Social media influencer Addison Rae has seen her star rise ever since she showed up on TikTok, becoming one of the app’s breakout stars thanks to her dance videos and other appearances. She currently has over 81 million followers on the app and was named by Forbes as the highest-earning personality on TikTok in 2020.

Along with money, Rae has obviously been looking for ways to leverage the brightly burning fame that comes with social media before it fades. On Twitter, she made it look like one of those ways was working as a live reporter for Saturday’s UFC 264. While no official announcement was made, Rae shared photos of herself on the red carpet while holding a UFC-branded microphone, with the message “I studied broadcast journalism in college for 3 whole months to prepare for this moment” (Rae reportedly did attend LSU for a few months).

The 20-year-old also shared photos and videos of herself in official UFC gear on Instagram. However, as per A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports, this was a stunt:

It’s still notable the reaction this got.  While if this had been true, it might feel like a real success story for Rae, but the flippant announcement seems to have  hit a raw nerve with many, especially journalism students and working journalists. Many of those who tweeted about it were frustrated with seeing another broadcasting gig taken by someone who might not have the education, experience, or ambition that they have, especially in a marketplace where journalism and broadcasting opportunities already seem scarce.

While many might have assumed that UFC loved the attention that Rae brought with her, good or bad, that was apparently not the case. After the social media backlash, Rae tweeted that she was “fired.”

 

There’s probably a discussion to be had here about whether or not Rae got especially dumped on here because she’s a young female influencer while plenty of male athletes transition over to broadcasting roles without receiving similar backlash. But that’s the kind of nuanced conversation that’s best saved for another day. At any rate, this certainly got everyone talking.

[Addison Rae]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.