why gas is so expensive after being requested to do so by The White House
Zeiler was one of 30 TikTok-ers called on by the Biden (above) to discuss how Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was responsible for soaring gas prices
Zeiler added that she took issues with claims that she can’t talk about politics due to her TikTok account’s heavy focus on style and fashion.
In the video, she shared comments from her pro-Biden TikTok that took inappropriate shots at her.
One TikTok user with the handle guiltypleasure103 wrote, ‘When the only thing you have is your looks but zero brains.’
While another user with the handle bevsblessedhome wrote, ‘Know what they call women who do anything for money? Yeah, you know.’
Another hurled an anti-Semitic slur, writing: ‘What a Jew.’
Zeiler said that she would continue her pursuit in politics despite the negative feedback.
‘There is no way I would let these grow men and women stop me from continuing to learn and grow and become educated.’
Many, however, were quick to point out that Zeiler had received the negative reactions because she was not knowledgeable on the full scope of the topic she discussed for a minute and that she was just a tool to help spread the White House’s message.
One TikTok user with the handle Theosepiccult said it people weren’t mad at her because of misogyny, but because ‘everything you say is wrong.’
Another user with the handle Isthatchocogirl echoed the frustration, writing, ‘Now it’s just bc u said all the wrong information.’
A TikTok user with the handle everythink.with.n said that while Zeiler’s intentions may have been honest, she doesn’t have the authority and expertise to speak credibly about inflation.
‘Being interested and being well informed is a lot different, that’s why not everybody is a allowed to publish in a science magazine,’ the user wrote.
Eh Trent, another TikTok user, agreed, writing, ‘You’re gonna find that you’ll need to be extremely diligent and educated on specific topics when soap boxing. Understand BOTH sides of the argument.’
TikTok user ccdowd20 was a bit more critical, writing, ‘The point was that you were just spewing what the government told you to say that’s not really educating yourself or anyone else.’
Many on TikTok disputed that misogyny was the reason Zeiler received backlash
In her original video posted on Sunday, Zeiler did not shy away from the fact she had been in contact with the Biden Administration over the course of making the video.
‘Why is gas so expensive, and why is the United States inflation rate at a four-time decade high?’ the video starts.
‘I had the opportunity to ask the White House why gas down the street is $7 and here’s what they said.’
‘The first obvious reason is that we’re getting out of a two year pandemic. When use goes up, the price goes up….
‘But the call was predominantly about Ukraine and Russia, so how does that relate?’ she asked.
‘Russia is one of the top three producers of oil and it is actually their No. 1 revenue source. Now, with Putin starting this horrific fight between Ukraine and Russia, nobody wants to work with him and do international trade.’
Many of the TikTok-ers contacted by the White House worked with Gen Z For Change, a nonprofit advocacy group
Zeilerwas one of 30 TikTok stars in the Zoom meeting held last Thursday with White House officials and National Security Council staffers, the Washington Post reported.
They spread the Biden message after inflation was last week revealed to have increased by 7.9 per cent year-on-year, the highest jump in 40 years.
The cost of living has been soaring for months, with the latest reporting period closing just four days after Putin invaded Ukraine – meaning Americans have been warned to brace for even worse increases in April.
The president is desperate to shift the blame for the tanking economy as his own approval ratings crumble, with this November’s midterms currently predicted to spell grim news for his Democrat party.
The White House briefing was led by Matt Miller, a special adviser for communications at the White House National Security Council, and Psaki, the Post reported.
White House director of digital strategy, Rob Flaherty, told the TikTok-ers that he saw their reach and possible influence as ‘a critically important avenue’ to the American public.
During the meeting, Zeiler, in audio sourced by the Post, could be heard asking about inflation and what it meant for the country and young people.
Psaki placed the blame on a number of issues including supply chain issues, the pandemic and the cost of energy which had been rising even before the Russian invasion.
But speaking about gas prices in particular, she lay the blame squarely with President Putin.
But gas prices had already been on the rise well before Putin’s invasion – in November Biden released 50 million barrels of oil to alleviate rising prices – which had just reached $3.39 a gallon, up $1.27 from the year prior.
Last week, the U.S. hit a record $4.43 per gallon, although that has since receded slightly to $4.28-a-gallon.