White Twitch user booted off streaming site for cosplaying in blackface

A white Twitch user from Lithuania got booted off the video game streaming platform after she tried cosplaying — live — in blackface.

The young woman, Karina “Karupups” Martsinkevich, was portraying a fictional character known as Lifeline from the popular battle royale game “Apex Legends,” according to Kotaku.

She told the website that she was conducting a live makeup tutorial on Saturday, which saw her apply dark foundation to her face in an attempt to look “similar” to Lifeline.

“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,” Martisinkevich explained in an email.

The idea got her kicked off Twitch for 30 days, with developers claiming that she engaged “in hateful conduct against a person or group of people.” She later posted a picture of her outfit on social media.

“So, guys and girls, what do you think about Cosplay?” Martsinkevich asked.

The Lithuanian gamer tried explaining herself in a YouTube video on Sunday, saying she didn’t mean “to be painful for anyone.”

“I really wanted to be the same as she is,” Martsinkevich said, in reference to Lifeline. “It wasn’t meant to have [sic] a joke of anyone. It was just a cosplay, guys, for my favorite legend from a computer game.”

According to Kotaku, blackface has been a longstanding problem in the cosplay community, but so has “whiteface.” A number of black cosplayers spoke to the video game site about the issue in 2016, alleging that they had received pushback and gotten criticized for dressing up as white or light-skinned characters.

“It’s a lot of internal back and forth,” said one person.

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