Blizzard Apologizes for Blackface on South Korean Overwatch Stream

Blizzard Apologizes for Blackface on South Korean Overwatch Stream

"What happened on the official Korean stream was inappropriate."

Blizzard issued an apology after an official Overwatch Twitch Stream from Blizzard Korea went on camera in blackface makeup while trying to cosplay as the Overwatch hero Doomfist.

Kim "Binbon" Jin-Young is a South Korean Overwatch caster and appeared on an official Blizard Twitch stream for an Overwatch livestream event. A presenter then applied makeup on Kim to make him look like Doomfist, including applying makeup to darken his skin which is considered Blackface.

The practice of Blackface comes from a racist tradition where non-black performers would imitate black people, often with racist stereotypes. While it is considered racist, there are still high-profile cases in the United States of Blackface for racist intent.


"What happened on the official Korean stream was inappropriate and clearly not in keeping with the global spirit of Overwatch," a Blizzard representative said in a statement to Dot Esports. "We apologize for the insensitivity, and we are taking measures to ensure that everyone involved in official broadcasts in the region is better aware of the offensive nature of blackface makeup around the world."

Reaction to the original Korean Overwatch segment was met with widespread criticism online. While some argued that the cultural differences and lack of historical context don't necessarily make Kim's makeup racist, that's not the case. South Korea has a recent history of performing in blackface including instances of it in Saturday Night Live Korea, reality shows, and in K-Pop music videos. Anti-black, anti-immigrant racism is a serious issue in South Korea.

Blizzard recently revealed the 29th hero for Overwatch, Ashe. However, Blizzard has come under fire for not yet including a black female hero in its roster, and Overwatch's female characters have been accused of not differing greatly in terms of appearance.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Related articles

Cuphead's Delicious Last Course Pushed Back Until It's Ready

The final sip will need to steep a while longer.

Super Mario Maker Support on Wii U is Coming to an End Next Year

That means it'll also be removed from the eShop soon.

Microsoft Is Working to "Identify and Resolve" Performance Issues in Xbox Series X Games

A Microsoft spokesperson says that developers are "just now scratching the surface" of what the new Xbox consoles can do.

Metro Exodus Is Getting a Next-Gen Version Next Year

4A Games is also working on the next Metro and exploring potential for multiplayer.

You may also like

Sony Promises More PS5 Supply for Holidays After Record-Breaking Launch

Despite the widespread e-commerce woes, the PS5 had the biggest console debut ever.

Marvel's Avengers Has Yet to Make Back Its Development Costs

Square Enix is saying it will continue pushing toward making the game profitable, however.

Baldur's Gate 3's Next Update Will Have Its First Story Changes

Be sure to read the fine print about your saves, though.

Red Dead Online Will Launch as a Separate Game Next Month

It'll be pretty cheap at launch, too.