Etika

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Etika
Etika in 2019 - 2.jpg
Amofah in May 2019
Born
Desmond Daniel Amofah

(1990-05-12)May 12, 1990
Diedc. (2019-06-19)June 19, 2019 (aged 29)
Cause of deathSuicide by drowning
NationalityAmerican
Other names
  • Iceman
  • Young Ramsay
Occupation
Years active2011–2015 (model)
2012–2019 (YouTuber)
Height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)[1]
Parent(s)
YouTube information
Channels
Years active2012–2019
Genre
Subscribers1.3 million (combined)
Total views145 million (combined)
Catchphrase(s)
  • "What's going on, guys? Etika, from the Etika World Network here."[2]
  • "Take care of yourselves, and of course, as usual, please have yourself a damn good one."
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2015[a]

Updated: 29 September 2020
Websiteetikaworldnetwork.com

Desmond Daniel Amofah (May 12, 1990 – c. June 19, 2019), better known by his online alias Etika, was an American YouTuber, streamer, and model. Amofah was best known for his over-the-top reactions to Nintendo Direct presentations.

Following several months that involved Amofah exhibiting signs of mental illness, as well as threatening suicide on multiple occasions, he disappeared on the evening of June 19, 2019, after uploading an apologetic video in which he admitted to being mentally ill and suicidal. Amofah's body was discovered in the East River on June 24 by the New York City Police Department; he was believed to have jumped from the Manhattan Bridge. On June 26, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined that Amofah died by suicide by drowning.[5]

Early life[edit]

Desmond Daniel Amofah was born on May 12, 1990,[6] in Brooklyn, New York, to father Owuraku Amofah, a Ghanaian politician and lawyer from Kibi, Ghana,[7] and mother Sabrina Amofah. Owuraku served as a member of the Parliament of Ghana for Abuakwa Central constituency from 1992 to 1996. Owuraku's father's relative (addressed by him as "uncle") Nana Akufo-Addo, of the prominent Ghanaian Ofori-Atta family,[8] became President of Ghana in January 2017.[9][10] Amofah had several siblings, including an older brother, Randy Amofah, who died on October 31, 2010 from an asthma attack.[11][12]

Career[edit]

Modeling, streaming and YouTube career[edit]

Prior to the Etika branding, Amofah was active in modeling and rapping, having released an independently produced mixtape titled Written in Ice in 2007 under his pseudonym "Iceman".[13] He started modeling in 2011 and continued until 2015.[14] Amofah stated in a tweet that the name Etika came from the 2003 video game Sonic Battle, of which he was a fan of in his youth. In the game, players could input a cheat code titled "EkiTa", and when Amofah was 12, he simply switched the T and the K to create his username as he "liked that result better."[15] He started using YouTube to broadcast his gaming and reaction streams in 2012 under his original username "EWNetwork" (meaning "Etika World Network"). It was originally planned for the channel's content to be produced collaboratively by a variety of users including Amofah himself, but such plans never materialized.[16] Prior to the closure of his main channel on YouTube in 2018, he had more than 800,000 subscribers between his YouTube and Twitch channels, and within months after creating a second YouTube channel, known as "EtikaFRFX", he had gained more than 130,000 subscribers.[17][18]

Amofah's content was typically Nintendo-focused.[19] He frequently streamed reactions, often over-the-top, to Nintendo Direct presentations, which usually involved him screaming and falling out of his chair in elated shock.[20] He dubbed his fans the "Joy-Con Boyz", after the Nintendo Switch controllers known as the Joy-Con,[17] and would frequently end his videos with his signature catchphrase "Take care of yourself. Have yourself a damn good one!"[21] Despite focusing on Nintendo related content, Amofah also did playthroughs of indie games (e.g. Undertale and Doki Doki Literature Club!), and played on the Minecraft server 2b2t.[citation needed]

