Omarion has something to say about Omicron: “I am an artist, not a variant,” the 37-year-old singer and B2K boy band member said in PSA videos on TikTok. To ring in 2022, the “Ice Box” singer posted the videos as a response to the jokes and memes on Twitter that poke fun at the similar spellings of his name and the COVID-19 variant spreading around the world.
The clarification gag began when one of Omarion’s PSAs aired on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on Dec. 31 — with ABC producers purposely labeling him as “Omicron” onscreen instead of Omarion. “Now, I know there has been a lot of confusion online recently, so my lawyers asked me to read this,” he read. “I, Omarion, am a musician and entertainer — you knew that — not a viral variant, OK?” He dealt with similar confusion as a member of B2K. “The last time I had to do this was in 2000 when everyone confused Y2K with B2K,” he said. “That ain’t how it’s supposed to be.”
READ NEXT: How Celebs Rang In 2022 On Instagram
In his final video, he outlined instructions to follow if you ran into him: “Please be aware if you just so happen to run into me on the street, you don’t have to isolate for five days, nor do you have to have a negative test result in order to dance to my music.”
It was a clever way for Omarion to respond to the jokes and memes referring to the COVID-19 variant as his birth name, including a since-deleted Instagram post from actor LaKeith Stanfield, who posted a screenshot of a message he sent to the singer: “You ruining Christmas for everybody smh.” According to Complex, he captioned the post, “I’m weak i wonder if he’s gunna respond.”
Omarion’s reactions to the viral memes have only inspired more memes.