by Isabella Basile. @isbasile.
LAWRENCE, MA - Video platform TikTok announced this week that they are updating their user agreement to list "knowing all lyrics to Beetlejuice" as a violation of the site's Terms of Service, resulting in immediate termination. This amendment has led to the suspension of hundreds of accounts, including that of local influencer, Kelli Pratt.
"I'm completely devastated,” noted Pratt in a video where she kept pointing to text bubbles that never appeared. “Not only am I being deprived of my creative outlet, but the world is being deprived of my art."
Pratt has amassed over 20k followers on the platform where she had been painstakingly recreating each of the show's musical numbers with her Maine Coon kitten - Sophia Anne Cat-ruso - co-starring as Lydia.
Some individuals close to the affected were more optimistic about the new restriction.
"I think this might be good for her," said Pratt's mother, Cathy. "I won't pretend that I understand 'her craft,' but I don't understand how this is helping her improve as an actress."
The United States is currently in talks to ban TikTok due to its possible threat to national security, with the Beetlejuice ban deemed a "completely separate yet equally as important new policy". After receiving backlash from outraged fans, TikTok CEO, Kevin Mayer, issued a press release explaining the motivation behind his company's actions.
"Honestly, we're just so sick of you. I'm so sick of you," stated Mayer. "We all thought we knew what we were getting into when we launched this platform, but we never expected that it would get this bad. So many of our moderators have quit, threatening to stab their eyes out if they have to watch another e-girl lipsyncing to ‘Dead Mom.’ One of them was escorted out in a straitjacket singing ‘Hi! I’ll be your guide, I’ll be your G-U-I-D-E to the other side!’ over and over again. We were losing investors! Our sponsors! There was nothing else we could do."
This is one in a series of many blows for fans. In December, the show informed its fans that it would be evicted from the Winter Garden Theatre to accommodate the Fall 2020 revival of The Music Man, only to have the remainder of its run cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have indicated that this is the last straw and plan to sue TikTok. However, given their history, it is likely that they just have to accept the musical's whole being dead thing.