Drew Afualo Says Making TikTok Videos Is What She Was Meant To Do - Exclusive

Drew Afualo's TikTok currently boasts over 7 million followers, and she's recently branched out into long-form content on her podcast "The Comment Section." On both platforms, Afualo discusses feminist issues and fights against misogynists. On TikTok, Afualo is known for the upfront and witty way she responds to bigotry and hate in her viral take-down videos. She's not afraid to speak her mind, and her fans love to see her laugh at and poke fun at misogynists.


Her TikTok success has launched her into a whole new career that's not at all what Afualo expected for her life. During an exclusive interview with The List, the TikToker shared how she thought she was supposed to be in sports journalism, but her path changed when she was fired from her dream job with the NFL. Although that was a huge blow at the time, Afualo explained why she now feels she is exactly where she needs to be.

How hate started Drew's TikTok career

Drew Afualo's rise to TikTok fame all started with her sharing personal dating stories with a relatively small audience. One of those TikToks unexpectedly went viral. In the video, Afualo shared "very specific red flags in men." As it gained views, she also got a lot of comments, including "a whole barrage of hate from the men that felt very attacked," Afualo said. Rather than let the hate discourage her, Afualo responded with the same humor she's now known for.


"I was posting ten (videos) a day because I was responding to all the hate comments and laughing at them and doing exactly what it is I do now," she explained. Afualo describes herself as an "incredibly confrontational person ... Especially with disrespect." Punching back at the commenters came naturally to her, and she never thought it would bring the attention it did. A lot of TikTok viewers, especially women, found her confidence and humor in the face of misogyny refreshing and inspiring, and she started gaining followers quickly. 

"They really liked how I was responding to it and how I was 'mean back,'" Afualo said. At the same time, she was building a following; Afualo was sharing stories about her healthy relationship with her boyfriend. "Those two things moving at the same time showed, especially women, that you can be as outspoken as I am about bigotry ... and still find a loving relationship with someone," she said.


She believes getting fired brought her to where she is

From that point on, Drew Afualo continued making the same kind of content. Her fans tag her in any misogynistic or generally bigotted videos they see, and Afualo is happy to call out the content and laugh at the creators. Although fighting misogynists online isn't a typical 9-5 or the career she envisioned, Afualo believes it's what she was truly meant to do. While some people may call her content mean, Afualo argues that she only uses her "powers for good." She does make fun of people on her page, but only those who she believes deserve it. She hopes to create a space "where people can feel empowered and feel strong and feel confident," Afualo said.


Looking at how she's empowered her viewers, the TikTok creator said she's glad she got fired. While it was obviously hard when it happened, ultimately, she said, "It pushed me in the right direction. I thought for so long and for so many years that I was going to be in sports (journalism) ... I thought that was my purpose, but like I've said before, this is my true purpose. This is truly what I was meant to do and be, career-wise. I could not be happier that this is where I ended up."

New episodes of "The Comment Section" podcast are available weekly on the "Past Your Bedtime" YouTube channel, as well as anywhere you get your podcasts.