Olivia R. June 26, 2020
Women have been coming forward with sexual assault and rape allegations against men in the gaming and the streaming industry at an alarming rate, and some of these accusations have generated dramatic responses.
Over 200 accusations have been made against prominent streamers, analysts, casters, professional gamers, content creators, and executives over the past few weeks. Many of the accused men have already responded, either apologizing for their past actions or denying that they ever abused anyone.
Some streamers immediately demanded action from Twitch, even calling for a Twitch Blackout earlier this week. Others called on the streaming platform's CEO to step down after stories came out of him not taking sexual assault and harassment allegations seriously. But not every big name streamer was so quick to support the women sharing their stories and accusations.
Popular streamer Jaryd "Summit1g" Lazar shot out a tweet that questioned the validity of the claims.
Followers immediately jumped in to defend the women who have been coming forward with stories.
One of the people to call out summit1g was former Overwatch League personality Malik Forte. He posted a meme that mocked summit1g for playing "devil's advocate" on th ematter, claiming he only did so because he's never had to go through similar struggles himself.
"It's fun to debate their right to equality," the meme read. "While we're here, I would like to center my voice and perspective about a cause that means nothing to me! I'm here to take up all the oxygen in the room and exhaust people who are trying to fight against injustice..."
The meme essentially claims that some white men bring up counterarguments in conversations about racism and sexism because they don't face any of those problems themselves and want to instead push for maintaining the "status quo." It claimed that summit1g was one of these white men that didn't have any interest in learning and only wanted to frustrate people.
The attention soon turned to Forte instead. Twitter users bashed him for bringing up race in a conversation about sexual assault and sexism. One of the better known voices to critique Forte's response to summit was World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold.
"It's exhausting seeing every statement a person makes automatically interpreted in the worst way possible Give people the benefit of the doubt that they probably don't have intent to harm with what they say, because usually they don't," Asmongold tweeted.
Asmongold later got on stream to rant about the situation further, targeting Forte specifically.
"This is not acceptable at all. I don't know what went through this guy's head before he decided to use [summit1g's] race to demean his argument and say he shouldn't be able to have an opinion on something. It's fucking ridiculous," Asmongold said.
Fans immediately agreed with Asmongold's assessment of the situation, exclaiming their frustration with how people can be "racist" against white people with no consequences. This prompted Asmongold to continue his rant.
"If summit called out a black person on a stereotype, what do you think would happen? He'd get banned. And he should get banned. Because that's wrong to do. I cannot believe how openly brazen people are about expressing sentiment and literal obvious racism and nothing happens to them," Asmongold argued.
Forte has yet to respond to Asmongold's accusations directly, although he's replied to similar comments recently.
"Innocent till proven guilty' HAS NOT WORKED. We have failed the women in our space exponentially with that sentiment time and time again. It's still VERY uncomfortable for them. We need to be vigilant about changing that & it starts with not dismissing these women's accounts," Malik tweeted
in response to a follower pointing out that some of the allegations may already have been proven false.