Amofah briefly changed his channel name to Young Ramsay in 2015, after cooking scallops and being inspired by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Soon afterward, Gordon Ramsay followed Amofah on Twitter.[22]

In November 2016, two videos of Amofah's where he purported to have a Nintendo Switch console before its 2017 release gained notoriety and were scrutinized by fans. It would eventually be learned the model Amofah was using was 3D-printed by fellow YouTuber "Sandqvist" at his request.[19][23]

Controversies and channel terminations[edit]

In November 2016, Amofah claimed he had gotten the Nintendo Switch early; he then revealed an accurate model of the console. Various drama channels such as "DramaAlert" reported on it. He would later reveal it to be a fake.[24]

In June 2017, Amofah revealed himself to be the victim of multiple "fake donations", or "chargebacks" of large amounts of money sent to his PayPal account via stream donations, which would jostle Amofah with hundreds of dollars in processing fees.[25]

On October 25, 2018, Amofah uploaded pornography to his YouTube channel EWNetwork (then titled Etika), which violated YouTube's policies and consequently led to the channel's termination. He later had his second channel EtikaFRFX terminated in April 2019 for the same reason.[26][27] He was also banned from Twitch that year for using a homophobic slur during a stream.[28] Following the termination of his EWNetwork channel, Amofah posted cryptic messages to social media, including the statement "it's my turn to die", coupled with a screenshot of his terminated account. Several of his followers felt that the messages and posts were suicidal in nature, which quickly created a panic within his following.[26][29] Amofah took to social media that evening to confirm his well-being, along with other streamers who professed to having seen him safe and sound in person, so as to allay his followers' fears.[30] He later apologized on his subreddit r/EtikaRedditNetwork.[26]

On April 16, 2019, Amofah tweeted that he was going to kill himself with a pistol he bought from a gun store in Long Island, which subsequently led to his arrest and hospitalization. Christine Cardona, who had dated Amofah from 2011 to 2017, confirmed his well-being, and that she had been "observing him all day".[31] Days later, he posted a photoshopped picture of himself holding a gun, which Cardona later confirmed was fake. On April 29, after tweeting a vast quantity of cryptic messages, including homophobic and ethnic slurs (that were promptly deleted),[32] he blocked close friends of his, including fellow YouTuber Sky Williams.[28][33] Later that day, he live-streamed himself being detained by police to over 19,000 viewers on Instagram Live, after a concerned fan notified police about his alarmingly erratic nature during the livestream.[26][34] He was detained again later that same week for assaulting a police officer.[35] Amofah would then make an appearance on the YouTube channel "DramaAlert", run by Internet personality Keemstar, for an interview, in which he stated he was the "antichrist" and that he wanted to "purge all life".[34][36]

Disappearance and death[edit]

On midnight of June 20, 2019, a YouTube video titled "I'm sorry" was uploaded to Amofah's personal YouTube channel TR1Iceman.[29] In the video, Amofah admitted to having mental health issues, struggling with the attention he had gained from streaming, and apologized for pushing people away from him.[16] The description of the video contained a suicide note.[37] YouTube soon removed the video for violating its Community Guidelines, though Amofah's fans reposted the video to other outlets.[29]

Amofah was last heard from at 11:16 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on June 19[38] and was reported missing to the New York Police Department (NYPD) the following day.[39] While the NYPD began its own search, fellow internet personalities and his fans tried to reach out to him to offer their help and show their appreciation of his work over the years.[40]

On June 19, the same day of Amofah's disappearance, his belongings were discovered on the pedestrian walkway of the Manhattan Bridge. They included a backpack, wallet, laptop bag, cell phone, a change of clothes and a Nintendo Switch.[41][42]

On the evening of June 24, a body was observed near Pier 16, approximately half a mile (0.8 km) down the East River from where Amofah's belongings were recovered, and reported to the NYPD.[17] By the morning of June 25, the NYPD and emergency medical services had recovered the body, confirmed it was Amofah, and stated that he was dead at the point of recovery.[43] The following day, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death was suicide by drowning.[16][44]

