Twitch streamer BadBunny sparked debate on social media after hitting out at her viewers for not subscribing and donating, but one fellow streamer has suggested that the controversy is due to sexism.
Streamers can make a living in a variety of ways, but the most steady and reliable income comes from subscribers. Users can pay a small fee each month to support their favorite broadcasters.
However, it's not mandatory, and viewers can watch completely free if they choose, although will be met with ads. BadBunny, a streamer with just under 100,000 followers, lashed out at some viewers for not choosing to subscribe, saying it was "heartbreaking."
A clip of the incident quickly spread on social media, as commenters and other streamers criticized BadBunny for coming across as "entitled." Dr Disrespect, one of the biggest channels on the platform, mocked the incident on stream.
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But, not everyone has been so critical of BadBunny. A smaller channel, Central_Committee, argues that the backlash directed towards her is due to sexism.
"I know it's sexist," he says, "because nobody else gets called out like this. No man gets called out for this. Women get called out for this. It's so blatantly obvious."
"The reason this is getting retweeted and liked so much, is because she's an attractive woman, who didn't act like a nice person." The streamer then claims that this makes "sexually-frustrated incels angry."
However, male streamers have been criticized similarly in the past. In July 2019, GrossGore came under fire after threatening to ban viewers who did not subscribe.
Mike from the Central_Committee channel also directly accused Dr Disrespect of being sexist, when the top streamer made fun of BadBunny's now-viral clip.
BadBunny has not spoken publicly about the reaction to the clip at the time of writing. Although there has been a lot of negative responses, others have also argued that the backlash was overblown.
People are being mega super duper hypocritical of that bad bunny twitch clip. Nowadays streamers ask for subs all the time. Her rant was just garbage but the means are the same. Duffman for example was just ahead of his time. Nowadays its the norm
— Jonathan Tucker (@PacmanJT) January 20, 2020
It is indeed common practice for streamers to encourage their viewers to subscribe, and will use tactics such as 'sub trains' or completing challenges for subs.
BadBunny's clip perhaps drew more attention as she was directly critical of her viewers, accusing them of not respecting her as a content creator.
The viral incident has reignited the debate about what is appropriate for streamers in the pursuit of increasing their income from what is essentially a full-time job for many.
Beyond subscriptions, broadcasters also earn money through direct donations, ad revenue, and sponsorships. However, these revenue streams can fluctuate greatly, meaning subscriptions are typically the marker of success for a channel.