People Online Debate Peso Pluma’s ‘White Privilege’ Amid Jimmy Fallon Appearance
Many Peso Pluma fans freaked out over his recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where the Zapopan-born newcomer belted out his recent chart-topping hit “Ella Baila Sola.” The night highlighted the 23-year-old’s meteoric rise to fame— all while bringing regional music to an even wider audience. However, many noticed one issue: the song’s co-creators, sierreño and corridos band Eslabon Armado, were nowhere to be found. Why didn’t they perform alongside Peso Pluma on the show? Well, a major TikTok debate just erupted in response.
While many people loved Peso Pluma reaching a massive career milestone, others saw an injustice in Eslabon Armado not having the same opportunity. Even more so when Jimmy Fallon simply announced: “Here’s with his U.S. TV debut, performing the number-one Latin song in the country… Peso Pluma.” Consequently, Eslabon Armado’s singer Pedro Tovar felt left out. He even said on TikTok, “You put the effort and feeling into writing a song… and then not get the credit for it? Like what the f –?” As that controversy swirls, TikTok has thoughts— with some pointing to Peso Pluma’s privilege being “güero” or light-skinned.
One TikToker just fired a debate, saying: “Peso Pluma made it big because he’s güero”
TikTok user @kemocion’s recent video has amassed almost 7 million views, where she starts off by saying: “Peso Pluma made it big because he’s güero,” or has light skin. She then asked, “What is Peso Pluma doing on Jimmy Fallon’s show singing a song alone that features another artist?” The TikToker continued, “The guy who looks like an average Mexican, who has a Mexican name, called Pedro Tovar from Eslabon Armado, who sings amazing… If I’m angry that they didn’t invite him, imagine him.”
The TikToker questioned, “Where was Pedro Tovar [on Jimmy Fallon’s show]? He wrote the song and also sings it.” At that point, @kemocion said, “They say it’s not because [Peso Pluma] is güerito, then why in the same song, by two people, do they invite the [white-passing] one and not the other?”
“If the song was just by Peso Pluma, I wouldn’t say anything, but where is the other guy who also sings it?”
The same TikToker posted another viral video on the debate, bringing in corridos tumbados singer Natanael Cano
TikToker @kemocion also lasered-in on how many people often talk about Peso Pluma bringing regional Mexican music to a wider audience. She then brought up acclaimed Hermosillo-born corridos tumbados singer, Natanael Cano. “Do you think Peso Pluma would have made it this big if he looked like [Cano]?”
She continued, “[Cano] received all the v*rgazos so güeritos like Peso Pluma could become famous.” At that point, the TikToker referred to Mexico still being a country that is “malinchista,” or essentially a love for other cultures over your own. She said, “When the güerito does it, it’s cool.”
While @kemocion asserted she does think Peso Pluma has talent, she seemed to tie his rapid fame to white privilege. “Since telenovelas, they’ve taught us the güerito is better… that’s what we consume… Peso Pluma made it big for being güero.”
This is how other fans are reacting to the social media debate
Over on @kemocion’s TikTok, people seem to be very-much divided on the topic. One commenter wrote, “It’s true, Natanael Cano is the one that worked for regional Mexican to be heard.” Another agreed, “Peso Pluma doesn’t represent what he sings… Natanael [Cano] does come from the bottom and knows what he sings.” Yet another said, “That’s how this country is, and you see it reflected in many social issues.”
Still, others pushed back on the TikToker’s argument, saying “[Peso Pluma] made it big because his songs are collaborations with famous artists, and because of TikTok trends.” Yet another wrote, “It’s not true, a lot of people didn’t even know what [Peso Pluma] looked like.”
Meanwhile, the debate seems to be brewing on TikTok as well, with many describing how Elsabon Armado should be getting just as much “recognition” as Peso Pluma:
One user compared the phenomenon to other white-passing artists like Bad Bunny and Guaynaa, writing: “The common denominator of getting on music seen as ‘low class’ and having the opportunity to base your success on white privilege:”
Still, others disagree, saying “If the music is good it’s good,” and that it doesn’t necessarily have to do with Peso Pluma’s whiteness:
Still, others do see privilege, especially in comparison to Natanael Cano:
What do you think?