Reactions[edit]

Amofah's death highlighted social media platforms' handling of posts by users who appear at risk with mental illness or who are contemplating suicide. YouTube, in removing Amofah's final video, stated that removal of such videos is standard practice to "reduce the potential for copycat acts of self-harm, videos that express suicidal ideation", and as part of this, sent information to Amofah's account related to national suicide hotlines in order to provide help.[27]

Amofah's erratic behavior in the months prior to his disappearance led some of his followers to take the events preceding his suicide as a humorous performance by Amofah, rather than signs of him struggling with his mental health. Following his death, mental health researchers found several videos Amofah had posted that showed evidence of his troubled state but were taken as jokes by some of his viewers, rather than as signs of mental illness. As a result, some took Amofah's final video as another joke and disregarded any concern over his well-being; Keemstar initially thought Amofah's final video was a pre-meditated publicity stunt, and stated after Amofah's death that "I was never fully convinced that he was mentally ill or in trouble because of our private convos."[20] The aforementioned mental health researchers stressed the need to make more people on social media informed about the signs of mental illness, depression, and suicidal thoughts, so that they are able to recognize when people in a mindset similar to Amofah's are in danger and need support.[20][45] Keemstar briefly became a target of some of Amofah's fans, who blamed him for Amofah's suicide due to the "DramaAlert" interview and statements made in tweets prior to and following the interview. Amofah's mother wrote to these fans in attempts to assure them that Keemstar was in no way responsible for Amofah's death, stating that "Etika loved Keemstar's show" and only wanted to make a memorable appearance on it.[36]

Legacy[edit]

Following Amofah's suicide, fans on Twitter and in emails asked that YouTube re-upload Amofah's final video to help memorialize him. A Change.org petition was started and initially garnered more than 380,000 signatures, but later dropped to 197,000 signatures after many fraudulent signatures from internet bots were removed. It asked for Amofah's original channel to be restored to preserve his legacy.[29][46][40] Another Change.org petition with over a million signatures, which later dropped to more than 200,000 signatures for similar reasons, called for Amofah to be buried at YouTube headquarters, which he stated as his wish during an earlier livestream.[47]

Fans later erected a memorial on Amofah's behalf on the pedestrian walkway of the Manhattan Bridge, leaving letters, fan art, Twizzlers, Nintendo-related products and other memorabilia.[48]

On June 25, 2019, YouTuber Abe Hunter announced he was the owner and operator of Amofah's website,[49] and subsequently converted it into a fundraiser site where 100% of the profits were to be donated to The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Amofah's name.[50] On July 15, 2019, on behalf of the JOYCONBOYZ community, Abe Hunter donated the $11,315.25 raised in memory of Amofah.[51]

On July 21, 2019, YouTuber PewDiePie and American actor Jack Black started a fundraiser on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe for the NAMI. PewDiePie and Black streamed themselves playing Minecraft together to raise money for their fundraiser. PewDiePie himself donated $10,000, and raised over $30,000.[52]

On August 13, 2019, an Indiegogo campaign was started on Amofah's behalf. The charity campaign was created to earn donations for The Jed Foundation. Contributors to the campaign received a custom-made pair of Etika themed Joy-Con, dubbed "Etikons".[53]

