Twitch responds to claims of sexual harassment against streamers
Olivia R. June 23, 2020
Women have been continuously coming forward over the past week with sexual assault allegations against established men in the video game, streaming, and esports industries.
On June 19, Twitch partner SayNoToRage was accused of harassment by fellow Twitch partner MindofSnaps. In a blog post, MindofSnaps outlined a few key moments in explicit detail in which SayNoToRage made her uncomfortable. It started with him touching her hair during dinner, which she discussed in a letter to him.
"When we sat on the bus together, that’s when things crossed a major line for me. The little things here and there may seem insignificant but paired with the weird behaviors and body language and the fact that it was dark on the bus, it really stuck out to me and made me feel incredibly uncomfortable," MindofSnaps recalled. "I realized partway through the trip that I was heavily leaning out into the aisle to avoid touching shoulders with you, yet I kept feeling your shoulder touch mine. I looked over, noticed you were literally leaning into my seat, and physically pushed you back into your own seat by the top of your shoulder."
SayNoToRage one of many accused of sexual misconduct
She then told him to sit up straight so they wouldn't have to touch shoulders. He responded that he "didn't mind," to which she then said that she did mind. This didn't stop SayNoToRage from leaning against her again, this time while smiling and staring at her.
"What happened next was worse. You started rubbing up and down on your pant legs with both arms, and sort of fidgeting/stretching out in your chair. You told me: 'Sorry, I get really liberated when I’m high or drunk.' I responded and said: 'I don’t even know what that means, but ok man, have a fun night.' You repeated yourself: 'Yeah I’m just letting you know that I get really, like, awakened.' I once again responded dismissively, trying to make it clear I had no interest in wherever this conversation was going," she said.
In response, SayNoToRage said that he gets liberated "sexually" when he's high.
MindofSnaps stated that other women have told her they had similar experiences with SayNoToRage and admitted they avoided him because of it. Some shared their story on Twitter.
He asked me on skype if I could show him my boobs. “My wife and kids are on a trip so they’re not here.” And continued to pressure me.
He made SO MANY gross comments to me in whispers when I was a new streamer years ago.
In response, the popular streamer with 43,000 subscribers on YouTube uploaded an apology. He stated that he was giving individuals space if needed, but will apologize to them directly if they would like.
"I'm not a victim in this situation," SayNoToRage said. "There's no excuse for my behavior. The things I did were unacceptable. I took memories and events from people. They're now clouded and darkened by my selfish and reckless behavior. It broke trust. I am deeply sorry."
Content creators and streamers accused of sexual assault and rape
Luminosity48 was accused of sexual harassment. A female Destiny streamer explained in a TwitLonger that the larger streamer pressured her into sending him nudes and had his friends harass her on various social media platforms.
He replied with his own TwitLonger, where he told the streamer, Riley, that she was his first girlfriend, which led to a lot of his "mistakes and shortcomings."
"You were my first girlfriend and I did not treat you with the respect you deserved. My popularity on Twitch got to my head and I made choices that I am not proud of. And I should have owned up to everything I did and the way I treated you years ago. Part of me didn't realize the pain I caused or rather didn't want to acknowledge it. I don't expect you to forgive me for any of it and I’m sorry I ever made you uncomfortable in any way. I know these are just words and it’ll never be able to repair the damage I’ve caused you," Luminosity stated.
Riley responded with a follow up tweet, where she shared screenshots of other women accusing Luminosity of similar behavior.
this is only one of -mupltiple- girls who have come to me saying @Luminosity48 did something similar to them as well, and she deserves to be heard. first girlfriend excuse can’t be used here lumi. pic.twitter.com/BIihwRpIf2
ActaBunniFooFoo was accused of rape by a female YouTuber. The two met at PAX East in 2013. While making out, the female YouTuber, Jen, told him she wasn't ready to have intercourse. ActaBunniFooFoo continued to insist, even bringing condoms to her house for a later visit. Despite her being silent and uncomfortable, he initiated intercourse with her.
I, too, was sexually assaulted by a guy in the gaming industry.
"He took a piece of me that I will never get back, and I have to live with it for the rest of my life," she concluded.
Bunni responded with a TwitLonger of his own, apologizing for his actions.
