Twitch issued a temporary ban on one of its users after they used blackface makeup to cosplay an Apex Legends character.
Karina Martsinkevich, aka ‘Karupups’, was doing a live stream to around 100-200 Twitch users on the video platform on Saturday (April 14), where she used the ‘Just Chatting’ feature, meant for more casual streaming sessions, as she transformed herself into the character Lifeline.
The Lithuanian streamer donned Lifeline’s signature outfit, with a tank top, surgical mask, gloves and bandanna, even dying her hair red for the cosplay.
However, she then started to apply dark foundation to her face in an attempt to mimic the character’s skin colour.
Comicbook report Twitch ended the stream before Martsinkevich had finished, as they have a policy which prohibits the use of blackface.
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) April 16, 2019
The site hasn’t commented on the issue, but they banned Martsinkevich’s account for 30 days.
The streamer spoke out about her ban in a YouTube video, where she admitted she wasn’t aware of the issue surrounding blackface, and never meant to make fun of, or hurt anyone.
You can watch it below:
The reason of the ban is ‘engaging in hateful conducts against a person or group of people’.
On my previous stream I was cosplaying Lifeline from the Apex Legends game. I really wanted to be the same as she is, so I decided to colour my hair, to do a costume and to wear makeup; I decided to change my skin colour to a darker one.
I made a mistake because I didn’t have enough information… my cosplay wasn’t meant to be painful for anyone.
This is a very huge misunderstanding.
Speaking to Kotaku, she explained why she decided to do cosplay in the first place, saying:
On my stream, I wanted to show the viewers how hard is to prepare for a cosplay, how much time the make up, costume and another details can take.
Despite apologising for her use of blackface, Kotaku report Martsinkevich still shared a picture of herself in the cosplay outfit on the Russian social media app VK, even after the makeup caused her Twitch ban.
Lithuanian Twitch streamer Karina ‘Karupups’ Martsinkevich caught flak for her cosplay of Apex Legends’ Lifeline – the cosplayer’s ensemble included a generous heaping of blackface makeup, which she applied during a live broadcast in mid-April.#vicaption #twitch #twitchstreamer pic.twitter.com/WlT6iHAWZi
— Vicaption (@vicaption) April 15, 2019
The caption reportedly read:
Thank you for the enormous support. Thank you for not leaving me alone in such a situation. So, guys and girls, what do you think about Cosplay?
Some of the streamer’s followers have stuck up for her, claiming as a Lithuanian she’s far removed from the history of blackface and therefore wouldn’t know why it was inappropriate.
However, hopefully the Twitch ban will serve to educate Martsinkevich about why it’s offensive, and prevent any future use of blackface.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.