JoJo Siwa not being invited to Nickelodeon 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards sparks controversy


Kelan Richardson, Contributor

YouTube sensation turned Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa has been the subject of media attention as she announced on her Instagram this past week that she had not received an invite to the 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA).  

Known for her larger-than-life personality and signature hair bows, Siwa launched her YouTube channel, “Its JoJo Siwa” in 2015. Her YouTube channel has brought in over 12.2 million subscribers and over 3.6 billion views. 

Siwa clarified to her fans on Instagram that her absence at the KCAs was not due to her not wanting to attend.  Many fans jumped to the assumption that Nickelodeon had purposefully not invited her because of her new image. Siwa subtly aimed their reason by reposting tweets accusing Nickelodeon of shying away because of the new image.

“I don’t want anyone to think it was my choice not to go. I simply didn’t get an invite,” Siwa said. 

Just days prior, the young star posted a video of a new haircut to her socials after doing the big chop and going for a stylized pixie cut. It seems that Siwa is embracing her new look that coincides with the new changes she is making in her personal life.

“I think she wasn’t invited because of her new haircut. The fact that she came out is one thing, but I guess Nickelodeon has its limitations,” sophomore sports science student Chris Richardson said. “I think it’s good that she came out and can be her true self.” 

In January of 2021, Siwa came out on social media wearing a ‘Best Gay Cousin Ever’ shirt. Shortly after,  Siwa announced she and her best friend of two years had made their relationship official, posing with interlocked hands and dressed in furry animal cosplay suits.  

“I wasn’t surprised to learn JoJo Siwa had not been invited after getting the haircut,” N.C. A&T alumna Kayla Larkins said. “Some companies just aren’t ready for that kind of representation, it’s the world we live in.”

Siwa received sufficient support from thousands of fans as well as some celebrities after hearing she didn’t receive an invitation. Snooki from Jersey Shore commented that she was going to write a note and tagged Nickelodeon and actress Kerry Washington left three heart emojis to show her support.   

“I feel JoJo Siwa not being invited was purposely done because she was even nominated for an award,” junior journalism student Cierra Goodman said. “At the end of the day, JoJo Siwa has been a big part of Nickelodeon regardless of anyone’s opinion.” 

Siwa has been a part of the Nickelodeon family for some time now, after inking a consumer production deal back in 2016, at the age of 13. Signing on with the Nickelodeon family meant giving Jojo a multi-platform basis for various products, programming, social media and music. 

Her influence on Gen Z has been profound and made her a household name with toys, jewelry and even furniture with her face plastered all over it. Siwa has consistently been nominated for Awards since 2017, most recently nominated for KCAs Favorite Social Music Star this year. Siwa was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most Influential People of 2020. 

According to Variety Magazine, an exclusive source close to the show’s production told Variety that Siwa not receiving a missing ticket “was an honest mistake” and that it had nothing to do with her as a person but “because of a much-reduced audience size due to COVID protocols.”

Nickelodeon is not shy to promote the LGBTQ+ agenda as they promoted content related to the platform including taking to Twitter to share that their popular character, Spongebob Squarepants is part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Fans can only hope that the invitation complication “was an honest mistake” in lieu of the inclusion and representation complications the LGBTQ+ community faces daily.