Prominent Dem TikTok Lobbyist Dropped From Client Over Work for Chinese App

Rep. Joseph Crowley / Getty Images
Then-representative Joseph Crowley (D., N.Y.) / Getty Images
May 11, 2023

A music industry association has dropped former Democratic congressman Joe Crowley as its chairman over his lobbying work for Chinese social media app TikTok.

MusicFirst, a trade group that works to "ensure music creators get fair pay for their work," reportedly cut ties with Crowley over concerns that his TikTok lobbying was a conflict of interest, Politico reported on Thursday.

The news comes after Crowley and his firm, Dentons, registered earlier this year as lobbyists for TikTok, joining a growing list of influential Democrats flacking for the China-controlled social media platform. Lawmakers are seeking to ban TikTok due to national security concerns over the app's data collection practices and harmful content.

While Crowley's TikTok work was a dealbreaker for MusicFirst, it's unclear if the lobbying will impact his close ties to the White House.

Crowley last year had at least four White House visits, including with presidential special assistant John McCarthy in August and White House adviser Mariana Adame in September, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

In a parting statement to Politico, the group praised Crowley for "his lifetime of leadership and fierce advocacy on behalf of artists." Crowley told the news outlet that it "wasn't a bad breakup."

Crowley, the former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, lost his seat in Congress to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) in a 2018 Democratic primary.