How Getting Cancelled Saved Gothix & Grew Her Platform

Before she dropped out of high school, Vanessa Rosa once threw a Bible into a toilet while a group of girls looked on. It wouldn’t be the last time she made a dramatic statement before an audience. Fast forward a few years, and life was rocking along quite well for her. Despite being a high-school dropout, she was living the dream. Under the handle “Gothix,” she had gained a substantial following on the streaming platform Twitch, where people subscribe and pay money to watch video gamers play online. Twitch is not just about gaming; it’s also (or mostly) about personality, and Vanessa has lots of that.

Vanessa had always enjoyed entertaining people, and doing what she loved on Twitch enabled her to leave a comfortable but boring job in corporate customer service. The move was scary, but she steadily gained a following. Her big break came in 2019 when Twitch decided to partner her, which led to more sponsorships and paid advertising. She had acquired more than 35,000 followers when a perfectly reasonable question precipitated a mass unraveling of it all.

Unwelcome Questions

In 2019, Disney announced that its remake of The Little Mermaid would feature a black Ariel, and soon thereafter, anyone questioning the move was automatically Twitter-mobbed as #racist. Into this social-media tempest, Vanessa/Gothix asked a simple question: “Can we stop assuming everyone is racist because they prefer the look of the original Ariel?”

A firestorm erupted. “She only wants to be black when it’s convenient for her,” said one angry response. She was “anti-black,” “shuckin’ and jivin’ for the whites,” and, of course, “racist.” The shunning and slander worked. Gothix started losing subscribers, and the loss of her following, combined with the virulence of the attacks, sent Vanessa into a spiraling depression. She took repeated breaks from streaming, and at her lowest point, even attempted suicide.

Although Vanessa didn’t grow up taking much interest in politics, she started talking about current events on Twitch. At first, she took up the “social justice warrior” mantle and tried to help people through online advocacy. As a black woman growing up in a politically liberal urban environment, she assumed everyone should be a progressive Democrat. It was just part of the culture. But when the 2020 riots started gaining steam, she threw another Bible in the toilet, this time on-screen. “How does stealing a 70-inch TV help with police brutality?” she asked her online audience. “How does rioting and violence help the cause of social justice?”

Once again, the hate piled on: “You don’t understand . . . you’re paying attention to the wrong thing.”

But she knew right from wrong, and what she was seeing was wrong. As with the black Ariel, she was only trying to be reasonable. But in both instances, asking reasonable questions made her the target of virulent invective from the black Left. It was then that she discovered Thomas Sowell, and her whole world began to change.

True Empowerment

Vanessa learned about Thomas Sowell from the documentary Uncle Tom, and she was blown away by the alternative paradigm the film presented. As a black economist, Sowell presented another narrative—and his analysis was backed by years of sociological research and economic data. Instead of blaming “white supremacy” for all of the problems and challenges blacks faced in America, Sowell showed how it was actually big government and the welfare state that swindled away black people’s agency and kept them in perpetual bondage. Sowell gave her a vision for true black empowerment.

Armed with this new perspective, she made a YouTube video explaining why she didn’t support the Black Lives Matter movement. She called attention to the Marxist influence on the movement’s leaders and criticized the violence and the rioting. Again, the blowback was swift and severe: “Tired of seeing this Gothix ****’s name cross my timeline every couple of weeks” and “**** her and her **** ideals.” But she pressed on, undeterred, because it was the right thing to do. She posted more videos, such as, “How to win an argument with a bigot,” on critical thinking, and “Why I’m no longer a Democrat. My #WalkAway story.”

One video in particular, “Dear Black America,” showed her hard-hitting love for the people of her race: “Black America, you want black people to succeed but will encourage victimhood over perseverance. . . . You say black folks are not a monolith, yet you’ll ostracize those who don’t think like you, vote like you, or live their life like you.” The straightforward honesty started to resonate with a lot of people. Rebuilding her career from the ashes of a cancel-culture coup wasn’t easy, but by February 2021 she had 100,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Graeme’s Choice

Meanwhile, on the other side of the U.S., a film-and-video-content creator in Idaho watched Gothix’s YouTube video, “White Privilege is a Crutch.” At first, Graeme Wilson assumed Gothix was another typical black liberal, but he wanted to understand what so many blacks meant when they used terms like “white privilege.” When Gothix started saying things like, “A lot of people who use ‘white privilege’ to rationalize their life experiences are actually describing experiences rooted in culture or social class,” he sat up and took notice. This wasn’t a typical black, liberal response! Who was this person? He spent hours watching her videos.

