Twitch Removes Stereotypical Emotes Meant To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

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Twitch Removes Stereotypical Emotes Meant To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Image: Twitch

Earlier today, Twitch announced several initiatives to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month, a 30-day period for celebrating the “histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.” As part of this, Twitch added the ability to customise emotes with accessories from those cultures, but after criticism about stereotypes, Twitch has removed and apologised for them.

“Starting September 15th, you’ll also be able to use Channel Points to customise your favourite emotes,” Twitch’s original copy read. “Use a customised sub emote to show your support for your favourite Hispanic and LatinX streamer.”

The customisations in question included a sombrero, a pair of maracas, and what appeared to be a guitarrón mexicano, an acoustic bass commonly used in mariachi music. Shortly after the blog post went live, social media lit up with criticism, with many calling the decision a “bad look” and decrying Twitch’s simplistic view of the cultures it intended to celebrate. Three hours later, the streaming platform removed the section about emotes from their announcement and offered a public mea culpa.

“We launched these emote modifiers today as part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month but we clearly missed the mark, and we apologise,” the company wrote on Twitter. “These were not an appropriate representation of Hispanic and LatinX culture, and we’ve removed them.”

While Twitch obviously means well by promoting Hispanic and Latinx users on their site, it’s the perfect example of how a vast range of unique cultures can be erased by homogenizing them under a single banner. As the American government continues to inflict untold horrors on immigrants from Central and South America, let’s all do our part to uplift and support these communities — not just in the gaming world, but everywhere.

Comments

    • Latinx is currently included in, at least, both the Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English dictionaries, which makes it indisputably a word.

      Nobody is colonizing anyone’s culture, although let’s be honest, you really have no idea what you’re saying here other than to drop in a phrase you picked up on an alt-right website somewhere for the lols.

      It is true to say that the X is not normally capitalised, as it correctly appears in the Kotaku text, while the other text is a direct quote, in which case the confusion is Twitch’s.

        • Not to mention almost all nouns in Spanish are gendered, Latinx is entirely a US liberal invention and to Spanish speakers it implies their language is inferior to what US Liberals deem appropriate.

          Respect their culture.

        • Nobody is pushing for Latinx. It’s a word, despite your assertion to the contrary. Some people use it, some don’t. Maybe it will become more widely accepted, maybe it won’t, although the trajectory is currently upwards.

          That’s how words work. It’s pretty hard to go from zero to 100% overnight. As the article itself notes, the term Hispanic only dates back to the 1970s yet that’s become fairly widely accepted.

          Latinx is a term that by your own reference 3% of people in the US currently use to describe themselves. Are you saying they shouldn’t? Now whose patronising colonialism are we talking about again?

          Seriously, you have not one shred of interest in defending the rights of people of Latin American heritage in the United States. This is just another opportunity to push back at the great social justice conspiracy working hard to take away your god given right to crack racist jokes.

          • I’m respecting the absolute majority that don’t want to be referred to as latinx by these publications and actually be referred to properly.

            This isn’t some equal amount of people using it. The huge majority of the Latino culture has outright rejected it, as demonstrated by the stats. Yet media outlets and the rest continue to push it against the wishes of the culture they proclaim to respect.

            Its just as mornic as the smoothbrains who use the term “Womxn”

  • Nah, I’d rather deal with my local community’s problems than pay lip service to a bunch of professional whingers on the other side of the world.

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