"Intentional or not, what I did sadly happens all too often, poor communication leading to immense trauma. No one should have to feel pain that I caused Jen. We need to do better at educating not only ourselves but everyone around us," he said.
Bunni then said he was stepping away from social media and content creation indefinitely to "grow and evolve."
Content creator SattelizerGames was accused of rape shortly after.
A Twitter user stated that they have had Sattelizer blocked for the past few years due to his "involvement with a rape of another streamer" while the female streamer was blacked out from drinking. The Twitter user stated that there was a witness to the alleged rape as well.
In response, Sattelizer said he "owned up" to the accusations but also "denied the falsehoods." He then stated that he was going to continue streaming because he didn't break any laws.
"You’re all upset I still have a platform. It’s because I built my platform on hard work and dedication to being an entertainer. I’ve built a community of incredibly kind and loving people. And I will continue to grow that community and be a safe place to all," he tweeted.
After seeing so many women come forward with their stories, another Twitter user decided to share their own experience, this one involving Warwitch. She accused him of grooming her while she was underaged, leading to him making explicit sexual comments to her when she was 17-years-old.
He groomed me. I know I seem willing here, but that doesn't make a difference as I was 15 when we first started talking. I'm 21 now.
VoiceOverPete was accused multiple times over the past few days of sexual harassment, including saying inappropriate things to female streamers during their live broadcasts. He apologized for disappointing his fans, stating that he "deeply regrets" his "very bad jokes."
Twitch streamer Waglington was accused of asking underaged girls to perform sexual acts on camera. Waglington's girlfriend of seven years disputed this claim. She stated that she was with him even before the accusations were made and never saw any such conversations take place.
OPG CEO steps down after being accused of sexual harassment
Online Performance Group's CEO Omeed Dariani was then accused of sexual harassment by Overwatch community development lead Molly Ayala.
In a TwitLonger, Ayala said that Dariani had attempted to pressure her into having a threesome with him and his wife at Pax Prime 2014. She stated that she had been "in awe" of Dariani at the time and that he was once someone she looked up to in the streaming industry. She feared that saying no to him would result in her being blacklisted.
"I didn’t say anything then because in some ways, you succeeded. I was scared of your power in the industry. I didn’t want to be blacklisted from reaching my dreams. While I don’t feel scared for my career anymore… I do worry about the many young women that you’ve come into contact with over the past six years. I worry about the many young women’s careers that you now manage as part of OPG. Young women who, like me, are just trying to work towards their dreams. I feel that it’s my responsibility to speak up so they know that this isn’t 'just how the industry is,'" Ayala wrote.
She then stated that she didn't believe this was a one-time thing for Dariani, hence why she felt the need to expose him for his "predatory behavior."
In response to the allegations, OPG immediately lost 50 of their 73 clients. Some of those remaining said that they would take some time before making a final decision.
Dariani tweeted that he was stepping down as CEO shortly after.
"I am no longer the CEO of OPG. OPG is a special company. It has created opportunity where none existed before. The talented women and men who work there pour their hearts into it daily. Give them a chance. Please don’t destroy it because you’re angry at me," he tweeted.
We're not angry at you, we're holding you accountable.
Twitch responds to ongoing sexual assault allegations against streamers
As the streaming community continued to get more concerned with the sheer number of allegations that were being made, one Twitch partner stepped forward and accused Twitch of already knowing this was happening and doing nothing about it.
"I'm sick of being quiet. The CEO of Twitch, Emmett Shear, was asked in an All Hands meeting about partners using their platforms to abuse women - specifically using my case as an example. He chuckled, said 'wow, the things that go on on our platform, can't really comment' and moved on," Starling tweeted.
She stated that he "knew" there was a "partner abuse problem" on Twitch but didn't address it.
"This is Twitch culture. Sweep the ugly stuff under the rug for profit," Starling stated.
Popular streamers continued to speak up in support of the women who came forward.
In response, Twitch finally made a response of their own. The streaming platform, where many of the accused broadcast their content, stated that they are "actively looking into" the accused accounts and will work with law enforcement if needed.
"We're thankful for the bravery shown by those who have come forward to speak about their experiences, and we are committed to working to make the streaming community safer for everyone," Twitch said.