JoJo Siwa slams Nickelodeon for blocking her from performing her songs

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I haven’ seen JoJo Siwa’s latest project, The J Team, which was released in July. It’s a Nickelodeon production about a sparkle-loving dancer who gets kicked off her dance troupe by an ill-intentioned coach. Obviously, it was written for JoJo with her aesthetic and fandom in mind. Plus, it’s a musical for which JoJo wrote some new music. Tuesday, JoJo put Nickelodeon on blast for not letting her perform her own music while on tour. She’s preparing for her multi-city D.R.E.A.M. Tour next January and was just informed she would not be allowed to use any of the songs she wrote for The J Team. So she went to Twitter to ask if they thought that was fair.

JoJo Siwa is calling out Nickelodeon.

The 18-year-old singer claimed on Tuesday night that Nickelodeon is preventing her from performing certain songs on her 37-city D.R.E.A.M. tour that begins in January.

Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on Wednesday.

“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,” she tweeted, referring to the movie The J Team, which premiered exclusively on Paramount+ in July.

Siwa added, “These are MY songs, MY voice, MY writing. Does this seem fair???”

In a follow-up tweet, she wrote, “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,” the Dancing with the Stars contestant added.

[From People]

Nickelodeon better open its mail carefully, it’s about to receive a few glitter-packed packages. I don’t know how any of this stuff works. I’m sure there are legal reasons why Nickelodeon is willing to take on a pre-teen fandom like this. I don’t understand the logic, though. If the movie hadn’t come out yet, I might see their point, but JoJo’s tour would support the film. Why not let her go get that publicity? It might have something to do with a tour album vs. a movie album. I really like JoJo and usually take her side but I have to wonder where her team was in the contract negotiations. If she agreed to write songs, that was addressed in whatever she signed before the film. The song ownership and performance rights would have been spelled out. If she’s still being repped by family and friends, she’s at the stage of her career when she needs someone with teeth looking out for her. She’s popular enough now to push back on contracts to retain at least performance rights.

Fortunately Nickelodeon has no say over her Dancing with the Stars performance. JoJo will be the first contestant to perform with a same-sex partner on the US show. Apparently, ABC asked JoJo whether she would be more comfortable with a male or female partner, and she made the choice. Not only did it make her comfortable, but she saw the opportunity to open a door for the LGBTQ community by doing so. Honestly, I consider it a mark in the well-done column for both JoJo and ABC.

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15 Responses to “JoJo Siwa slams Nickelodeon for blocking her from performing her songs”

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  1. Normades says:

    I chuckled when I read she had a lesbian epiphany watching Jenna Dewan’s lip sync battle. I totally understand.

    Anyway, her over the top persona used to grate on my nerves (my daughter is a fan) but now I think she is brave and talented.

  2. Slippers4 life says:

    My kids love Jojo Siwa. I agree. It used to make me bonkers, and I was annoyed about the bows, lol, but she is so brave and smart and a wonderful role model.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I’m guessing Jojo is doing this tour independent of Nickelodeon. But if they’re her songs how can Nickelodeon stop her from singing them?

    • HufflepuffLizLemon says:

      It’s contractual. If the Agreement for the Musical involved her writing six original songs and Nickelodeon retained the Ownership of those songs, they would retain control of how they’re used/licensing of them. I would be surprised that JoJo’s agreement doesn’t contain joint licensing/writing credits/performance control, but short of reading the documents regarding the ownership of the songs she was contracted to write, who knows? It’s crappy, but legally there’s an approach there, similar to patents filed by a company even though an individual did the work. Isn’t this similar to what Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun were fighting about?

    • LinnCat says:

      It’s a Nickelodeon tour, but it’s been delayed for almost 2 years now. My girls got tickets for Christmas in 2019. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the tour delay and how those contracts were written.

  4. Talia says:

    Whether or not she could use the songs in a tour would be in her Nickelodeon contract. This seems to be a lesson in knowing what she is signing (and possibly getting better representation). Alternatively, if she happily signed the contract because she thought it wouldn’t be enforced or she could use public pressure to get around it, this is a fairly painless lesson in why listening to people (her team or Nickelodeon reps) tell you that ‘it’s in the contract but you won’t be held to it’ is a very bad idea.

  5. SarahCS says:

    As others have commented, this seems to be a contractual issue and if she doesn’t have people carefully vetting what she signs and telling her what the implications will be then she needs them!

    After what we’ve heard form her over the last year I’ve gone from completely ambivalent to cheering her on. This could be growing pains as she matures in the industry and I wish her well, even if this turns out to be a lesson in how contracts work!

  6. Aang says:

    My 7 yo nephew loves watching her videos. I love how colorful and sparkly she is. Her tight pony tail always looks so painful.

  7. Tanya Nguyen says:

    She is killing her edges on a daily basis. Why won’t she stop with the headache inducing ponytails and bows? It makes her look like an adult in the throes of arrested development.

    • ME says:

      Those bows make her a lot of money. Also, this girl is 18 now. I wonder how much longer she can put on this “I’m only 12” act ? It’s going to start to seem weird after a point. I think she knows her days are numbered and is making as much money as she can before having to try to re-invent herself. But then again, maybe she’ll be the next Pee Wee Herman (without the controversy of course).

  8. Christine says:

    Does her mom still manage her? I hope she has more people on her team other than family. She’s having so much thrown at her and I’m sure those $$ are blinding. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders but yeah, she really needs a good legal team.

  9. FHMom says:

    She needs better representation. If this cant be resolved, I hope she at least learns an important lesson from it. Its so easy to be taken advantage of in the entertainment industry. Sigh.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I can’t believe I know who this is. Yes yes yes, I watched Dance Moms and I hang my head in shame. Those women. JoJo and her mother got on every nerve. Good on her ability to successfully monopolize her huge bows and OTT behavior, but I simply can’t hear or see her. It’s a good thing I’m not her demographic lol. I mean, she’s so much more annoying and obnoxious than the worst My Little Pony. That’s saying something lol.

  11. bgirl says:

    I’m obviously not on her demographic lmao but I love her for what she’s doing for the LGBT community. An openly out lesbian is doing the lord’s work and we love you, Jojo!

  12. Shanaynay says:

    I thought she was 13 with that silly bow in her hair. Had no idea she was 18. Now, she looks even more silly to me with that bow.