Jay Versace’s GoFundMe to help pay for his mother’s funeral sparks debate

A debate ignited on social media after musician and content creator Jay Versace started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses following the death of his mother.

On May 20, user @aliyahInterlude tweeted, “Jay Versace having to start a gofundme for the death of his mother is so heartbreaking considering the impact he’s had on social media for almost all of our youth.”

The GoFundMe campaign commemorates Nikesha Dolly Gunter and has raised over $56,415 by launch, surpassing its $30,000 goal.

The viral tweet received over 130,000 likes and over 600 quote retweets at the time of publication, sparking discussion about content creators and influencers’ earnings.

Jay “Jay Versace” Gunter first exploded as a social media star on the six-second video app Vine, where he created comedic videos that earned him over three million followers on the platform. Since Vine’s death, Gunter’s content creation has spread to other platforms, including YouTube and Twitter. He also began producing music after collaborating with JID, Westside Gunn and Tyler the Creator, with whom he won a Grammy for his work on the 2021 album Call me if you get lost.

Several Twitter users argued that Gunter shouldn’t solicit money through GoFundMe because of his online fame

“Not to be insensitive, but…he’s a Grammy-winning producer…he can afford to pay for his mother’s funeral…no ceiling,” said one user.

“Because a celebrity can’t afford a funeral, should we help her? What is this celebrity doing for us?” wrote another user.

It’s an illogical fallacy that fame necessarily equates to funding, especially something as expensive and often unexpected as a funeral, as one user pointed out in response. “If you’re struggling, she won’t talk to you, duh. You can’t help anyone. Celebrity or not,” they said.

However, many viewers were appalled by the reaction to Gunter’s GoFundMe, noting that his follower count doesn’t equate to his finances.

β€œEw how many people say hateful shit in the replies. An unexpected death IS EXPENSIVE. People sometimes throw away their entire life savings just for one cremation. Fame doesn’t equal riches,” one user wrote in a quoted tweet.

Others have argued that Gunter’s inability to afford the funeral despite his social media influence and success in the music industry indicates a lack of adequate compensation for black creators.

“He’s pumped out so much content, he’s a fucking Grammy winner like it shouldn’t have happened. I pray for him fr,” one Twitter user wrote in a reply.

The original poster @aliyahInterlude left another tweet in her thread that pointed out the pay gap between white and black creators. “White people don’t have these problems!!!! Pay black creators!!!” They write.

That sentiment comes as no surprise with reports of how black content creators, particularly on platforms like TikTok, have not been properly accredited and compensated for their work and contribution to the cultural zeitgeist. Forbes magazine was criticized earlier this year for barely including and recognizing black creators in their list of top TikTokers 2022 earners. Tai Saint-Louis reported for Black Enterprise how the absence of black creators from the list highlights income inequality for people of color and the lack of adequate compensation.

The Daily Dot reached out to Gunter for comment.

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*Initial publication: May 21, 2022 1:59 pm CDT

Maria Pogi

Maria Santa Poggi is an aspiring MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College of Poetry. She is a freelance writer and her work has appeared in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Paper and id, among others.

Maria Pogi

https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/jay-versace-gofundme-debate/ Jay Versace’s GoFundMe to help pay for his mother’s funeral sparks debate

Jaclyn Diaz

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