This post was updated on 6.27.20
Twitch abruptly banned celebrity streamer Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm last night, leading to a day of speculation about what currently remain remain mysterious circumstances. At this point, it remains unclear why Twitch took the extraordinary step of abruptly banning one of its most popular—if most problematic—streamers, and Disrespect has yet to make a statement on Twitter or any social media channels, though his wife did make a now-deleted statement on her Instagram referring to an “outpouring of support” from her husband’s fan community.
Twitch has yet to specify a reason, instead responding with a vague statement about community guidelines.
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
This is Disrespect’s second suspension—the first was only temporary, after he streamed from the bathroom at the Los Angeles Convention Center during E3. At the time, many called were criticized the company for lightening Disrespect’s punishment due to his celebrity. While Twitch has not been clear about the length of this suspension, streaming and esports industry insider Rod Breslau is reporting that this is permanent:
If true, it would be a striking decision considering Disrepect’s exclusivity deal with the platform. While Beahm still has a YouTube channel, he has not updated it since the incident. Collectible figurine manufacturer Lamo also appears to have removed his likeness from their offerings, though it remains available from third-party retailers. Discord also reportedly ended its partnership with him, and Twitch took the unusual action of refunding subscriptions to his streams.
What we can see are the last moments of Beahm’s final stream, where he appears visibly shaken by something he sees on his phone, and remains uncharacteristically silent for an extended period. That moment is at 2: 00 in the following video, but he appears unsettled throughout the rest of the video until he curses and abruptly ends the stream. Strong language warning below:
The video game streaming and broader industry has been embroiled with accusations of harassment, abuse, and sexual misconduct over the past week. It is unclear whether or not Disrespect’s ban is a part of Twitch’s larger effort to clean up its service. In a recent statement, the company said that it had begun the process of acting upon the most severe accusations:
“We’ve prioritized the most severe cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with our findings immediately.”
At this moment, few seem to have many details beyond a general sense of gravity surrounding the situation. There is no indication one whether or not there are criminal charges involved.