When I was first asked to write something on TerRio, I honestly still didn’t really know what a TerRio was. I’ve seen the name on my timelines and feeds, but it wasn’t until someone sought my thoughts on TerRio before I bothered to figure out what TerRio was. Now that I know what a TerRio is, I’m contemplating whether or not to call CPS.

After watching a compilation of those “Ooh, kill ‘em!” videos your kinfolk and friends won’t stop talking about, TerRio is sort of like the hood’s Goo from My Brother and Me and World Star’s Gary Coleman. That’s no shade because I used to watch all of the above growing up. Some of the videos are amusing in a “It’s Thanksgiving and your cousin wants to the kids to get up and perform for the family” kind of way.

Nonetheless, I find this all uncomfortable to watch because his family is exploiting the hell out of him. This boy is being shot shirtless, bopping around the sidewalk after clearly being encouraged. Even when he’s taking a break by way of downing the diabetes-inducing treat food companies sell as candy, it’s clear the very people trying to make money off him are dually mocking him.

I understand that it’s cute to sometime see children be their innocent and funny selves, but there’s something gross about parading TerRio around for everyone’s amusement, and in many cases, their scorn.


Not surprisingly, these very people are presently booking him for appearances – at the club, no less. I know there are some reasonable folks out there who also view this to be a bit problematic. Like, this is a child, not a rapper, fledgling R&B singer, or a reality star that just became famous-adjacent three sentences ago. It’s a little boy.




A little boy, who based on these tweets, is being steered towards an unfortunate direction. Ideally, I’d be amazing if TerRio’s family was pimping him out to avoid the pitfalls of Sallie Mae and other private student loan companies. However, that comes across as wishful thinking.

To be fair, TerRio’s family may be exploitative, but they’re not the first to do it nor will they be the last. I was just as uncomfortable watching Willow Smith express her desire to be with her friends versus on a video shoot as I am watching TerRio’s face plastered on a club flier. Likewise, I question the parents who allowed their kids to go on a show entitled Rich Kids of Beverly Hills knowing the whole slant is “spoiled, rich brats gone wild.”

Still, TerRio’s Internet celebrity and the methodology behind arguably illustrate the bottom of the barrel portion of child exploitation in entertainment. Maybe we needed to see this to make us all take a step back and let these damn kids be kids. To that end, get that lil’ boy out of the club and stop soliciting Facetime chats with random strangers and let him go to class…and recess.

Michael Arceneaux is from the land of Beyoncé, but now lives in the city of Master Splinters. Follow him at @youngsinick.

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