According to a 2021 study, Black creators make 35% less than white creators.
Black creators are using the power of their online community to share knowledge and provide pay transparency. Creators say that transparency within the Black creator community tells others where to start, but transparency from white creators tells others where to finish.
A video shared to TikTok in October by influencer Victoria Paris about the PR and gifting gap between white and POC influencers erupted a conversation online about brands prioritizing white creators. Paris claimed most PR agents and brand representatives are white and prioritize making deals with, and sending gifts to, white influencers like herself. She called the issue a "career handicap" that creates a pay gap between white influencers who are able save and invest money versus minority influencers who have to spend more money to replicate the same content.
For those without an agent, the Black creator community becomes an essential advocate.
Having a manager, or being signed with an agency, proves to be a gamechanger for Black influencers and creators looking for fair pay and opportunity.
For those who can't yet afford a manager, haven't signed with an agency, or find that they can't trust an agent, the Black creator community is a vessel. It was through a friend that Skylar Marshai, a 25-year-old, Black, content creator in New York City, realized she should be advocating for more compensation.
While there are a few databases focused on creating pay transparency in the influencer and creator space, for example, F*** You Pay Me, Marshai has still found her community to be most helpful.
"Ultimately, it's up to white creators to be transparent about their pay and the brands they're working with," Marshai said. "If I charge $1,500 for a brand deal and my homegirl charges $2,500, I'm like, 'Oh, cool, so I should charge [$2,500].' But then we find out that a white influencer is making $4,000, then we're both underpaid and down bad and just continuing the cycle of staying beneath the margins."