Charlie Puth Gets Called Out for ‘Queerbaiting’ With TikTok Thirst Traps

As one of the biggest music stars, Charlie Puth has millions of fans. Puth burst onto the scene in 2015 with hit singles such as “See You Again.” He’s earned praise for his perfect pitch and songwriting chops. And in recent years, Puth has used his celebrity to build a formidable social media following. Notably, Charie Puth’s TikTok account abounds with prank videos and songwriting clips. Though many fans love Puth’s TikTok content, the “Attention” singer has also come under fire for “queerbaiting” on the platform.

Charlie Puth admits he posts ‘horny’ TikTok videos

Charlie Puth TikTok queerbaiting horny
Charlie Puth performs on June 5, 2022, in Mountain View, California | Steve Jennings/WireImage

Puth has no qualms about discussing sex and being sensual. His TikTok account abounds with shirtless clips and sexual innuendos. In one video, he even explains his song “Cheating on You” includes the sounds of his moaning, Bustle reports. It’s just part of Puth’s personality, and he doesn’t see a problem posting thirst traps for his more than 17 million TikTok followers. 

Puth addressed the criticism of his “horny” TikTok videos to Bustle, admitting, “I think I actually had sex that night when I saw that. It made me think, ‘Wow, people really do understand me.’ I’m really horny. I think to be a creative, you have to be a little bit.”

He also doesn’t envision slowing down on the platform anytime soon, revealing he thinks TikTok allows him to show “vulnerability.”

Critics accuse Charlie Puth of queerbaiting on TikTok

Though the artist identifies as straight, some critics have slammed Charlie Puth’s TikTok videos as pandering to gay men to get likes and attention on the platform.

A recent piece by entertainment critic Coleman Spilde in the Daily Beast breaks down Puth’s problematic TikTok content, including one notorious video where Puth jokes about whether he is a “top” or “bottom.”

In the video, Puth plays with a filter that scrolls past an emoji saying “top” and another with a “b” for “bottom,” alternating between the two before ultimately landing on “top.” Puth then jokes, “Aaaand I’m going to go to the top.” Many commenters clammed Puth for the clip, with one critic saying, “I know queerbaiting when I see it.”

Spilde also calls out artists like Nick Jonas and Harry Styles as examples of straight male artists who seem to create and post content designed for a gay audience. As Spilde notes, this is problematic at best: “It only becomes a question of baiting when a male-identifying artist will adamantly cling to their heterosexuality while co-opting queer styles, clothing, and aesthetics.”

The article also points out “that kind of performative allyship serves no one but the straight artist doing the pandering and their cisgender heterosexual fans who also want to feel good about supporting an artist that they feel is implementing visible allyship, just like they are.”

The ‘Light Switch’ singer is working on his 3rd studio album

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In January 2016, Charlie Puth released his debut studio album, Nine Track Mind. It introduced listeners around the world to Puth’s singing talents, setting the course for a successful music career that’s still going strong. He has collaborated with other top artists, including Selena Gomez and Wiz Khalifa, and won accolades such as a Teen Choice Award in 2015 and a Billboard Music Award in 2016, according to AllMusic.

With a background in classical music and notoriously perfect pitch, Puth is unlike any other pop artist. In 2018, he released his second album, Voicenotes, which received critical acclaim.

These days, he’s hard at work on his third album, one that has taken him years to formulate and outline. The artist has released several new singles recently, including “Light Switch” and “That’s Hilarious.” And as he prepares to launch the album, Charlie, on October 7, he’s been heavily promoting himself on TikTok.