Pokimane Issues Apology for Recent ‘Boyfriend Drama’, Racist Remarks
Imane “Pokimane” Anys released a video apology for recent drama as well as old topics of controversy surrounding her Twitch channel. She did so while she was on a month-long hiatus from creating content, one kicked off as a result of LeafyisHere releasing a video claiming that Pokimane was in a relationship and accusing her of taking advantage of fans by fooling gullible men into supporting her on the basis of her being single.
The video, a nearly 16 minute piece called My Overdue Apology, touches on a number of topics, including DMCA takedowns of other creators’ vidoes that included her images or tweets. The video also touched on the boyfriend drama, and explains exactly why Pokimane does not live her life publicly so far as having her boyfriend be a public figure alongside her, as well as old incidences of using racist language.
Pokimane Apologizes for Past Actions
Pokimane had previously used racist language in a few occasions on her streams, as well as on Twitter – this is something she apologized profusely for in the video.
“Although I never said it with ill intent or racial context or the hard R, I still want to make it clear that I don’t condone the use of that language,” Pokimane said in the apology video. “I don’t want my deletion of those things or my silence now to make it seem otherwise. I’ve commented on this in the past, but honestly, my statement or comments then weren’t even good enough… I just want to make it clear that I am genuinely so sorry if I hurt or offended anybody with what I said. I really wish I could go back in time and change the past. Unfortunately, I can’t. I do hope that my behavior in regards to language for the last couple of years and onward will speak for itself.”
She also apologized for actions taken against the YouTube Channel ItsaGundam, which used a fan’s tongue in cheek tweets about running out of money after donating to Pokemane. She questioned why anyone would sponsor a video like that, and that was something that drew ire from fans, especially during the COVID-19 crisis when any sponsorship should be treated with respect, especially by another creator.
“I want to sincerely apologize to both It’sAGundam and to the sponsor of that video for the remarks and comments I made,” Anys said in the apology video. “I completely understand people’s concern for going after someone else’s livelihood, especially in a time like this.”
Why Pokimane Keeps Her Relationships Private
Later in the video, she directly addresses why she avoids putting her private life out into the open. As it turns out, it’s to avoid situations like the one that happened with LeafyisHere and later Keemstar.
“I personally made the decision seven years ago when I got into streaming that I don’t want my personal life to be part of my content,” Pokimane told her fans in the apology video. “That’s what I’m going to stick by until I, or whoever I’m dating, at whatever time, decides otherwise.”
During the video, Pokimane shared a clip from a video released in February 2019, where Pokimane explained how if she made her dating life public, her fans would swarm her and her partner. This, understandably, could overwhelm any potential suitor, especially if they were looking to troll and criticize them. People also made a bad habit of asking Pokimane for advice.
“In general, relationship stuff is stuff that I don’t like to talk about outright. Even when I’m single, imagine how many people would care. Then, if I got into a relationship, even more people would be invested in what is going on in my relationship. If I had a relationship, I’d want it to just be between me and that person, and not a million people giving their opinion.”
As any public figure who works in esports and gaming knows, the line between your private and public life can become pretty blurred. Public personas and who you are behind closed doors can likely vary very widely. Pokimane says that keeping her work life and personal relationships separate helps keep that boundary healthy and prevents her from burning out. Especially when her career in particular exposes her to millions of eyeballs every month that are all looking to either idolize or criticize Pokimane for her success.
She also went on to say that she doesn’t want her relationship to just feel like another opportunity for content, despite the fact that several YouTubers make a ton of money doing just that.
“For me, this also creates a healthier divide between my work life and my personal life — which is an area where the lines are already pretty blurred. I understand some people want to relate this to donations, but you could also argue one could make a lot of money by publicizing a relationship or making content out of it. Neither of these are wrong… I just personally feel that everyone has a right to privacy. I personally want to experience my relationships without the scrutiny of an online audience.”
Pokimane is currently on a one month hiatus from creating content but wanted to make sure she responded to the recent situations. Even xQc, someone generally seen as fairly toxic in the Twitch community, agreed with Pokimane.
“I’ll actually agree with that,” the former Overwatch pro said. “Okay chat, this is going to be a hot take. This is something I’ve said, not even in anybody’s defense, as a whole: if you have a super out there relationship or whatever, the problem is that no human is perfectly reasonable.People put a lot of pressure on that person and that person brings the concerns back… you let third parties create a wedge in between the people.”
What This Situation Teaches Us
Women in gaming are expected to present themselves to the world in a very certain way, including publicizing all aspects of their lives, so as to stop fans from accusing them of “lying” about their status to their fans. This is messed up for a number of reasons, none the least of which include creating an environment that isn’t encouraging for women to enter, and creates an atmosphere of constant pressure that this new generation of content creators has no training to handle. They aren’t Hollywood stars. They don’t have media training in most cases, and are not prepared to face the constant scrutiny.
Due to this, many women in gaming and online streaming end up having complexes from dealing with abusive men in chat and generally having to put up with situations that they simply would not in other industries.
Nowhere else would your relationship status, beyond being a celebrity, be scrutinized to such a degree. Most women that enter the space don’t expect this to happen – having paparazzi chase you around is a fact of life if you’re an A-list celebrity, but streamers who end up enjoying overnight success are simply not prepared for this level of scrutiny.
We’ve previously covered the pressures of being a female content creator and why they prove the industry still has a lot of growing up to do. We highly recommend reading that to further understand why Pokimane might be feeling the pressure shes does and need to make an apology video.