Popular Twitch streamer Kai Cenat spoke out against the fans who caused violence and destruction at a giveaway he hosted in New York City last Friday.
Also a YouTuber, Cenat is the most subscribed Twitch live-streamer of all time and was named "Streamer of the Year" at the 12th Streamy Awards and the 2023 Streamer Awards.
On August 4, he held a giveaway of PlayStation 5 consoles in New York's Union Square that was attended by more than 6,000 people. Many of them were teenagers.
The gathering devolved into chaos as the crowd began throwing things, destroying property, and getting into fistfights with one another.
Chief of Police Jeffrey Maddrey said at a briefing that the NYPD arrested at least 65 people, including 30 juveniles at the "unpermitted" and "not sanctioned" event.
"We're not against young people having a good time, we're not against young people gathering, but it can't be to this level where it's dangerous."
"A lot of people got hurt today."
Nine people suffered injuries, three of whom were police officers.
Cenat was taken into custody and charged with inciting a riot and unlawful assembly. He was released the next day.
Here is a post showing several scenes from the riot.
On Wednesday, a 'beyond disappointed' Cenat addressed the incident and told subscribers:
"If you're in a big position, you can agree that wherever you come from you want to give back to the community and you want to do nice things."
"But after Friday, I've come to realize the amount of not only power but influence that I have on people."
"I am beyond disappointed in anybody who became disruptive that day."
"None of that is cool."
"I wanna let people know that none of that was my intention. I had good intentions for this whole thing."
"I don’t condone any of the things that went on that day."
You can watch Cenat's message to fans below:
Cenat also addressed the media and insisted that, while he could deal with the press, they should leave his family out of the controversy.
"[There’s] no reason why you’re showing up to my mum’s house. I can handle it, whatever you want to say about me."
"I just don’t want you to be going to my mum’s house, she doesn’t even live in New York,."
"I’m gonna have to chill for a bit," he added.
"You’re not gonna be seeing me for a bit, but it ain’t gonna be nothing long. I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do."
People shared their thoughts after Cenat's message to his followers.
Some thought Cenat should have known better.
Cenat is scheduled to appear in court on August 18.
An NYPD investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Friday's mayhem sparked a discussion about the power influencers have.
While New York City Mayor Eric Adams thanked the NYPD during a press briefing for their "quick work" in de-escalating the chaos, he added that "children cannot be raised by social media."