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A Twitch star with more than 190,000 followers was banned for a month after being accused of using a racial slur during a live stream. But Pink Ward is adamant that he didn’t utter the N-word. He says he said “Yikers,” and now he’s frustrated that Twitch is seemingly ignoring him as he tried to overturn the punishment.
“I thought I had a chance at getting unbanned,” Pink Ward tweeted on Monday. “I guess it’s confirmed that context doesn’t matter. In the end Twitch will ban who they want to ban. Thank those of you who’ve helped me and have been on my side through this. [Thirty-]day ban ends next week. Much love, cya then.”
In his stream last month, Pink Ward was gaming when he claimed he said “Yikers.” But soon after, he received an email from Twitch saying he had been suspended for 30 days for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or a group of people.”
Apparently, Twitch officials (as well as some who were watching the stream) believe he used the N-word.
In an unlisted clip posted to YouTube, it’s unclear exactly what Pink Ward said, though it sounds like the letter “G” slips through his lips. Afterward, he expressed confusion. “Grayson said ‘Yikes,’ and I said, ‘Yikers,” Pink Ward said in the clip.
As he wrote in the comments section of his YouTube clip, Pink Ward said, “In this situation, context matters. I was not in the heat of the moment, as many other people have said it during, so what would have made me say it? After four years of being a streamer, I have never made a racist remark. There is no indication that I would say something like that. Explanation of the clip—I kill enemy team, Hecarim calls me a fat pig, I laugh playing it off as him being salty, my duo says ‘Yikes,’ I say ‘Yikers,’ but in a more low tone/drawn out because, honestly, I’m kinda depressed someone called me a fat pig, chat accuses me of saying it a minute later, I tell them I didn’t say it and affirm that I said ‘Yikers,’ then go on with my life. And here we are.”
Pink Ward has spent the past three weeks trying to get his ban overturned. But it sounds like Twitch isn’t giving him any new information.
“I tried to get in contact with a people, but I haven’t gotten an answer,” he tweeted last week. “It seems like I’ll have to wait out the 30 days for the entire situation will be swept under the rug.”
My problem is no communication. My tickets have been changed from open, to closed, reopened them, they were changed to resolved, so I reopened again. I've only gotten one email about it. At this point either the system is automatically closing them, or someone's fucking with me. pic.twitter.com/pVyYChV8Fr— Pink Ward (@Pinkwardlol) June 9, 2019
In April, Twitch star TF Blade was banned for using the N-word, though he was also adamant that he didn’t say it. After a public outcry from his supporters, his ban was cut from 30 days to seven days.
A month before that, Pokimane—the most popular female streamer on the platform—was accused of using a racial slur. She claimed she actually said the word “Anivia,” a character in the League of Legends game.
Twitch did not respond to a Daily Dot request for comment about Pink Ward. Previously, Twitch has said it does not comment on individual accounts and why they are punished. Pink Ward did not immediately respond to a Daily Dot request for comment on Tuesday morning.
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.