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Streamers React To Kai Cenat's Arrest

Streamer Kai Cenat has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the content creation industry, dominating 2022 and earning millions of followers on his Twitch channel. But what does one do with massive internet fame? In 2023, Cenat kept the momentum going by collaborating with fellow streamer IShowSpeed – who had his own harrowing run-in with the law in 2022 – to create "The Kai & Speed Show." Unfortunately, Kai Cenat has recently found himself in the news for a different reason. A giveaway event led by the streamer in New York City went wrong when fans gathered en masse to get PlayStation 5s from the streaming star, destroying property and blocking traffic flow in one of the busiest cities in the world. What initially began as a fun event ended with Kai Cenat's arrest, as well as the arrest of many of his fans.

Fans have had a few years to get to know Kai Cenat's online personality, but the event that took place in New York seemed to happen out of nowhere. The streamer posted on Instagram that he would be giving away gaming paraphernalia in public, including gift cards and gaming chairs. His massive following showed up quickly, assembling in anticipation of the giveaway to come, but the crowd quickly got out of hand. 

According to a news report from Channel 4 New York, nearly 1,000 NYPD officers arrived to the scene and found instances of fans throwing trash, climbing on civilian vehicles, and being generally unruly. Kai Cenat was subsequently arrested on charges of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly (as the streamer allegedly hadn't gotten the appropriate permits for the event). Of course, other streamers and content creators have their own take on Kai Cenat's event and eventual arrest, and in lieu of word from Kai Cenat himself, fans can currently listen to others and speculate on the incident.

Some streamers think that the reaction to the event seems strange

Political streamer Hasan Piker compared Kai Cenat's giveaway to large-scale sporting events, saying, "The bedlam and the chaos caused when it's, like, organized sport events and a celebration is never reacted to in a similar capacity when it's, like, Black teenagers involved, or Black people involved, in general." Piker reacted to the chaos, saying that he feared that some individuals might be crushed in the crowd, but he made it clear that his criticism wasn't directed at Kai Cenat himself. 

"When MrBeast does something like this," Piker said, "and it gets out of control — [he's] white, [his] audience is white, so it's like, 'Oh, these are kids who are being crazy.'" In other words, Piker argued that the media and police might cover the incident differently because Kai Cenat and most of his fanbase are people of color. Piker argued that similar incidents involving Logan Paul and the Nelk Boys have been covered more gently in the mainstream news.

xQc also felt the reaction to Kai Cenat's event seemed suspicious, criticizing fellow streamer Wubby's comments on the situation. xQc said that creators shouldn't be responsible for what their fans do. He argued that the people watching streams at home might not be the same demographic that shows up to a public event, and it's unfair to paint all fans with the same brush, so to speak.

Others argue that Kai Cenat should have taken more precautions

Adin Ross and Sneako discussed the incident, with Ross arguing that Kai Cenat should have known that the event would eventually become hard to control. "They couldn't expect this thing to be clean," Ross said, reasoning that Kai Cenat is so famous, it was inevitable that fans would show up, and with that many people gathered in one place, things were bound to get wild. 

Ross said he wished the team behind the giveaway would have said something to caution Kai Cenat, explaining that an event of this scale needs to be properly planned, with permits and security in place. Sneako agreed, but said that the organizers themselves shouldn't face any charges, since the wider issues with the incident seemed unintentional. Ross claimed to believe that Kai Cenat would find those hurt in the confusion and make things right, whatever that might mean.

MoistCr1TiKaL had a similar reaction, saying that the entire event was a miscalculation. He likewise compared the gathering to sporting events, where even if a crowd's favorite team wins, the excitement and energy of the game can stir people into a frenzy. Kai Cenat's fans were certainly excited for the opportunity to meet their favorite creator and win some gaming goods, but too much excitement can occasionally lead to an unruly situation. MoistCr1TiKaL said he was surprised no one on Kai Cenat's team thought that the giveaway might need more planning, especially considering Cenat's enthusiastic (and massive) fanbase.

What's next for Kai Cenat?

Because the situation is still unfolding, it's hard to know exactly what's next for Kai Cenat. According to the BBC, police charged Kai Cenat with at least two counts of inciting a riot and gathering without a permit in an unlawful assembly. However, it's unclear if the streamer has picked up any other charges during the event, and it's also uncertain what sorts of lawsuits might arise in response to the incident. 

In the aftermath of the riot, many are sharing videos taken from the scene. One disturbing clip emerged from the giveaway depicting a young person having their head slammed into a van window by police. Many commenters suggested that the subject of the video sue the NYPD. Another video showed fans stomping on cars and generally causing chaos. These and other incidents surrounding the event could inspire a host of lawsuits in the coming days.

Though Kai Cenat has not spoken on the event just yet, one fan posted a video of the creator helping a fan who felt panicked in the face of the crowd. In the video, Kai encourages the fan to breathe and ground themselves, taking deep breaths alongside them. Based on this video, many fans have argued that Kai Cenat might agree that things did not go according to plan, but the world will have to wait for a more concrete answer.