Oneya Johnson’s angry reactions have led him to become a TikTok sensation in less than 24 hours. The 22-year-old has gained 4 million followers so far from posting his reaction videos, his initial video now boasting more than 45 million views. But what viewers may not know is that Johnson’s viral videos have been created from his car since recently becoming homeless.
Johnson created his TikTok account @angryreactions late August as a running joke and pseudo social media personality, in which he reacts angrily to other people’s content. In his first video he records himself watching a cake-making video by user @bobbyrey. In the split screen video, Johnson appears to watch the video intently with an angry expression as Rey uses frosting to frost her cake. In her video she asks why people are being mean to her and harshly criticizing her cakes.
He immediately reacts to her first question yelling “Who being mean to you? Who? Who says your cake looks like shit?” While he is yelling at her, he is simultaneously encouraging her saying, “girl that cake look GOOD!” The aggressive nature of his encouragement is highly entertaining. While it may catch viewers off guard at first, as the viewer follows along they realize his expression is in direct contradiction with his message. Johnson artfully masters being angrily positive. In fact a common theme in his posts are inspiring messages of being kind and doing good to others.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Johnson expressed his surprise over the popularity of his account. “I honestly couldn’t believe how fast that account blew up – I still can’t believe it,” he said. In just one day his account had gained 1.3 million followers. While his video was heavily promoted by TikTok to people’s For You page, viewers still immediately took to it. Viewers flooded the comment section praising his first video. “Anger positivity is the best positivity,” one commentator wrote. “I thought he was gonna be negative but now he is my friend,” another wrote.
Since then, he has posted many other angry reactions that have also gone viral. He also posted a video of him aggressively thanking his followers for his success after just three videos. “With all the bad things going on in the world right now, I think it’s teaching all of us to appreciate positivity much more,” he told BuzzFeed News about his popularity. His account has also been verified by TikTok after creating an angry video asking to have his account verified. “Why am I the only who’s not getting verified?” Johnson yells. “Now you know I love you. You know I love you to death! But this gotta stop,” he says in his video. “Who else you know got 1 million followers in less than 24 hours?”
The concept behind his account was not only for fun, but rather a personal statement Johnson is making. He decided to put together how the world views him with his actual personality and show what that looked like. “I basically took how the world sees me, and how I really am, and just matched it together. If I passed you on the street and I don’t say a word, I look like the angriest person in the world. But when you actually get to know me, I’m actually a very positive person,” he said. Sure enough, the videos Johnson creates continue to reflect who he is by breaking any stereotypes or assumptions viewers may have from just looking at him. Johnson’s videos flip the stereotype of the angry and aggressive Black man, and use it to spread kindness, love and encouragement.
His internet success comes on the heels of dealing with struggles in his personal life. Johnson revealed that he is currently experiencing homelessness after the landlord of the place he shared with his ex in Michigan evicted him a few months ago. Neighbors had complained on numerous occasions and allegedly called the police for overhearing loud shouting matches. Johnson told BuzzFeed News that there were no charges pressed against him and that he and his ex are on good terms. His ex, Jillian also confirmed these accounts with BuzzFeed News. After the eviction, he moved to Lafayette, Indiana, where his brother lives, and has been living out of his car. Many of his viral TikToks have been recorded in his car and in other people’s homes.
Jillian also expressed her support of Johnson saying that she was “very proud of him.” She also shared some laughs watching his videos and found the videos to suit him. “That’s who he really is, he’s really like that,” she said. “Everyone has their other side of course. That’s everybody, but he’s a pretty good guy.” Indeed, Jonson has found a way to bring positivity in an entertaining way, encouraging viewers to be better and do better.
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