On November 6, 2019, it was revealed that after raising the initial $11,315.25 for NAMI,[54] YouTubers Abe Hunter and Double-A worked with mural artist BK FOXX and graffiti artists Kestaadm and JMZWalls to create a 40-feet long mural dedicated to Amofah in Bushwick, Brooklyn.[55] The mural was created to celebrate Amofah's life and to help bring awareness to mental health issues. The mural's location was added as a virtual "PokéStop" in the augmented reality game Pokémon Go in February 2020 after over 350,000 people requested Niantic to add it in memory of Amofah.[56]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Amofah passed 100,000 subscribers on three channels; EWNetwork in 2015, EtikaFRFX in 2018[3] and TR1Iceman in 2019.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amofah, Desmond (February 10, 2018). "'I get it I'm tall, stop acting like yall are surprised I keep telling you all I'm 201cm'". Twitter. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  2. ^ "Etika – A Famous YouTuber Ended Up Taking His Life".
  3. ^ "UC8Fd7MyCATxj4PvDjgHC9rg Monthly YouTube Statistics - Socialblade.com". socialblade.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tr1Iceman Monthly YouTube Statistics - Socialblade.com". socialblade.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  5. ^ Alanne Orjoux. "YouTuber Etika died by suicide, medical examiner says". CNN. Archived from the original on July 28, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "Etika @ 999 (@Etika) | Twitter". twitter.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.[self-published source]
  7. ^ "Former Dept minister's son, Desmond Amofah, found dead in Manhattan". Graphic Online. June 26, 2019. Archived from the original on June 28, 2019.
  8. ^ ""Why Akufo-Addo Chose Caution, Not Confrontation" by Duodu, Cameron - New African, Issue 538, April 2014 | Online Research Library: Questia". questia.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Akufo-Addo destroyed his family's good work - Owuraku Amofa". ghanaweb.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "I don't regret supporting Nana Addo – Owuraku Amofa". ghanaweb.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Bicks, Emily (June 25, 2019). "Etika's Older Brother Randy Amofah Died in 2010". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  12. ^ "Etika's ex-girfriend Christine Cardona, known online as Alice Pika, explains on stream how Etika's brother died". YouTube.
  13. ^ "Etika". Genius. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "Desmond Amofah". modelmayhem.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "Where did the name "Etika" come from?". Twitter. September 7, 2014. Archived from the original on October 16, 2019.[self-published source]
  16. ^ a b c "Etika: Body found in search is missing YouTuber". BBC. BBC News. June 25, 2019. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c D'Anastasio, Cecilia (June 25, 2019). "Popular YouTuber Etika Dies At 29". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Orjoux, Alanne (June 25, 2019). "Body pulled from the East River is that of missing YouTuber Etika, New York police say". CNN. CNN. Archived from the original on June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (October 17, 2016). "Why do people keep making fake Nintendo consoles?". Polygon. Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c Herandez, Patrick (July 2, 2019). "Too many people took Etika's mental health struggles as a joke". Polygon. Archived from the original on July 2, 2019. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  21. ^ Kim, Matt (November 8, 2019). "Mural Honoring YouTuber Etika Created by Fans in New York". IGN. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  22. ^ "https://twitter.com/etika/status/628002822454419456". Twitter. Retrieved July 10, 2020. External link in |title= (help)
  23. ^ *Life, Nintendo (November 14, 2016). "Weirdness: Streamer Claims To Have Nintendo Switch, Flaunts It During Live Broadcast". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  24. ^ https://kotaku.com/that-youtuber-s-infamous-nintendo-switch-is-fake-1789096291. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia. "YouTuber Reminds Fans How Much Fake Donations Can Hurt". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 24, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d D'Anastasio, Cecilia. "YouTuber Etika Livestreams Himself Getting Detained By Police To 19,000 Viewers". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Hauser, Christine (June 26, 2019). "Etika, a YouTube Personality, Is Mourned by Fans". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Etika tweets anti-Semitic, homophobic messages—then gets arrested". The Daily Dot. April 29, 2019. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  29. ^ a b c d Alexander, Julia (June 25, 2019). "Popular YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah found dead". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  30. ^ Vultaggio, Maria (October 26, 2018). "ETIKA RESPONDS TO SUICIDE ATTEMPT RUMORS ON REDDIT, SAYING 'YAY I BROKE THE WORLD'". