KFC emote leads to more racist toxicity on Twitch

KFC emote leads to more racist toxicity on Twitch

A new KFC emote has become embroiled in yet another racism controversy on Twitch.

The new chicken emote was created in conjunction with a promotion on a number of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds streams. The game famously declares “winner winner chicken dinner” upon victory, meaning a KFC promotion was a fairly natural tie-in.

Users were encouraged to post the emote on channels including Sacriel, Sequisha, Anthony Kongphan and Dr Lupo in the hope of winning a KFC voucher.

However, shortly after the emote was introduced it started to appear alongside the Trihard emote, which users have a habit of spamming anytime people of colour appear on stream. In fact, this was one of the acts committed by Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel prior to his suspension from the Overwatch League.

Indeed, streamer Trihex – who is the face used in the Trihard emote – reacted with incredulity when he learned of the emote’s existence.

“Twitch! Oh my god dude,” he said on stream. “I feel bad for POC’s right now on Twitch who can’t look past that. Come on. Someone’s got to get it together, man. I’m laughing because I’m dying inside. Do, like, no black people work at Twitch? Clip that if you want to but my reaction here is ‘holy shit, dude’.”


Some streamers with notoriously problematic communities, such as Forsen, simply banned the emote pre-emptively.

However, as ill-judged as the emote may or may not have been, the larger question really is how such a racially charged culture was ever allowed to have become so embedded on Twitch in the first place.

xQc argued that he was at least partially not to blame for his conduct online as he was “born and raised on Twitch”, on which the use of emotes to evoke racism is part and parcel of everyday life. “I wish someone just said something,” he said at the time, suggesting that – for him, and others – there was no reason to think that such behaviour was unacceptable.

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