This post was updated on 6.27.20 with more information and 6.28.20 with the disrespect response
Twitch abruptly banned Guy “Dr. Disrespectful” Beahm celebrity streamer last night, leading to a day of speculation about what remains mysterious circumstances today. At this point, it’s unclear why Twitch took the extraordinary step of abruptly banning one of its most popular, albeit more troublesome, streamers In the past, many have criticized Twitch for not enforcing its rules against big streamers.
After a day of silence, the disrespect has only made a brief statement on Twitter, saying Twitch has not notified him of any reasoning behind the ban. In the days following its ban, speculation has run rampant on social media, but there have been no official news or credible leaks as to why this ban occurred.
Twitch has yet to specify a reason or speak about disrespect specifically. The company’s only statement has been a vague update regarding community guidelines and terms of service:
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a transmitter has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all transmitters, regardless of status or importance in the community.” .
This is Disrespect’s second suspension: The first was only temporary, after he came out of the bathroom at the Los Angeles Convention Center during E3. At the time. While Twitch has not been clear on the length of this suspension, insider streaming and esports industry insider Rod Breslau reports that this is permanent:
If true, it would be a surprising decision considering Disrepect’s exclusivity agreement with the platform. While Beahm still has a YouTube channel, he hasn’t updated it since the incident. Collectible statuette maker Lamo also appears to have removed its image from its offerings, although it remains available in third-party stores. Discord also reportedly ended its partnership with him, and Twitch took the unusual action of reimbursing subscriptions to his broadcasts.
Interestingly, Game Fuel still shows disrespect in its banner image on Twitter, and it continues to appear on the gaming peripherals maker Razer’s wesbite.
Breslau also said on Twitter that he knew from credible sources why disrespect was prohibited, however, any reason given to Breslau appears to be extremely sensitive in nature. He went on to say that he would not be revealing the reason presented to him publicly:
What we can see are the last moments of Beahm’s final broadcast, where he seems visibly shaken by something he sees on his phone, and remains unusually quiet for an extended period. That time is at 2:00 in the next video, but he seems restless for the rest of the video until he curses and abruptly ends the broadcast. Strong language warning below:
The video game streaming industry and the industry at large have been embroiled in allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and sexual misconduct in the past week. It is unclear if the Disrespect ban is part of Twitch’s major effort to clean up its service. In a recent statement, the company said it had begun the process of acting on the toughest allegations:
“We have prioritized the most serious cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions based on our findings immediately.”
The only disrespectful statement seems suspicious in this case, particularly due to its exclusivity deal with Twitch. While smaller streamers sometimes get bans without much more than repetitive Twitch communication, it is highly unlikely that a large-scale streamer like Disrepsect will receive the same treatment. It also obscures that moment, clearly visible in its final broadcast, where it appears to receive damaging information: Even if the communication was not specifically from Twitch, you clearly have an idea why this is happening.
Many have speculated that this case could involve criminal charges, which would explain Twitch’s silence and disrespect regarding the specific details surrounding the suspension. If that’s the case, we may not hear anything for a while: if it were a “normal” situation, even in the current climate, we have likely heard some kind of leak at the moment. Whatever happens, anyone who knows the details is being discreet about them for personal or legal reasons. Stay tuned as the case unfolds.