Last year, Hasan “Hasanabi” Piker was temporarily banned from the Amazon-owned streaming platform, Twitch, for having the audacity to say “cracker” full-throated while broadcasting to an audience of 2.3 million followers. Last week, everyone’s favourite tiny-headed socialist streamer finally received a pass to say the no-no word from Wheat Thins.
Last Friday, Piker received a cryptic tweet from Wheat Thins’ official account saying it delivered a package outside of his house in West Hollywood. Hasan, taken aback by how a brand would know his address (apparently they got it from his agent), initially didn’t take kindly to the ominous Tweet. But the streamer put on a brave face and did an unboxing of Wheat Thins’ mysterious parcel on his stream. While his chat rattled off variations of jokes that Wheat Thins had mailed him a sundried tomato and basil flavour-themed bomb, it turns out the whole grain cracker brand brought good tithings. In addition to receiving boxes of the reduced-fat snack, Wheat Thins gave the streamer a plaque granting him a pass to say cracker anytime he wants.
“This is legit. I can say it,” Piker told his chat. “Twitch, I can fucking say it. I can call someone the C-word and you cannot ban me. Do you understand? I have the cracker pass.”
As Hasan quickly discovered last year, saying the slang word for trifling-arse white brethren classifies as a violation of Twitch’s community guidelines against hate speech. Twitch’s pearl-clutching and subsequent banning of Hasan for a total of one week, three minutes, and 49 seconds rang especially hollow considering Twitch streamers — notably queer streamers and streamers of colour — started the #TwitchDoBetter movement that same year. The purpose of said campaign was to get Twitch to address the rampant harassment campaigns, follow-botting, and charged “hate raids” streamers faced on the platform. To Twitch’s credit, it would later address actual racism on its site by suing two anonymous individuals believed to be leaders in the ongoing hate raids but, let’s be honest, Hasan getting banned for saying cracker was ridiculous on Twitch’s part.
One can only assume that Wheat Thins’ C-word pass works similarly to the parody N-word pass subscription service from Canadian streamer WoolieVersus: some lucky lily-skinned user has the opportunity to sing along to their favourite Kendrick Lamar song without fear of catching a fade. Product viability may vary. I’m not sure how many chart-topping tunes use the naughty streamer word, so the Wheat Thins pass has a very different use-case. It’s not every day that one of the world’s biggest cracker distributors gives you the go-ahead to say Black folks’ tried and true noun for racist white people, so use your pass responsibly, Hasan. Congrats on your everything.
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