×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Pokimane's Greatest Scandals Explained

Imane "Pokimane" Anys has amassed quite a following for her high-energy gaming streams and ability to enthusiastically gab about pretty much any subject during "Just Chatting" streams. But while the streamer's honesty and devil-may-care attitude is one of the reasons why her diehard fans regularly tune in to her channels, those qualities have also rubbed many folks the wrong way. Pokimane has made some famous enemies over the years, and not always through her own fault.

Advertisement

No streamer is impervious to controversy, and Pokimane's career in content creation has been subject to scandal on more than one occasion. A few incidents have definitely overshadowed the others in terms of how much they upset fans and critics, however. As the streamer embarks on a new phase of her career, leaving Twitch behind for greener pastures, it's hard not to think back on some of the unintentional viral incidents from her first decade-plus of streaming. Here's the tea on some of Pokimane's most controversial streams.

Pokimane said a slur during an early stream

During a 2019 "League of Legends" stream, Pokimane came under fire when viewers thought they'd heard her use a racial slur, when in fact they had misheard her saying the name of the character "Anivia." The ensuing debate caused a clip from a 2013 stream to resurface, during which the streamer very clearly can be heard saying the N-word multiple times to another player. Pokimane's response to the controversy didn't do much to quell fans' anger, unfortunately.

Advertisement

She explained on X (then known as Twitter) that the clip was from when she was underage, near the very beginning of her career. "[The word] was definitely not said in a racist or derogatory manner," claimed Pokimane. "It was a time period/environment where saying it was more common and used as a replacement for 'dude.'" She went on to explain that she never says it in conversation anymore, as she understands that "it's distasteful and looks bad."Β 

Advertisement

At the time, several commenters argued that it didn't matter what her intent was when using the word, as it's extremely taboo and hurtful to an entire people. Some commenters were just as angry about the apparent attempt at self-defense as they were about her use of the word in the first place.

Pokimane accidentally played a dirty movie for her audience

Pokimane has been pretty open about her frustrations with Twitch's content guidelines, particularly in recent years. As she explained on her podcast, "Don't Tell Anyone with Pokimane," she has occasionally felt like Twitch is overly reactionary and can sometimes change its guidelines drastically, without really thinking of all of the consequences. However, there are some cases in which Twitch's Terms of Service are extremely clear, and Pokimane has accepted the consequences of breaking those rules. For example, the streamer received a stern warning from the platform when a viewer tricked her into opening a link to a dirty movie while streaming. The clip quickly went viral, landing Pokimane in hot water.

Advertisement

The streamer made it clear to viewers that she hadn't been banned, but she did post a screenshot of an email she received from Twitch following the incident. "[The] warning is deserved, sorry to anyone who didn't wanna see that on stream," Pokimane tweeted. "I'll be even more careful in the future, but I'm glad it made for a good meme lmao." Some of Pokimane's fellow streamers didn't find the moment to be quite as laughable, pointing out that they'd received much harsher punishments for similar infractions. In the aftermath of this slap on the wrist, many angry streamers and viewers argued that Pokimane should have been banned for this incident, regardless of the fact that she hadn't intended to show that kind of content on her channel.

Advertisement

Pokimane was accused of copystrike abuse

Pokimane drew the ire of Keemstar, PewDiePie, and a great number of Twitch and YouTube viewers back in 2018, when she was accused of misusing YouTube's copyright rules to report a video that criticized her. The drama kicked off when YouTuber Bowblax posted a video covering a then-recent feud between Pokimane and Keemstar over Keemstar's treatment of another streamer's fanbase. Upon seeing Bowblax's video, Pokimane hit the video with a DMCA strike, primarily due to its extensive use of footage from her channel. She also received criticism for threatening to strike a video by Fainted that criticized her. With a growing number of viewers and creators taking issue with what they saw as an abuse of the system, Pokimane uploaded a lengthy video defending her position.

Advertisement

She apologized to Bowblax for taking such drastic action and felt that she'd inadvertently made things worse. However, she also pointed to a growing issue with YouTubers posting out-of-context clips from her channel with misleading titles and thumbnails. She reiterated that she will still go after videos that misrepresent her or repurpose her footage in a malicious manner, but said she might have gone too far in her actions toward Bowblax. "The reupload of the Twitter beef, wasn't transformative content," she reiterated, "so I was able to get it taken down through my [multi-channel network]. But ... trying to hide all that drama, only ended up bringing more attention to it."

Pokimane's 'broke boy' cookie controversy

The words "Pokimane cookie scandal" probably look like AI-generated nonsense to anyone who wasn't chronically online in 2023, but a sweet treat was indeed at the chocolatey center of Pokimane's biggest headache of the year. In November 2023, Pokimane announced a collaboration with Myna Snacks to release Midnight Mini Cookies, a low-calorie dessert selling at a controversial price point of $28 for a four-pack. The cost of these dark chocolate snacks was met with immediate shock and annoyance from the gaming community. The backlash prompted Pokimane to quip during a follow-up stream, "It's four bags. That's ... $7 a bag. I know, I know math is hard when you're an idiot, but like, if you're a broke boy, just say so."

Advertisement

Poki's response infuriated both critics and some of her longtime subscribers, especially as accusations surfaced that claimed Pokimane's cookies were just a knockoff of cheaper preexisting snacks found at Costco. Pokimane has contested this last charge, explaining that her Midnight Minis simply share a manufacturer with Toatzy's Midnight Minis. However, Pokimane apologized for her insensitive comments β€” which were meant as a joke β€” and promised to try and lower the price for this product in the future.

Advertisement

Recommended

Advertisement