The Twitch KFC emote has caused controversy on the streaming site after it was used by racists to taunt black streamers, with the sponsored image having been co-opted in a negative way and causing the site’s community to question how it was allowed to happen. The KFC emote, which was supposed to encourage users to post it in conjunction with PUBG‘s “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” victory screen, was almost instantly being used as a way of targeting people of color on Twitch, leading to the site removing it.
With the emote having been debuted prior to Twitch and KFC’s co-hosted PUBG tournament, the intentions behind its inclusion were innocent, though streamers have wondered how the site failed to predict it being used to racially abuse the site’s users. Trihex, a black streamer whose face was transformed into the popular ‘TriHard’ emote, which is now used by toxic users whenever a person of color appears on a stream, found himself bombarded with the KFC chicken bucket emote while playing Kirby Star Allies.
During the stream, Trihex calls out Twitch for allowing the emote to receive the green light. “I feel bad for POCs right now on Twitch who can’t look past that,” the streamer said. “Someone’s gotta get it together, man. I’m laughing because I’m like dying inside. Do no black people work at Twitch? What else do I even say to that? That’s my reaction dude. Holy shit.”
Watch the clip below:
Twitch has had a long-standing issue with the use of its emotes, with many of its users co-opting them to mean something infinitely more offensive. The site’s community has also had an unfavorable spotlight shone upon it as a result of the Overwatch League, with pro player xQc having been removed from his team Dallas Fuel after a series of controversial incidents. One such incident involved him spamming the chat with the TriHard emote when OWL presenter Malik Forte appeared onscreen.
The Twitch KFC emote is now no longer available to post on the site, now that the promotional tournament between Twitch and KFC is over. Twitch had previously updated its terms of service in order to encourage streamers to take more control of their audience in an effort to curb toxicity, though the fact that a KFC emote caused such controversy suggests that this is a problem that won’t be solved for a long time.