As we often see on the platform, TikTok users have a habit of imbuing what would otherwise be minor interpersonal drama with incredibly high dramatic stakes, prompting millions around the globe to play armchair detective. The latest example of something that should have been confined to the group text blowing up on a global scale is what happened with Lance Tsosie and Chelsea Hart, two minor TikTok celebrities who are now embroiled in a messy breakup known heretofore as the Womblands saga.
For months, Hart, an Alaskan comedian who goes by “they” and “them” pronouns, has been publicly declaring their affection for Tsosie, who goes by Modern Warrior on TikTok and has built a substantial following calling out white supremacy on the platform. Yet according to a video Hart posted on their account a few weeks ago, their relationship has since soured. To keep things simple: they had a sexual encounter that went poorly, allegations of blurred lines of consent were made, and there was even a suggestion of a possible pregnancy. TikToks were posted then deleted, and thousands upon thousands of commenters jumped on the platform to dissect each one. But there was one clip in particular that caught on:
“I have an ache that lives deep in my womb, Lance,” Hart dramatically intoned in the video, over pensive acoustic guitar music. “Sometimes, I cry from deep in my soul about it.” Many on TikTok misheard the prior statement as “Womblands,” which instantly became a meme.
The Womblands saga, as it has come to be known, should have ended there: with people acknowledging that this was a messy breakup between two parties. But it did not. Many turned on Hart, accusing them of weaponizing their “white women tears” to make false accusations against Tsosie; others unearthed old DMs allegedly from Hart to dissect parts of the story that had been glossed over in the initial TikToks. A text message exchange in which Hart offers to show Tsosie their new lingerie, prompting a tepid response from Tsosie, became a meme; so too did “Womblands” and “you fucking knew,” from Hart’s emotional TikTok videos, inspiring remixes and countless lipsyncs.
The messy intersection of racial and sexual politics at play in Hart and Tsosie’s very public breakup, as well as their massive followings, were catnip for TikTok, a platform that thrives on even the most petty interpersonal drama. Last year, a video featuring a girlfriend surprising her boyfriend at college, as well as his subsequent uncomfortable response, came to be known as the “Couch Guy” saga, resulting in both parties being doxxed and the boyfriend being harassed; more recently, the alleged bad behavior of a serial dating app user known only as West Elm Caleb also resulted in the harassment of real-life Caleb, and became fodder for brands and media outlets. Because the TikTok for-you page algorithm rewards sensationalism — and because it’s more likely to deliver content that’s similar to what you’ve already watched or engaged with — it can easily become an engine for private citizens to have their tumultuous personal lives exposed on a massive scale, becoming a meme in the process.
In most cases, the easiest solution is to simply log off and log back on when the furor has died down. Yet for minor influencers like Hart and Tsosie, that is clearly easier said than done. Tsosie has continued to post on Instagram, writing, “Hello beautiful people! All I can say about the situation is — I can’t say anything… yet,” with a winky face as a tantalizing promise to those following the saga. For their part, Hart took a brief hiatus from social media, returning last week to post that they had been in the psych ward and were on mood stabilizers. Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, those posts, too, inspired ire from their followers, who claimed Hart was lying and trying to gaslight them. Until these people get offline, it’s clear that the ongoing saga of Tsosie and Hart’s breakup — a story that should’ve never been made public to begin with — will never quite be able to draw to a close.
On the latest episode of Don’t Let This Flop, hosts Ej Dickson and Brittany Spanos discuss the details of the Womblands saga, as well as Zoë Kravitz and Robert Pattinson’s annoyingly hot chemistry and whether or not they would join a cult — if the other cult members were hot enough. Don’t Let This Flop is released Wednesdays on all audio streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher and more.
From Rolling Stone US