So, what’s the deal with streamers-slash-video people and racism? First JonTron and Pewdiepie got reamed for being aggressive weirdos (to make a couple of extremely longs stories short, then Pewds just straight-up said the n-word on a livestream. Then Dr. Disrespect (Trending Gamer 2017, I would remind you) and the whole making fun of Asian people thing happened. Now, Ninja, an ostensibly respectable Fortnite streamer, accidentally dropped the n-bomb while ad-libbing along to a rap song.
Maybe the last thing wasn’t as bad as everything before it, and I’m sure I’m missing an event or two or several in this brief timeline, but the question remains. Why are we giving so much slack to these doofuses who apparently have no sense of self control?
I’ll give credit where credit is due. Ninja owned up to what he did, although it was weird that his excuse was getting tongue-tied trying to keep up with the words in a rap song. The lyric didn’t even use the n-word, so it’s hard to put two and two together there. But he owned up to it, and said something interesting in that he understands the gravity of the word and why it hurts people when someone like him (a white dude) says it. This one will likely blow over a lot better than the others in terms of the guy’s long-term reputation.
But like, here’s the thing that really gets to me in these situations. These… moments of weakness, often described as mistakes, or “slip-ups.” We all know what that means right? Someone says these words and gets caught, then says things like, “this isn’t me,” or “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.” That’s a load of baloney, frankly. If you use these words, these words that have no useful modern context other than to wound, even if you don’t normally use them when you’re on stream, it means they’re a part of your vocabulary to some degree. I’m sorry but that’s absolutely true, if you use a word in a “heated gaming moment,” it’s a part of your damn lexicon.
It’s just weird that it keeps happening – like how in the world does a person aspire to be a content creator, become popular, see this sort of thing happen to other people and not strive to be better? Sure, none of these folks are particularly less popular or successful now. Pewdiepie lost his Disney deal, Logan Paul lost some YouTube cash and I’m pretty sure Dr. Disrespect and JonTron’s fanbases are just, fine with it. But they’re all still relevant and making money regardless. But they’re all compromised now, and could be doing a lot better if they weren’t appealing mostly to unaware children and Gamergate types.
I guess I’m just bummed out, really! I wish we could be better, as content creators, and as gamers. We all get so caught up in arguing about what is and isn’t offensive, and about the act of being offended itself. But we don’t consider how easy it really is to just chill out and be considerate about the way we speak. I wish communities like YouTube and Twitch would be more open to being nice to people, instead of being so adamant about edge, of being able to say what you want, then give a half-assed apology after you eventually go too far and people call you out. It would save us all headaches, you know?