Twitch add-on Better Twitch TV (BTTV) has removed and replaced the ‘ZULUL’ emote, as some have labeled it “racist” and an imitation of blackface.
Better Twitch TV is a browser extension used widely by Twitch users, as it provides more emotes than those available on the platform officially.
It’s endorsed many streamers, who allow BTTV emotes to be used in their chat, as well as even creating custom channel emotes through the service.
BTTV, which is run by NightDev, who are also responsible for Nightbot (the most popular automod on Twitch), removed one particular emote on February 16 though.
What is ZULUL?
ZULUL is a variation of the Twitch global emote LUL. The base emote depicts the late John ‘TotalBiscuit’ Bain, who passed away in 2018.
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ZULUL took this same emote, but made the skin darker. For obvious reasons, this was viewed as problematic by some, not only because of how the emote was used, but it was also essentially an emote in blackface.
However, others argued that it was a harmless joke, and were surprised when the emote was suddenly removed.
Thank god. I hate this emote. A black guy makes a joke on stream and chat spams ZULUL. Same with any sort of rap song, people just spam TriDance
— JaydΞn (@JaydenPLive) February 16, 2021
New ZULUL emote
Shortly after the previous version was removed, a user named Triikos uploaded a new version of ZULUL. The new version comes from the “Pastor LuL” meme that was very popular in around 2017.
It was particularly popular in the chat of Sebastian ‘Forsen’ Fors. This version has now replaced ZULUL in many channels. It remains to be seen if BTTV will allow this version to continue.
After Twitch removed the PogChamp emote, NightDev stated that “in general BetterTTV has never removed emotes due to controversies, and likely won’t as a result of this behavior. users have the ability of choice on our platform.”
Dexerto has reached out to NightDev for comment.