Twitch has announced an upcoming holiday of sorts dedicated to celebrating diversity, with TwitchUnity featuring a variety of prominent streamers discussing diversity with their viewers in an effort to “exemplify a popular culture.”
The event, which will take place on May 26, will see Twitch selling shirts featuring TwitchUnity’s official logo — a pair of hands forming the shape of a heart — with all proceeds going to the charity Amnesty International. There will also be donations made during a dance-a-thon hosted by Just Dance pro LittleSiha.
Twitch’s celebration of diversity comes during a particularly intense time period for online video creators, with YouTube’s continuing “Adpocalypse” throwing the future of earning a living on the site into question. The Adpocalypse began as a result of an advertiser walkout, with major brands from Pepsi through to McDonald’s boycotting the video-sharing site as a result of the derogatory content it housed. In efforts to become more ad-friendly, YouTube rolled out a series of changes that impacted the vast majority of the site’s top earners, demonetizing videos featuring content believed to be off-putting to advertisers, with owners of the site’s most subscribed channels stating that their earnings had declined considerably as a result.
However, despite YouTube’s methods for appealing to advertisers being unarguably heavy-handed, a number of controversies surrounding some of its biggest stars have placed an unwanted focus on the site. Back in February, an ill-advised anti-Semitic joke made by Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg became the subject of a highly publicised article from the Wall Street Journal, leading to Disney’s production company Maker Studios dropping him from their roster of content creators. The next month Jon “JonTron” Jafari appeared in a YouTube debate video in which he ignorantly and erroneously claimed that “wealthy blacks commit more crime than poor whites,” along with stating that he agrees with halting the progression of the US in order to keep its “racial identity,” with this “identity” being white people.
Most recently, YouTuber Mike “DaddyOFive” Martin was in the news after his channel was hit with child abuse allegations, as footage of him and his wife tormenting their children in a series of disturbing “prank” videos were placed in the spotlight. Two of the children featured in Martin’s videos were later placed in the emergency custody of their birth mother following a police investigation.
While YouTube has been attempting to tidy up its act at the expense of its creators, many are actively seeking alternatives to the site that will allow them to create video content for money. Twitch is the most viable option outside of the Google-owned site, and in the wake of YouTube’s advertiser issues it launched a new subscription model, which allows its streamers to earn more money on the platform. Now the site is championing diversity and inclusivity, which runs in direct contrast with the various controversies stemming from YouTube in recent months, once again casting Twitch in a far more positive light than its competitor.
Streamers scheduled to appear in videos celebrating TwitchUnity include 8BitDylan, AdamKoebel, animatedbreak, AnneMunition, BanzaiBaby, Bluejay, DeafGamersTV, DistractedElf, DjTechlive, ElleBee_, Fats, KayPikeFashion, Lil_Lexi, OddishPlaysGames, okaydrian, SeriouslyClara, and snowlit. Conversation prompts offered by Twitch include why it’s important to feel welcome on Twitch and why diversity is important.
Take a look at the video announcing the “holiday” below: