A newly married couple sparked controversy after footage shared online showed the groom entering the wedding reception on a lead held by the bride, but he's since assured there was a personal meaning to the move. You can watch what happened below:
TikTok user @tenneggee received a lot of critical comments after she shared the video from her wedding this month, with many drawing attention to issues of race as the bride, who is white, led her husband, who is Black, into the room on a leash before he dropped on all fours like a dog.
The pair circled the dance floor to the sound of George Clinton’s song 'Atomic Dog' while onlookers clapped, smiled and cheered from the sidelines before the bride dropped the lead to continue the dance.
Tra’ Alexander, the groom in the video, appeared to be getting into the role of a dog as he panted at his bride and lifted his leg as if to wee on her white dress, but TikTok users made clear the video left them nothing but confused.
One user wrote: "All kind of thoughts coming to mind this here isn't appropriate."
Another referenced civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as they commented: "This wasn’t The Dream Martin was talking about."
The bride has since shared another video from the reception in response to 'all of the criticism' which showed Alexander and a woman identified as his sister both dancing around the floor on all fours.
In an interview with the Daily Dot, Alexander explained that his dog-like dance was actually part of a tradition he has with his family.
He said his dad loves 'Atomic Dog' and had originated acting like a dog when the song played, prompting himself and his sisters to take on the dance for themselves.
“The song itself means something to me and my family,” he explained. “[My dad] made his own dance for it [a] long time ago. And ever since, it’s been passed down to my oldest sister and then me.”
The groom explained the decision to perform the dance with his new bride was a humorous nod to the fact that his wife had managed to get him down the aisle after six years together, showing 'that she finally got' Alexander.
"There was nothing like ‘Oh, well that’s my slave owner'," he assured.
Though the couple has received backlash from those who saw the video without context, Alexander is grateful it has received attention because the dance is so important to him and his family.
He explained: “This is [my] family song, you know, full of gratitude and heritage. So I don’t I don’t really care about the comments. They don’t know me. But I really do appreciate them letting me go viral.”
The TikTok video has been viewed more than 490,000 times at the time of writing (23 April).Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@tenneggee