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The truth behind Pokimane's overdue apology

Two weeks ago, Pokimane announced her intention to take an extended break from streaming. Yesterday, she came back a little sooner than expected and posted an apology video on her YouTube channel. At the top of the video, Pokimane greeted her fans and said that she felt this apology was "long overdue." She explained that there have been several issues over the last couple of years, including a few feuds, that she wanted to explain to her viewers. 

The first (and possibly most substantial) topic that Pokimane wanted to address was the controversy that surrounded her takedowns of other YouTuber's videos. This whole debacle began in late 2018 after Keemstar posted a video making fun of content creators' Halloween costumes. Keemstar also got into it with some of those creators' fans, which led to a back and forth feud between Poki and Keemstar.

This feud was documented by YouTuber BowBlax, who essentially put all of the tweets in one video. At the time, Pokimane was advised to have try to have these videos taken down. Not wanting the feud to grow any bigger, she followed that advice and had the video taken down. She said that she probably wouldn't have done something like this now, but at the time, she didn't quite understand how fair use protections worked.

This led to a controversy surrounding Pokimane copy-striking videos. Even PewDiePie got in on the feud, which led to further stress for Pokimane in the long run. According to Pokimane, she reached out to Bowblax in private regarding the issues, but she feels her apologies at the time weren't good enough. 

On the same token, she has taken issue with inappropriate cases of people re-uploading her content. She referenced an incident in which she saw that a viewer had reposted videos of her stream with sexually suggestive or otherwise offensive titles, but had otherwise left the videos untouched. To her, this constitutes as misleading the audience and using her content inappropriately, which is why she also had some of those videos pulled. 

Unfortunately, Poki explained that this led to a narrative where people thought she simply censored anyone who said anything negative about her. Pokimane said this isn't the case, though she does regret the way that she handled these particular cases. 

Pokimane reiterated, "I just want to make it really clear that I fully support transformative content." In other words, it's fine if a content creator takes footage of Pokimane and uses it in a critical manner. Where it becomes a problem for her is when her content is simply re-posted by someone else trying to either profit from it or to mislead fans.

The second issue Pokimane touched on was a more recent feud with YouTuber ItsAGundam. According to Pokimane, "I made some remarks I shouldn't have, and that I'm very sorry for." 

She then provided a bit of context for the situation. ItsAGundam had posted a video making fun of the physical appearance of a few of Pokimane's fans, the streamer did not respond too kindly. In fact, she even had some choice remarks at the time for ItsAGundam's sponsors, which rubbed some people the wrong way. While she acknowledged that some parts of the video were jokes, she took issue with ItsAGundam making fun of her actual fans. 

"I've been mocked countless times for my appearance, but I understand that's part of putting myself out there on the internet," said Pokimane. "it just felt so unfair to see that happen to an innocent fan who ... had nothing to do with the situation, and in my opinion, just didn't deserve it."

Despite her feelings on the subject, she apologized for going after ItsAGundam's sponsors. Pokimane said that if she has criticisms in the future, they'll be directed at the content of the video, not the companies sponsoring it. 

The final topic that Pokimane wanted to discuss was her past usage of inappropriate and offensive language. In particular, she wanted to address a clip that has circulated online of her saying the n-word. This very thing has recently resulted in bans for streamers and esports players such as FaZe Dubs, so it makes sense that Pokimane would want to address it. 

She apologized for using that word in the past. She explained that even though she never meant the word to be used "with ill intent," that didn't make it okay. "I've commented on this in the past, but honestly, my statements and comments then weren't even good enough," said Pokimane.

That last comment could probably be seen as the perfect encapsulation of this apology video in general. While Pokimane has weighed in on these issues in the past, it seems that she felt she didn't do a good enough job of clearing the air. It appears as though taking a break from streaming may have put many things in perspective for Pokimane. Hopefully this will be seen as a positive thing for both her fans and detractors alike. 

It should be noted that Bowblax has since accepted Pokimane's video apology via Twitter, so maybe things in the world of Pokimane are taking a turn for the better.