Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Friday charged TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray for allegedly throwing large parties that violate local health orders, the first criminal charges resulting from the city’s crackdown on party houses during the pandemic.
The charges come after Mayor Eric Garcetti shut off water and power to their Hollywood Hills rental home last week, saying the TikTok stars were given citations on two separate occasions after LAPD officers broke up large parties at the property.
They face fines up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail for allegedly violating local health orders and the city’s party house ordinance.
Feuer said he is unsure if any coronavirus cases have been linked to the parties so far at a press conference announcing the charges, but warned large indoor gatherings could become potential super-spreader events.
Hall faced widespread criticism earlier this month for throwing a large 21st birthday party with strippers, little social distancing and scant mask usage.
Hall and Gray, who have amassed 12.8 million and 5.9 million followers on TikTok, respectively, are members of Sway House, a collective of TikTok creators and social media influencers who live and make content together.
Neither Hall nor Gray immediately responded to a request for comment from Forbes.
Separately, Feuer charged two other homeowners for the throwing parties: Jianwei Bai, owner of a home on Outpost Drive, and David Marvisi, who owns a home on Sunset View Drive.
“If you have a combined 19-million followers on TikTok during this health crisis, you should be modeling good behavior—not brazenly violating the law and posting videos about it, as we allege,” Feuer said in a statement.
Party houses remain an issue in Los Angeles, Feuer said. The LAPD issued party-related citations to at least 13 other houses last week and were considering cutting off utilities to three others, according to the Los Angeles Times. And last week Airbnb booted 50 Los Angeles County properties from its platform for violating the company’s recent ban on parties during the pandemic.
Hall isn’t the only influencer drawing widespread backlash for partying during the pandemic. Another TikTok collective, Hype House, hosted a large birthday party for creator Larri Merritt last month with major influencers such as James Charles and Charli D’Amelio in attendance. Merritt eventually apologized on Twitter. “It was a dumb thing to do. I will do better & will actually take this shit seriously,” he said.