Twitch has taken down special emote modifiers for Hispanic Heritage Month that were supposed to be a part of the month-long celebration, but “clearly missed the mark” with the designs.
Starting on September 15 through to October 15, Twitch will highlight different Hispanic and LatinX streamers on the front page. Along with the extensive list of content creators to spotlight, the company was also going to include a few emote modifiers so that any channel could rep the month-long celebration.
But the execution of these modifiers fell well-below the community’s expectations for a celebration, with many people saying the attempt was “tone-deaf” in nature by accentuating “Mexican stereotypes.”
To kick off their Hispanic Heritage Month event, Twitch released a blog post that teased three different emote modifiers that would let viewers cash in channel points to dress up existing designs for that channel.
These included images featuring a sombrero, superimposing a pair of maracas, or simply having a guitar in front of the design. These almost immediately sparked contempt among the larger Twitch community and quickly prompted their removal.
“We launched these emote modifiers today as part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month but we clearly missed the mark, and we apologize,” Twitch wrote in response to the backlash. “These were not an appropriate representation of Hispanic and LatinX culture, and we’ve removed them.”
Shortly after premiering the special art, reactions to Twitch’s direction with Hispanic Heritage Month disappointed people, partly, because it was a narrowly focused direction that excluded many it was supposed to celebrate.
“I just, I have so many questions for Twitch,” streamer ‘Detune’ said. “Why are you trying to ‘uplift’ a community with racist stereotypes? And even worse its Mexican stereotypes used to ‘uplift’ every LatinX culture?”
Twitch once again apologizes for a tone deaf message
The lack of awareness and attention to detail is troubling
You allow rampant harrassment and racism on your platform and you keep ‘listening’ yet fumble the ball again on taking action
Its clear you do not care https://t.co/Ud9ACGUFKT
— Parris (@vicious696) September 15, 2020
I just, i have so many questions for Twitch. Why are you trying to "uplift" a community with racist stereotypes? and even worse its Mexican stereotypes used to "uplift" every LatinX culture?
Tip: maybe ask and involve the people you want to uplift before doing stuff like this? https://t.co/jeXDP76gb9
— detune (@xdetune) September 15, 2020
— 🧜🏼♀️ mermaid queen 🧜🏼♀️ (@MerQueenJude) September 15, 2020
Surely there are ways to celebrate an entire swath of the world’s population without being offensive, but clearly this wasn’t it for longtime supporters of the streaming platform.
“I would just like to say Twitch this is crusty,” streamer ‘MerQueenJude’ said. This is not the way to support and uplift your Hispanic and LatinX creators with Mexican stereotypes. In the past 24-48 hours, there have been a lot of poor decisions. But this one stings in a specific way.”