The popular PogChamp Emote has been removed after Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, the man the emote is based on, tweeted out some controversial statements regarding the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol. After hundreds of pro-Trump supporters stormed the building, Gutierrez tweeted:
PS Big Brother Twitter wouldn’t let me post the url so if you don’t think big tech censorship is real, there you go 🤷♂️
— gootecks (@gootecks) January 6, 2021
After Gutierrez encouraged fans to watch the video of the woman who was shot during the riot, many streamers began banning the use of the PogChamp Emote from their streams and requested Twitch to remove it from their platform, with streamer Natasha “Zombaekillz” Zinda leading the charge.
— ZombaeKillz(She/Her) (@ZombaeKillz) January 7, 2021
After pleading with the company, Twitch removed the emote from the website and released the following statement on Twitter and other social media platforms:
We want the sentiment and use of Pog to live on – its meaning is much bigger than the person depicted or image itself– and it has a big place in Twitch culture. However, we can't in good conscience continue to enable use of the image.
— Twitch (@Twitch) January 7, 2021
Gutierrez has been a controversial figure on Twitch, with the streamer being accused of using his platform to spread conspiracy theories. Kotaku noted one incident where Gutierrez said, “why a growing number of people believe that Bill Gates is involved in a covert population-control scheme involving vaccines.”
Additionally, Twitch will “work with the community” in creating a new emote to replace the PogChamp one.