JoJo Siwa has been on fire lately. On top of her near-daily posts to her YouTube channel, Siwa is set to follow up on her Masked Singer Season 3 appearance by competing on Season 30 of Dancing With the Stars, and her movie musical The J Team was just released on Paramount+. The super bubbly, rainbow-loving, always-at-11 influencer seems unstoppable and unflappable, which makes her recent social media outburst against Nickelodeon all the more surprising, and possibly alarming.
The issue seems to stem from the terms of her contract with Nickelodeon regarding rights to the songs she wrote and recorded for The J Team (and presumably other projects). JoJo Siwa apparently won’t be allowed to perform any of those songs live when she goes out on tour next year, and the multi-hyphenate called out Nickelodeon on Twitter over the idea of not being able to sing her own songs for fans that may want to hear them.
I go out on tour in January. My movie musical was just released (with 6 new original songs)… Nickelodeon told me today that I’m not allowed to perform/add any of the songs from the film into my show. These are MY songs, MY voice, MY writing. Does this seem fair??? ... There is no reason that this music should not be included. Working for a company as a real human being treated as only a brand is fun until it’s not.
JoJo Siwa may be young, but the 18-year-old is no novice in the entertainment industry. Siwa got her start on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition — a spinoff of Dance Moms — at the age of 5, ultimately joining the Dance Moms competition team before branching out on her own. Even at that young age, Siwa had thick skin against the criticism of dance teacher Abby Lee. With all of Siwa’s music and merchandise and seemingly a billion coals in the fire, it really makes one wonder if and how she was legitimately caught off-guard by the terms of her contract with Nickelodeon.
JoJo Siwa’s mom, Jessalyn Siwa (also of the eponymous Dance Moms), added her two cents on the situation on Instagram, sharing a screenshot of Nickelodeon’s Instagram bio, which promotes the soundtrack from The J Team.
Love how they promote the soundtrack in their Instagram bio but they tell JoJo she can’t sing the songs on tour for her fans that have been waiting YEARS.
JoJo Siwa has released three studio albums so far, featuring singles like “Boomerang” and “Kid in a Candy Store.” She hosted Lip Sync Battle Shorties with Nick Cannon and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020. This all led up to the release of her highly anticipated flick The J Team hitting Paramount+ in early September. The musical, produced by Nickelodeon Movies, follows Siwa — playing a fictional version of herself — after she gets booted from her dance troupe amid drama with the new coach. We're guessing the plot doesn't involve her character being told she can't perform certain dance moves for wider audiences.
The fallout between JoJo Siwa and Nickelodeon, who have worked together since the 2017 movie Blurt!, comes just days ahead of JoJo Siwa’s history-making appearance on Dancing With the Stars, as Siwa — who came out as queer in January — will be the first contestant on the series to dance with a partner of the same sex. Dancing With the Stars Season 30 premieres Monday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to keep up with the premieres of all your favorite shows.