Lithuanian streamer Karina “Karupups” Martsinkevich has been temporarily banned from Twitch following cosplaying as Apex Legend’s Lifeline and using blackface makeup.
As reported by Kotaku, Martsinkevich was streaming herself preparing her Lifeline cosplay in Twitch’s “Just Chatting” section when, after she dyed her hair and dressed to mimic the Apex Legends character, she applied a dark foundation to her face that caused Twitch to take the stream down even before she could finish her cosplay prep.
Martsinkevich took to YouTube to announce her 30-day suspension and explain that she was banned for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people.” However, she claims she “just wanted to be similar to Lifeline from Apex…it wasn’t meant to have [sic] a joke of anyone. It was just a cosplay, guys, for my favorite legend from a computer game.”
She said she didn’t mean for her cosplay “to be painful for anyone” and apologized to anyone she may have offended during her stream.
While the intent may not have been malicious, it none-the-less invoked the terrible history of blackface – which has been used since the 1800s by white actors with “shoe polish or burnt cork, sometimes on top of highlighting their lips or other features, to perform exaggerated and racist stereotypes of black people.”
This is unfortunately not the first incident regarding the widely looked down upon blackface in the cosplay community, as Kotaku also brings up examples of others getting in similar trouble for portraying Overwatch’s Sombra and Michonne from The Walking Dead.
Following her ban, Martsinkevich took to Russian social media app VK and posted once again her picture in cosplay, saying “Thank you for the enormous support. Thank you for not leaving me alone in such a situation. So, guys and girls, what do you think about Cosplay?”
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who strongly believes and agrees this has no place in the cosplay community. You can follow him in Twitter @AdamBankhurst.
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