TikTok megastars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were charged Friday with violating public health ordinances put in place for the coronavirus pandemic after throwing a series of large parties at their Hollywood Hills home this month that were thoroughly documented on social media.
The Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer held a press conference Friday to announce the charges against four people — including Hall and Gray — for hosting parties akin to “really out of control nightclubs.”
“We allege that these hosts have been incredibly irresponsible with a highly infectious disease spreading,” said Feuer. “I want to make a clear point about the allegations against these two party house hosts: If you have a combined 19 million followers on TikTok, and [are] in the middle of a public health crisis, you should be modeling great behavior and best practices rather than brazenly violating the law and posting videos about it as we allege happened here.”
Hall and Gray are two of the biggest TikTok stars from the creator collective Sway House, which gained popularity in 2019 just as other content mansions were popping up all over Hollywood.
Hall has over 13 million followers on TikTok and has been compared to YouTube star Jake Paul based on his provocative behavior and “bad boy” persona. Gray has just over 6 millios followers on Gen Z’s favorite app, is signed with Next Models, and was seen in the front row as well as the runway during fashion week this past January.
Hall and Gray each face up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
????BREAKING: Criminal charges announced against 2 party hosts and 2 homeowners – for MEGA parties that have reportedly been the source of *outrage* from neighbors.
— LA City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) August 28, 2020
Friday’s charges came after weeks of neighbors and city officials publicly denouncing the TikTok stars.
Feuer said the Los Angeles Police Department showed up to the residence of Gray and Hall on two occasions: The first time on August 8, following a complaint, and the second during Hall’s 21st birthday party on August 14 — where footage of the influencer-packed event went viral on social media.
Hall’s birthday party was shut down by police for violating the Safer L.A. health ordinance and Hall received a citation, as well as a final warning of noncompliance. Soon after the footage of the party sparked outrage, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti cut off the power, gas, and water to the home.
Today I authorized the City to disconnect utility service at a house in the Hollywood Hills to stop the large parties held there in flagrant violation of our public health orders. Parties like these can quickly and easily spread the virus and put our communities at risk.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) August 19, 2020
Feuer couldn’t say at Friday’s press conference that any new coronavirus cases could be traced to the parties hosted by Gray and Hall, but “this might be around the time when individuals could become symptomatic if they were exposed to the disease.”
Hall and Gray are not the only TikTok stars and influencers with millions of followers throwing parties in the Los Angeles area, but they are the first to be charged for it. It is clear the City of Los Angeles is attempting to make an example out of the TikTok stars and their habit of dismissing public health concerns for the sake of going viral. For creators, exposure and social media presence are a way to make money and build an audience — and parties are still the place to be, despite the pandemic.