A new Netflix docuseries unravels what it calls a ‘cult’ for TikTok dancers

Published By with Comments

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged , , , , ,

Over two years ago, a 40-minute-long public plea made on Instagram Live rippled across social media. In the video, TikTok dancer Melanie Wilking and her parents claimed they had lost all contact with her 25-year-old sister, Miranda — now, Miranda Derrick — to a “religious organization” and that she was “no longer in control” of her life.

Melanie and Miranda had performed together as the Wilking Sisters, but the family said Derrick had disappeared from their lives. She was still living in the public eye, however, including announcing a marriage to fellow dancer James Derrick (known as BDash).

Until then, it’s unlikely that Derrick’s millions of followers would have noticed anything amiss, based on her social media accounts. The Los Angeles-based dancer was regularly posting feel-good, polished videos of modern choreography to throwbacks hits with BDash and a small-knit group of fellow dancers and creators. She had walked the red carpet at the American Music Awards in November 2021, and just days before her family shared their video message, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

But in the time since, reports from multiple publications, including The Cut and Rolling Stone, as well as an ongoing lawsuit, and now, a Netflix documentary, have revealed troubling claims about the mysterious religious organization the Derricks joined, and how it allegedly doubles as a talent management company called 7M Films.

In the new three-part docuseries “Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult,” the Wilking family is joined by a handful of dancers formerly represented by 7M Films — who are in civil litigation with its co-owner and CEO, Robert Shinn — to speak up about their experiences. They include Kevin “Konkrete” Davis, who rose to fame in the dance community alongside BDash, Aubrey Fisher and Kylie Douglas. Davis, Fisher and Douglas collaborated with the Derricks regularly on dance videos during their time with 7M and had amassed millions of combined followers across TikTok and Instagram.

Shinn, an LA pastor — whose son, Isaiah Shinn, films the Derricks’ content — founded 7M alongside his long-running Shekinah Church; “Dancing for the Devil” asserts the two entities are one and the same, with Shinn and his wife, Hannah, enriching themselves from their church members and talent while isolating them from their previous lives. (7M Films made a public statement in 2022 asserting that it is “operate(d) separately and apart” from Shekinah Church.)

According to the series, which also features former members of the church, Shinn first began Shekinah as a religious community for Korean Americans, then founded 7M as an off-shoot business for Internet-famous dancers, promising them fame and wealth in addition to religious salvation. First-hand accounts and recordings of Shinn’s sermons detail how he asked members to “die to” their families, or cut them off, in order to save their loved ones in the afterlife. Wilking, too, had attended dinners hosted by Shinn along with her sister, but, sensing red flags, she declined to go to his invite-only church services, she explained in the series.

Content retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/28/style/netflix-docuseries-7m-tiktok-culture-queue/index.html.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trenton, New Jersey 08618
609.396.6684 | Feedback

Copyright © 2022 The Cult News Network - All Rights Reserved