Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has come out in support of GTA RPer Penta after he was accused of “digital blackface” by using his character Mike Block on the NoPixel server.
Having received multiple bans from the GTA RP NoPixel server, xQc is no stranger to controversy. In fact, some of this controversy has involved popular streamer Penta, who in May criticized the Canadian’s “attack dog” follower base.
But this time, it is Penta who is in the limelight, as the Twitch streamer has been slammed by a fellow RPer for using a black character, Mike Block, despite Penta himself being white.
On his June 11 GTA stream, Penta got into a feud with fellow roleplayer Adam ‘adamvision’ Nickerson, which resulted in Penta shooting him dead. Afterwards, Nickerson proceeded to repeatedly tell Penta the “makeup” was “fading off”, referencing the traditional use of blackface.
Nickerson then tweeted a follow-up statement, where he doubled down on his criticism of Penta. “Tonight’s stream got heated and I said things that will likely be torn apart for more drama,” he said.
“In summary; I think digital blackface is blackface. I think it’s inappropriate, harmful and distasteful. If you think otherwise, please don’t follow or support me.”
Hey Folks. Tonight's stream got heated and I said things that will likely be torn apart for more drama.
In summary; I think digital blackface IS blackface. I think it's inappropriate, harmful and distasteful. If you think otherwise please don't follow or support me.
— Adam Nickerson (@theadamvision) June 12, 2021
But Penta disagreed, and accused Nickerson of being a “living, breathing reddit comment”. He added: “It’s a situation where people are so used to playing themselves in RP that they think everyone needs to do that.”
xQc defends Penta in GTA RP controversy
xQc later came out in support of Penta, and explained why he thinks roleplayers should be allowed to play characters of almost any identity.
“You shouldn’t bottleneck what people can roleplay,” he said. “There some things that are a little more touchy, a little bit far out, but if you start gatekeeping what people can roleplay, then people will end up only being able to roleplay themselves.
“It’s not blackface. The character, the backstory, the skeleton of the whole roleplay, it’s a black character. End of story. You wanting to add more characteristics to pull off your result: No. You’re not going to achieve that goal.”
xQc then explained why he believes Nickerson’s viewpoint could have undesirable long-term impacts. He added: “What if you’re not religious and you go and roleplay a priest at a local church, or whatever?
“These things are meant to be fun, they’re chill. I don’t think anybody’s hurt, I don’t think anybody’s pushing hardcore bad stereotypes at all.
“Don’t push the race card around things where it’s not an issue. When it comes to marginalized people, yeah, you have to be careful, but fight the things that cause harm, not the things that are actually good.”
Penta has reported the incident to the NoPixel admins, but there has not been a response at the time of writing.