Video game streaming site Twitch seems to have shot itself in the foot yet again, sharing a Black Lives Matter video with embarrassingly few Black streamers.
Twitch—the world’s leading gaming livestream platform—has repeatedly become a hot topic as of late, though mostly for reasons that aren’t exactly positive.
Early last month, the streaming service handed out bans en masse to streamers who kept old videos containing copyrighted music. Twitch followed up the banning frenzy with another one towards the end of June, following the recent uptick of the #MeToo movement in gaming.
The platform has once again drawn the ire of the masses, after sharing a video that was meant to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement, yet featured a montage of mostly white-skinned streamers.
Did twitch really make a BLM commercial with all white people? I legit can’t believe that would take place lmao.
— Mightykeef (@MightyKeef) July 10, 2020
A Black Lives Matter PSA with a majority White cast
Twitch shared the minute-long video last week, which started off with a compilation of clips from various BLM marches, followed by a reel of different streamers talking about—or dedicating their stream towards—the movement.
While the platform’s heart seemed to be in the right place, the video’s execution left a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouth, considering most of the streamers doing the talking weren’t even people with color.
To make matters worse, the video ended with the message “support Black voices, support Black creators, support Black communities, support Black Twitch,” but failed to actually promote any of their Black content creators and streamers.
I'm sorry, but this is maddening to me.
Twitch talks about the importance of #BLM
1. Has 90% of the talking done by white/nonblack people
2. Doesn't promote any black streamers/content creators
Share and promote Black Twitch content, here or in retweets! pic.twitter.com/fMJ8DNq7yU
— Uncle Fill™ (@2leftjoycons) July 9, 2020
After the overwhelmingly negative feedback, Twitch pulled the video from circulation and issued a sort of apology about how their main focus was meant to be “allyship” and “working together” towards positive change that was admittedly not made clear.
We hear you. Our goal was to demonstrate the importance of allyship – a message we didn’t make clear. Only by working together can we create a positive change.
— Twitch (@Twitch) July 9, 2020
Twitch and the LGBTQIA+ debacle
The BLM issue isn’t the first time Twitch crashed and burned while making a statement about a socially relevant event. Earlier this month, they released another video showing love for the LGBTQIA+ community that was mostly harmless save for one particular aspect.
A part of the video flashed the statement “when the G in LGBTQIA+ also stands for Gamer,” which obviously did not go well with social media users around the world.
Several content creators bashed the PSA for further muddling the meaning of LGBTQIA+, a term that many people already have a hard time understanding to begin with. The service has since re-uploaded the video minus the controversial statement.
Twitch put out a video on pride and this was one of the tag lines. People are already confused about what each letter means.
It was deleted pic.twitter.com/1H7FwE8F7G
— iamBrandon (@iamBrandonTV) July 5, 2020
Moving forward, Twitch might want to try running their PSAs through its intended audience a few times before posting them in order to sidestep future fiascos.
Featured image courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/Flickr