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  31. ^ Asarch, Steven (April 16, 2019). "What happened to Etika? Streamer handcuffed and hospitalized after suicidal Twitter outburst". Newsweek. Archived from the original on June 23, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  32. ^ EDT, Steven Asarch On 4/29/19 at 1:07 PM (April 29, 2019). "Etika is back on Twitter, posting pictures with guns and anti-semitic ideology". Newsweek. Archived from the original on June 18, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  33. ^ Asarch, Steven (April 29, 2019). "Etika is back on Twitter, posting pictures with guns and anti-semitic ideology". Newsweek. Archived from the original on June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  34. ^ a b "Twitch star Etika says he wants to 'purge all life' in bonkers interview". The Daily Dot. May 1, 2019. Archived from the original on May 1, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  35. ^ "Etika reportedly detained after fighting police officer". The Daily Dot. May 2, 2019. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Katzowitz, Josh (July 1, 2019). "Etika's mom defends Keemstar, says YouTuber isn't to blame for suicide". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  37. ^ "YouTuber Etika missing after posting distressing video alluding to suicide [UPDATED]". Dexerto.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  38. ^ Amofah, Desmond (June 19, 2019). "TR1Iceman | YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved December 1, 2019.[self-published source]
  39. ^ Weissmann, Ruth; Eustachewich, Lia (June 21, 2019). "YouTube star Etika vanishes after posting cryptic 'suicidal' video". New York Post. Archived from the original on June 23, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  40. ^ a b Kim, Allen (June 26, 2019). "Fans petition YouTube to restore late vlogger Etika's account". CNN. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  41. ^ "Missing YouTuber Etika's belongings found". British Broadcasting Corporation. June 24, 2019. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  42. ^ "YouTube star Etika missing, fans concerned after recent video". ABC7 Chicago. WLS-TV. June 24, 2019. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  43. ^ Lewis, Sophie (June 25, 2019). "Missing YouTuber Desmond "Etika" Amofah found dead in New York". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  44. ^ Jacobo, Julia (June 26, 2019). "YouTube gaming personality Desmond 'Etika' Amofah's died by suicide, officials say". ABC News. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  45. ^ Alexander, Julia (June 27, 2019). "YouTuber Etika's death spurs conversation about how viewers react to creators' mental health struggles". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 3, 2019. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  46. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 25, 2019). "Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says". Variety. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  47. ^ Evans, Mel (June 25, 2019). "Etika wanted to be buried in front of YouTube HQ as police confirm gamer's death". Metro. Archived from the original on June 28, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  48. ^ "Fans Create Memorial for Gamer Etika in New York". Inside Edition. June 28, 2019. Archived from the original on July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  49. ^ @pressabetostart (June 25, 2019). "So, I was working on something for Etika a while back & because of that I still own etikaworldnetwork.com" (Tweet) – via Twitter. [self-published source]
  50. ^ "Etika World Network". etikaworldnetwork. Archived from the original on July 10, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  51. ^ National Alliance on Mental Illness [@namicommunicate] (July 15, 2019). "Thank you to the #JOYCONBOYZ for their donation of $11,315.25 in memory of Desmond Amofah aka "Etika" from Abe of Blockhead Entertainment LLC. We appreciate your support!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  52. ^ "PewDiePie donates £8000 to mental health charity in honour of Etika". Metro. July 21, 2019. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  53. ^ https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/etikons-custom-etika-themed-joy-cons-for-charity--2/x/22111641#/
  54. ^ National Alliance on Mental Illness [@namicommunicate] (July 15, 2019). "Thank you to the #JOYCONBOYZ for their donation of $11,315.25 in memory of Desmond Amofah aka "Etika" from Abe of Blockhead Entertainment LLC. We appreciate your support!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. [self-published source]
  55. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecelia (November 8, 2019). "Fans Honor Deceased YouTuber Etika With A Stunning Mural". Kotaku. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  56. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (February 25, 2020). "Etika's face is now a Pokémon Go stop, thanks to a YouTuber and his fans". Polygon. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

External links[edit]