YouTube’s breakout streamer of the year can finally say he is in the big leagues after he won a Streamy Award — honoring the best in online video and the creators behind it.
Darren Watkins Jr, also known as iShowSpeed, is one of the biggest content creators today, has amassed over 12 million YouTube subscribers. The 17-year-old streamer from Ohio who is making a name for himself presenting sensational and potentially harmful content.
On his streams, he generally plays video games and he has very over-the-top reactions to the games he plays, as well as the people he comes across on the world wide web. When he is on sites like Omegle, an anonymous video chat service primarily made for teens and adults, he can be seen interacting with folks in rather peculiar ways. In the past, he has performed stunts such as lighting fireworks in his bedroom. He has gone to amusement parks and harassed workers. Speed also uses chat room websites like Omegle, where he will try to get strangers to say racist slurs. Speed has also collaborated with other notable content creators such as Adin Ross and Kai Cenat. Speed’s primary base of viewers are children and teenagers. In the summer of 2021, his subscriber count hit over 1 million subscribers. This was a significant increase from 200,000 just two months prior.
His antics on Twitch got him banned from the platform soon after he achieved the million subs. He was flagged for making vulgar and sexist comments on his stream towards a model named Ash Kaash. He also filmed content at a haunted house for Halloween, where Speed was seen barking at the costumed workers and shouting expletives towards them in an effort to be more scary than they were. More recently, Speed has gained traction in the music world. He put out a song as a tribute to the FIFA World Cup and people find it catchy.
What’s obvious about the fame that Speed was able to attain is that it mostly has to do with the outlandish things. He naturally receives attention for doing crazy things on camera. While the world adores Speed for his outgoing nature and willingness to put his reputation and life on the line for his fans, it has to be said that there is nothing more harmful to young viewers than someone who influences them to do mindless things for fun.
Whether it’s doing physically dangerous things like consuming Sprite and bananas in excess or jokingly sexualizing women while a young male audience watches, it’s clear that the content that Speed puts out will always be associated with things that are not deemed acceptable in the real world. It essentially makes him an infamous figure in the realm that he exists within. One can hope that someone as young as Speed can learn to use their influence for good as they grow in real life.