TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After getting in a lot of hot water over a steamy 5-way Jacuzzi party, an American streamer who Taiwanese have grown to love to hate for his antics, has offered an online apology for his actions and has announced that he will be leaving Taiwan to "meditate and think about the next stage in my life."
Wearing a bright orange T-shirt, which looked ironically like an orange prison jumpsuit, Chris James Robb, a 30-year-old American streamer who goes by the online handle "CJayride," issued a contrite video apology on YouTube titled "I am so sorry 我要跟你們說對不起" on Sunday, Jan. 14. In the video, which started in Mandarin and ended in English, Robb first explains that he first came to Taiwan 11 years ago on a study abroad program and enjoyed the country so much that he came back.
For some reason, he then mentions that he worked at Hewlett-Packard when he returned to the U.S. from his studies in Taiwan. However, when he returned to Taiwan in search of work, he said that he struggled to find a niche as he did not want to teach English, so he decided to try video streaming his life in the country as way of making a living.
Robb then tried to explain that his behavior on camera was meant to entertain viewers and that some of his video were "exaggerated to excite viewers," but that he did not have bad intentions. He then apologized for offending everyone and said, "I love Taiwan. I love living in Taipei."
He said that he would not keep coming back if he did not love the country so much and invited his parents to come and visit as well. Robb argued that his broadcasts actually have the positive effect of making more foreign viewers interested in Taiwan and that many of them came to visit Taipei because of his videos.
In response to the Taiwanese media storm over his hot and heavy video in the hot tub, Robb switched to English and said, "Don't draw conclusions from online clips, I have never said that, 'Taiwan girls are easy.'" He then possibly digs the hole deeper for himself when he tries to explain that when users were commenting "EZ" on his video, they were actually typing in a shortcut to display a picture of internet meme Pepe the Frog in sunglasses when using the Twitch video streaming platform.
Screen capture from CJayride YouTube video.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Pepe the Frog was co-opted by white nationalists and the alt-right movement, and has since been removed from certain websites and been disowned by its creator Matt Furie as it has become a symbol of hate. Robb's point is that it has nothing to do with "girls being easy," as was the interpreted meaning by many Taiwanese netizens, and that he has "never called anyone easy," though the association between the character with hate speech and even a recent shooting in Colorado are still problematic.
Robb tries to explain that he and his friends were running the show for fun and and because they enjoyed sharing experiences and culture. He said their intention was "not to ruin Taiwan," and he apologizes to those who many have felt that way.
He again offers an apology to viewers by saying, "I apologize to my community and to everyone that has had to deal with this. I'm sorry I have put you all in this position."
Seeming to choke back tears, Robb concludes that he has decided to take an indefinite break from broadcasting, offers thanks to his fans for their support, and then announces that he will be leaving Taiwan to "meditate and think about the next stage of my life."
On Jan. 7, word started to spread on the Taiwanese online forum PTT that Robb was broadcasting a group bubble bath in a love motel somewhere in Taiwan live on the streaming site Twitch. In the video, titled "'Hot Spring' Love Motel 700 Subs Celebration," two men and three women cavort together in a Jacuzzi while wearing swimsuits.
(Screen capture from Twitch video)
While the participants drink alcohol and chat in Chinese in the video, it becomes apparent that one of the two women wearing bikinis is from Taiwan, while the other is from Hong Kong.
Netizens soon got into a froth of excitement over the bubble bath, with comments by Taiwanese such as "hurry up and take off your underwear," and "This really is too crazy." Meanwhile, some foreign netizens typed "EZ" in the comment box below, which many Taiwanese interpreted to mean the women in the video were promiscuous.
(Screen capture from Twitch video)
The video, which had over 10,000 views, was broken into segments, with one section titled "Taiwanese Girls Want to Eat Foreign Sausage" showing a woman kneeling in front of a man and making suggestive comments.
Woman kneeling in front a man. (Screen capture from Twitch video)
MMA gym owner and online commentator Chen Chih-han (陳之漢) furiously criticized Twitch for not giving a satisfactory response about the video and said he would not work with the online streaming compnay. In an interview with Etoday, Twitch Taiwan representatives said that while they have employees in Taiwan, Robb works through the U.S. headquarters of the company and therefore any punitive measures for his video would be handled by the U.S. branch.
By Jan. 10, the video had been taken down from Twitch and Robb had been banned from the site for three days for the incident. Robb then switched to YouTube to continue his broadcasts.
Screen capture of CJayride flicking a fish ball. (Breaking News Commune)
Last year, Robb was lambasted on the popular message board PTT and the Facebook group Breaking News Commune for a video posted on his Twitch account showing him flicking fish balls on the grass, sticking bamboo skewers in the dirt, and leaving a plastic beverage container at the entrance to an MRT station. He justified the littering by saying, "No litter? What am I supposed to do? There's no trash cans out here."
On June 8 of last year, Robb apologized for littering and accused Taiwanese media of making fake news to defame him in a video.