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Jason Linton loves to spread joy online. The creator, who has more than 11.4 million followers on his @dadlifejason TikTok account, posts humorous songs about his life as an adoptive father of three children. But since growing his following, Linton has found himself on the receiving end of questions from curious viewers who want to know more about his experience fostering and adopting children.
“I talked it over my wife and said, this can, like, totally be a reality show that is informative but also lets people see what the journey is like,” Linton told The Hollywood Reporter. “I want to do an unscripted show that encapsulates what it is to experience life as this family, as @dadlifejason and his troops.”
After successfully pitching his unscripted idea to executives at TikTok and MACRO, Linton is now one of 10 Black creators who will receive a $50,000 grant from TikTok and Macro to help bring his dream of a reality TV show about his family to life. He will join the nine other selected creators — Vegalia Jean-Pierre (@byvegalia), Darlene Octavia (@darlene_octavia), Carlynn Greene (@espdaniella), Lynnell Jones Jr. (@felleanimated), Grace Hayes (@graceorsomething), Joel Bervell (@joelbervell), Denise Francis (@livenaturallylove), Lonnie Marts (@lonnieiiv) and Kirby (@singkirbysing) — in receiving the grant funding, as well as personalized coaching from MACRO, to work on their respective projects.
“We were blown away by the talent and the drive of these creators,” Stacey Walker King, MACRO chief brand officer, said in a statement. “MACRO is so proud to partner with TikTok and play a part in their journey. I look forward to continuing to work alongside them in their future endeavors.”
The partnership with MACRO is part of TikTok’s Black creatives incubator program, which first launched in January to support the platform’s Black creators — many of whom have spoken out about being overlooked or not receiving credit for their contributions to viral trends on TikTok.
“Our aim is to ensure Black creatives and artists have the resources they need to reach new heights in their careers and spearhead innovation in their respective industries,” Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok’s director of creator community said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with MACRO to continue this important work of supporting creators and making their dreams come true.”
As for Linton, he knows there are many steps before his idea may come to fruition, and he’s mindful of taking the proper care in the conceptualizing phase to ensure everyone in his family feels comfortable and safe with whatever they move forward with together. But with the grant funding and coaching as his support, he’s excited to dive in.
“To be able to have those funds to get equipment or to get some staffing needs,” Linton said, “this is something that’s going to be revolutionary for my life.”
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