Pokimane blames Twitch audiences for the lack of diversity at the top of the platform.
Pokimane took some time yesterday before playing VALORANT on her Twitch stream to react quickly to the Twitch data that was leaked on top streamer payouts earlier on Oct. 6.
Pokimane spoke on her stream that the alleged highest earners on Twitch, particularly xQc, didn’t surprise her.
“The fact that xQc is at the top makes sense to me,” Poki said. “He is who he is, he streams for a ridiculous amount of time, and he has built such an xQcL community.” He’s like the streaming poster child.”
Pokimane was also questioned in her chat if she believes it’s fair to criticize Twitch for the lack of female and BIPOC recognition among its highest-earning streamers. She stated that it is not Twitch’s mistake because “those numbers are simply a reflection of how many people subscribe to a specific channel… So this has a lot more to do with Twitch’s demographic, i.e. you right now, and which channels you choose to support.”
Poki acknowledged that the topic should be discussed further and that there are many various reasons why viewers choose to support the top Twitch streamers, but that it is partially ingrained in social issues.
“Twitch cannot push people to subscribe to more female streamers, creators of color, or anything else.” Pokimane said, pointing directly at her camera, “That’s on you guys.”
Poki was not even afraid to criticize the entire Twitch community. She questioned her chat why underrepresented groups don’t get as many subscribers on Twitch.
“Of course, there will be misogynistic or sexist issues that come up when you think about that… Poki added, “and obviously racism.” She went on to say that many people in the Twitch community have been “influenced or brainwashed in some capacity.”
Poki wishes that the problem will improve over time, but believes that “the demographic of Twitch also needs to change” in order for more female and other diverse creators to be successful on Twitch. Pokimane, on the other hand, believes that viewers on Twitch, YouTube, and other content creation platforms prefer to watch creators with whom they identify the most.
“So, as long as the majority of the gaming community is white male,” Poki explained, “the majority of the top [earners] will also be white men.”
Poki believes that if people want to see change on Twitch, the gaming community must start changing. Gamers must be more open and accepting and inclusive to people of all backgrounds. Once this occurs, the top Twitch earners will gradually become a more diverse group.
Pokimane addressed Twitch content creation and working in the United States in general after speaking out about the lack of diversity among the top Twitch earners. She believes that people are interested in Twitch streamers’ high incomes because of a sense of curiosity, but also because of envy and national wealth inequality.
“People in the United States deserve a much higher baseline quality of life, and I believe that would lead to a lot less rage and frustration at anyone who makes more,” Poki said. Poki responded to anyone who might be angry about the fact that a streamer can earn millions while others work harder jobs for less pay, saying she didn’t blame them for feeling that way. She did, however, take a moment to explain Twitch from the perspective of a creator.
“Many of your favorite streamers are putting their health and overall well-being on hold in order to maximize the number of hours they stream and the money they make,” she said. She also stated that she is confident that it will cause severe health problems for some streamers in the long run. “We have a really, really unhealthy obsession with numbers.”
Twitch has validated the data breach and is investigating the scope of the leak. Twitch issued the latest update statement about the breach earlier today, explaining that all stream keys had been reset and that “data was exposed to the internet due to an error in a Twitch server configuration change.”