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Twitch Punishes White Apex Legends Cosplayer Who Painted Her Face Black (read Staff Post before posting)

Oct 30, 2017
451
#1
https://kotaku.com/twitch-punishes-white-apex-legends-cosplayer-who-painte-1834055934

On Saturday, Karina “Karupups” Martsinkevich was streaming herself preparing her Lifeline cosplay in Twitch’s “Just Chatting” section to roughly 160 viewers. Martsinkevich, who had dyed her hair and put on a white shirt and surgical mask, then applied a dark foundation to her face to mimic Lifeline’s appearance. “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,” Martsinkevich said in an email to Kotaku.

The final result of Martsinkevich’s cosplay is what’s commonly recognized as blackface—when a non-black person attempts to caricature or present as a black person. It originated in the 1800s when white actors used shoe polish or burnt cork, sometimes on top of highlighting their lips or other features, to perform exaggerated and racist stereotypes of black people. Martsinkevich’s stream was taken down before she could finish her cosplay preparation in what constitutes a direct denouncement of blackface on Twitch.

After announcing her apparently 30-day suspension, Martsinkevich posted a YouTube video in which she explained that she was banned for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people.” She went on to contend that she “just wanted to be similar to Lifeline from Apex...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.” The Twitch streamer says that she didn’t mean for her cosplay “to be painful for anyone” and apologized to those who were hurt.
Edit: Whoops, I think I meant to post this on the Gaming forum.

Edit 2: I've seen a lot of comments that she's just trying to make her cosplay more "accurate" or something.

I dunno about that, let's do a comparison (she's on the left)



Mod Edit:
After her ban, Martsinkevich again posted the picture of herself in the cosplay on the Russian social media app VK. She added the caption, “Thank you for the enormous support. Thank you for not leaving me alone in such a situation. So, guys and girls, what do you think about Cosplay?”
 
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Oct 25, 2017
195
#6
It's 2019. Everyone should know by now not to do black face.

After reading the article she isn't American. She may not get the context and why you can't do this. Hopefully now she knows
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,433
Chicago
#8
That headline is just ambiguous enough to have me think “did she put some kind of streaked black strips on her face or something?”

Then I saw her. Fucking hell. I need to stop being so optimistic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,442
#10
God dammit. Why is it so fucking hard to understand. I couldn’t help but laugh loudly when I saw it. Worse her response doesn’t even acknowledge the problem and she keeps calling it a fucking costume.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,002
#15
Jesus fucking christ.
After announcing her apparently 30-day suspension, Martsinkevich posted a YouTube video in which she explained that she was banned for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people.” She went on to contend that she “just wanted to be similar to Lifeline from Apex...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.” The Twitch streamer says that she didn’t mean for her cosplay “to be painful for anyone” and apologized to those who were hurt.
She...

Didn't realize that blackface is offensive?

What?
 
Oct 25, 2017
930
#16
It's 2019. Everyone should know by now not to do black face.

After reading the article she isn't American. She may not get the context and why you can't do this. Hopefully now she knows
Pretty sure some random countries don't find it offensive, yeah. I know thats going to be a weird statement for a primarily westernized board, but still not okay on twitch really.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,460
#18
You don't have to stinking paint your face people! Gamora? Sure, Beast? Ok, but to black face? Come on! People know who you are without the painting of the face.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,806
#20
I mean...the hair and costume is enough to get the point across. I don't get why this keeps happening. Also darkening your skin like that is just a bad look for most folk with Caucasian facial structures.
 
Dec 21, 2017
7,320
#23
I'm convinced that for certain people, if they can't relate to those they're harming whatsoever, they'll never understand and this will always be a thing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,559
#24
Just don't do that. Is it really that hard?
Just cosplay that characters with your normal skincolor
Or, literally do the exact same cosplay without skin tone.

Do anything except blackface.

All things considered, a 30 day ban seems fair. If she's genuinely ignorant of the context, this is a sobering lesson.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,634
#27
You can just say "blackface" in the headline Kotaku. I get that it's there in the body of the article, but say it everywhere.

Twitch's 'community standards' seem so low that I'm honestly shocked they stood up and actioned this. Good on them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,442
#31
Is blackface a thing in Lithuania? I wouldn't know.
I mean, she has google? Do cosplayers go online? Is she isolated from the numerous times cosplayers have been called out for shit like this or worse Halloween costumes which year after year produce stories like this? I mean every Christmas European countries show their ass with zwarte piet and three kings shit, does that never make news out there?
 
Jan 21, 2018
8,984
#32
I don't really understand, why can't you paint your face in black when you are cosplaying a black character for a videogame? Please school me on this.

In The Netherlands we have this whole discussion about blackface, so I guess it's the same problem. But in The Netherlands, 'zwarte piet' has many negative colonial connotations. Is this the same?

