To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month between September 15 and October 15, Twitch announced a number of different initiatives, including putting a different Hispanic streamer on the front page every day, and a virtual summit by the nonprofit Latinx in Gaming.
In order to help spread support to Twitch chats, this effort also included customisations for emotes, purchasable for Channel Points. The customisations presented in the original announcement included a sombrero, a pair of maracas, and a guitar in an effort to depict a guitarrón mexicano, which actually isn’t a guitar but a traditional Mexican six-stringed acoustic bass.
After widespread criticism on social media over equaling Hispanic culture with one nation and using stereotypical images to do so, Twitch removed mention of the emotes from the original post and all other social media announcements, before publicly apologising for “clearly missing the mark”.
We launched these emote modifiers today as part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month but we clearly missed the mark, and we apologize. These were not an appropriate representation of Hispanic and LatinX culture, and we’ve removed them.September 15, 2020
This comes after Twitch released a video in support of Black Lives Matter overwhelmingly featuring white streamers, and introducing plans to test mid-roll ads that can’t be influenced by streamers in any way. It’s fair to say it’s been an eventful few days for Twitch, and there are many learning opportunities here regarding several topics that pulling announcements and content and pretending it never happened can’t cover.