YouTuber Darren “IShowSpeed” Watkins Jr. has offered an apology after being accused of racism towards a Chinese soccer fan, but the streaming community isn’t buying it.
IShowSpeed has become one of the most controversial figures in the streaming world. He has seemingly threatened to sexually assault women multiple times, went on a sexist rant while playing Valorant, and promoted a crypto scam to his young fans. Now, IShowSpeed is being accused of racism after a clip went viral of him emphatically yelling a Japanese term at a Chinese man.
The clip sparked a lot of heated discussions on racism towards Asian people as well as some people questioning how many chances IShowSpeed was going to get. IShowSpeed is just 17 years old, and his fans (and Speed himself) have often used his age as an excuse for his ongoing problematic behavior. But many people have started to wonder when enough is enough. Should IShowSpeed have learned what’s appropriate to say and do by now?
IShowSpeed explains what happened at World Cup
After the clip went viral, IShowSpeed decided to share his supposed thought process behind the shocking interaction.
In the original clip, which took place at the World Cup, IShowSpeed was seen stopping a fan in an Argentina jersey in an attempt to heckle him about the team he supports. But when the sports fan seemed confused, IShowSpeed started yelling “Konnichiwa,” a Japanese greeting. The man told IShowSpeed that he’s Chinese, but IShowSpeed just yelled the term louder. He then started mocking the Chinese language.
According to IShowSpeed, however, he wasn’t being racist at all.
In an apology video posted to Twitter, IShowSpeed explained that he allegedly mistook the man for being Japanese and started saying “Konnichiwa” because he watches a lot of anime. But when he learned the man was Chinese, IShowSpeed tried to say a Chinese nickname he’s been called. According to IShowSpeed, Chinese people love him and have given him this nickname as a term of endearment.
“I really didn’t mean it that way. I had adrenaline pumping. I was making content. Ronaldo was playing… I love other races. I really didn’t mean to come off as racist. I don’t know why you guys think I meant that in a racist way. If that did come off any way… If I offended any Asian person out there… I love Asians. I love all. Sorry if it came out that way. I hope you accept my apology,” IShowSpeed said.
Most people on Twitter weren’t having it. A lot of people responded that IShowSpeed had made other racist comments to Asian people in the past. Other people pointed out that IShowSpeed had blatantly said “ching chong” and the like in the original video, not a Chinese nickname.
While some fans in the replies found IShowSpeed’s behavior funny and accepted his apology, many former fans said they could no longer support him after his ongoing behavior. The apology video raised many questions, with some even saying that IShowSpeed shouldn’t assume every Asian person is Japanese due to liking anime and others saying that he can’t apologize for possibly offending people and should instead take responsibility for his behavior either way.