Sorry for asking if it's disrespectful.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,184
#34
So legit question... is a white or another person of color just dress up in the garb and not mess with their skin color? I’m all for not offending since I’ve seen some fucking disgusting black face done to purposefully offend... this seems like just straight up ignorance.
 

FancyPants

Banned
Member
Nov 1, 2017
345
#36
Jesus fucking christ.

She...

Didn't realize that blackface is offensive?

What?
You...

Didn't realize that other countries who didn't have a history of minstrel shows to the degree the US did (like her country) might not know what blackface or why it's offensive is?

What?

Cut her some slack. She's been punished and hopefully know not to do it now. If she did it out of ignorance then let's not hang her out to dry for a mistake like this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,804
Germany
#38
You...

Didn't realize that other countries who didn't have a history of minstrel shows to the degree the US did (like her country) might not know what blackface or why it's offensive is?

What?

Cut her some slack. She's been punished and hopefully know not to do it now.
Use fucking Google
 
Oct 29, 2017
9,614
Essex, UK
#39
I don't really understand, why can't you paint your face in black when you are cosplaying a black character for a videogame? Please school me on this.

In The Netherlands we have this whole discussion about blackface, so I guess it's the same problem. But in The Netherlands, 'zwarte piet' has many negative colonial connotations. Is this the same?

Sorry for asking if it's disrespectful.
Never gonna criticise someone for asking a question in good faith as it seems you are. But yeah you basically have it right. Blackface has been an extremely harmful practise in the past that's been pretty much exclusively demeaning to black people, and it's just a huge fucking no-no.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,442
#41
I don't really understand, why can't you paint your face in black when you are cosplaying a black character for a videogame? Please school me on this.

In The Netherlands we have this whole discussion about blackface, so I guess it's the same problem. But in The Netherlands, 'zwarte piet' has many negative colonial connotations. Is this the same?

Sorry for asking if it's disrespectful.
Honestly taking you seriously here, I’m just gonna ask that you sit and think about it. I honestly believe you can figure this out.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,634
#42
More common than you think, especially in Europe and other places outside of North America. I've seen many instances where people in the UK of all places can't grasp what's wrong with it.
As well as the entire leadership of the State of Virginia...

I've actually thought about moving back there at some point, but not while Ralph fucking Northham is at the helm. How he and the other two implicated politicians managed to avoid stepping down is a national disgrace.
 
Jan 21, 2018
8,984
#43
Never gonna criticise someone for asking a question in good faith as it seems you are. But yeah you basically have it right. Blackface has been an extremely harmful practise in the past that's been pretty much exclusively demeaning to black people, and it's just a huge fucking no-no.
Guess the response in this topic says enough. Thanks for your answer.

Do think for many people in (Eastern) European countries this is not something you think about.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,890
#47
You...

Didn't realize that other countries who didn't have a history of minstrel shows to the degree the US did (like her country) might not know what blackface or why it's offensive is?

What?

Cut her some slack. She's been punished and hopefully know not to do it now.
I refuse to believe she doesn't know blackface is wrong. In this day and age that would involve actively not paying attention. She knew and didn't care.
 
Oct 25, 2017
405
#48
Use fucking Google
I'm not really defending her as I believe blackface should be shunned and most people know better. However, why would she google something she doesn't know is offensive in the first place?

With that said, I'm not sure if I believe her. Even if you're from a different country, the internet keeps us all relatively connected and it's far from the first time someone has stupidly done this. Being part of the cosplay community, it seems a bit more unlikely she has never heard anything about this sensitive issue.

Then again, she is from a fairly small and secluded country. Perhaps I'm being too presumptuous.

Edit: Upon reading the article further, it seems she kept posting the pictures to social media. So, even if she didn't know at first, she did after getting banned ... and still chose to keep at it. Disappointing but not surprised.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
2,752
Finland
#49
I mean, she has google? Do cosplayers go online? Is she isolated from the numerous times cosplayers have been called out for shit like this or worse Halloween costumes which year after year produce stories like this? I mean every Christmas European countries show their ass with zwarte piet and three kings shit, does that never make news out there?
Who knows. I think it depends a lot on what kind of places she visits online. I wouldn't really know about the whole blackface thing if it wasn't for Neogaf or Resetera because nowhere else have I personally seen it talked about. It's not really a big ''thing'' in many parts of the world. I don't even know if zwarte piet is a thing in Lithuania. At least in Netherlands the issue is supposedly mainstream nowdays.

I wouldn't know if her apology is genuine either but it def isn't impossible to not be aware of this whole issue or ''debate'' surrounding it.
 

FancyPants

Banned
Member
Nov 1, 2017
345
#50
User Banned (2 Weeks): Excusing blackface over multiple posts, inflammatory false equivalencies, and antagonizing other members
Use fucking Google
She didn't. Obviously. She got punished. Hopefully she learned.

Edit: Americans "refusing to believe" how things are in the other parts of the globe is about as ignorant as what she did. Blackface is pretty much never discussed or learned in many parts of the world (like mine). This is not super unlikely, guys.
 
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