Two weeks later, Graeme was getting ready to start a job with the biggest corporate client he’d ever had. This job would mean he had “made it” in the world of media production. The client had already sent a check, but Graeme didn’t cash it. In the footage the client had sent him to edit, Graeme had come upon some pro-transgender material, and although it was only one video out of many, he respectfully emailed the client to say that he could not in good conscience edit that footage. Five minutes later, he received a phone call from the livid client, who, needless to say, was no longer his client.

A Project That Matters

At this point, Graeme decided that his next project needed to matter and not just be about the money. He tried messaging Gothix in any way he could, but she did not respond until he left a comment during one her livestreams saying, “I’m a filmmaker, and would love to do a documentary about you.” They worked out an agreement, and Graeme flew out to Vanessa’s home state of Rhode Island to start filming. Afterward, Graeme invited Vanessa and her boyfriend Saul to come and visit him in rural Idaho. Vanessa had spent her entire life in an East Coast urban environment. The visit could be a continuation of her journey of learning about how other Americans thought and lived.

Graeme had grown up as the son of a pastor, and as he and Vanessa worked together, it became his turn to break one of her stereotypes. She had always assumed Christians were “hateful bigots,” but Graeme threw her off because he seemed so sincere and kind . . . and happy! She was also moved by meeting Graeme’s extended family. “I was shocked to see that his family was equally as kind, happy, and just like Graeme. I was able to disagree with them on certain topics without getting verbally assaulted.” While they were in Idaho together, Graeme prayed for an opportunity to share the Gospel with Vanessa and Saul. The opportunity came during an early-morning drive to the airport, and despite the wee hours, Vanessa and Saul were interested, and they had an engaging conversation.

The Same Happiness

Once back in Rhode Island, Vanessa saw a Facebook ad for a Christmas event at a local church. She really only wanted to go for the free food and petting zoo, but upon arrival, she was stunned to see the same happiness and kindness she had seen in Idaho. Not long afterward, Graeme and Saul talked late into the night. At this point, Saul had assented to Christianity intellectually, but not morally. “You could become a Christian tonight,” Graeme said, and Saul called him back later that night to share the news: “I’m a Christian!”

At this point, there was the matter of Vanessa and Saul living together. But marriage, too, presented Saul with a problem. Graeme explained how the Bible taught that Christians should not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. While Saul wanted to propose to Vanessa, he also had to come to the difficult realization that he must be willing to give up the relationship.

But there was no question that Saul was a changed man. As Vanessa put it, Saul began “exuding the same glow that I kept seeing in all of the other Christians I was meeting.” It was clear there was something supernatural going on, and she wanted in on it. Jesus offered a clear way out of her depression and anxiety, and she wanted the joy she saw in so many of the Christians she was meeting.

She actually prayed a prayer of repentance twice, because she didn’t quite believe it the first time. She says it has been the best decision of her life, and it has helped her not to be bitter and angry about being cancelled:

The biggest highlights of my journey towards finding Christ started in the middle of filming the Gothix documentary. Graeme expressed genuine concern for my well-being because I was severely depressed at the time. He essentially asked me what the plan was and if smoking weed and taking antidepressants was working for me (they weren’t).

In the final segment of the documentary, made two years after they had begun filming in Rhode Island, Graeme comments to her, “You’ve had people reach out to you about meeting Christ because of your videos.”

On hearing that, Vanessa had to choke back tears. “It breaks my heart to see people stuck in cycles of anger and depression—I want them to experience what I experienced.” She hugs Graeme and then hugs Saul, who is now her husband.

“Unsafe” Career Choices

For both Vanessa and Graeme, their story is one of God’s faithfulness. Despite being canceled and suffering through years of depression, Vanessa went on to rebuild her career. She now has a thriving presence on YouTube and social media, and she speaks around the country. For Graeme, in making Gothix he had to learn to rely completely on God. Each month, he and his family would receive just enough money to pay the bills. Even though both he and Vanessa turned their backs on successful and “safe” career options, their decisions to contend for the truth are inspiring many to follow their example.

—The Gothix documentary is currently streaming on LOOR.TV, a platform where filmmakers can create quality work, free from the influence of Hollywood. It is also available at Vanessa now has over 300,000 subscribers on YouTube:

 PhD, teaches and mentors students of all ages at Logos Online School, Kepler Education, the Bible Mesh Institute, and Redemption Seminary. He writes at and

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #69, Summer 2024 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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