Brad Overbey, AKA Drift0r, is a popular gaming YouTuber with over 1.41 million subscribers and has been on the platform for over a decade.
Starting as early as 2006, his content has mostly revolved around the Call of Duty franchise and several other popular first-person shooter games. Right now, Drift0r is under online pressure as an online mob has been sending video clips of him using racial slurs to his sponsors to get him deplatformed and end his ability to make a living on the platform.
BAD NEWS LONG TWEET:
Somebody has been e-mailing my sponsors links to old videos & sections of videos of me saying the N-word. It also included a section about me pushing a racist ideology on my channel. The goal was to get my sponsors to drop me & deplatform me elsewhere..(1/?)
The clips in question belong to old videos, tracing back to 2012. In these videos, Drift0r uses the n-word – but in a non-derogatory manner.
Drift0r responds to the accusations
Brad Overbey hasn't posted a video addressing the situation yet but, instead, published a long thread of Tweets explaining the circumstances. For starters, he admits saying the n-word multiple times on his old videos, but never in the way of being racist. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Drift0r explains that each time he has said this racial slur, it was always done in the context of criticizing racism, not supporting it.
While it is true that I used the N-word numerous times in numerous videos over the years, it was always done in context of criticizing racism. I grew up in the Mississippi Delta where I was taught that black people were subhuman. After living a few years outside of that…(2/?)
Drift0r denounces the racist environment where he grew up. As someone who has lived in the South of the United States for a great deal of his life, he shared his experiences with racism, like being taught from an early age “that black people were subhuman”.
In his series of videos “Racism in the south” uploaded in 2012 – which consists of two parts of 24 minutes each – he talks about the racist mentality that is still present in some southern states of America. The goal was to expose viewers to these harsh realities and to denounce racism as a whole.
However, Brad Overbey fears that these clips of him talking about the topic and saying the n-word are being used out of context or edited to portrait a different picture of him to the world. With today's Cancel Culture and political correctness landscape, his preoccupation seems sound, as he isn't the first YouTuber that has been targeted by the internet and media for using the same slur.
Although this could be avoided with the censorship of explicit language in his videos, Drift0r indicated that this was a way to soften the content and not give it the importance it deserves.
In his words, he says he was looking to “maximize the emotional impact on the spectators since in general, racism is softened for the consumption of the masses.”
He believes that the media have mostly made racism seem a smaller issue than it is by censoring all racial insults.
The growth of Cancel Culture
Brad Overbey has not been the only internet celebrity to be attacked by broadcasting content with racial slurs. One of the most famous episodes was in 2017 when YouTuber Felix Kjellberg “PewDiePie” used the n-word during a live stream of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
Felix apologized immediately, but the damage was already done. An immense backlash began to eliminate all support for the YouTuber, which resulted in the cancellation of several contracts with companies such as Disney, the elimination of multiple videos by using the DMCA against him, and even a complete show already filmed with multiple famous YouTubers.
Later, PewDiePie would release a video explaining that he was ashamed of his aptitude, saying he has no valid excuses for what he did. Since then, the Cancel Culture (defined as an internet phenomenon where large masses of people collude to expel someone from fame for some questionable action) has been a constant, making both providers and content creators have to be extremely careful with what they allow or say.
…The political climate at the time was different such that context and personal change over time still existed in the social psyche of our nation. With today's cancel culture I fear that these older views will be pulled out of context & edited into some kind of…(6/?)
In the case of Overbey, he explained that when he released the videos in 2012, people were not so susceptible to sensitive issues so he didn't worry about censoring his social criticism video. Anticipating that its content can be taken out of context, Drift0r recorded one of the original videos for which he is being attacked and indicated that he would not remove them from his channel because he wants his entire audience to know the severity of racism in the U.S.