Like hearing that a celebrity you don’t care about has died, it’s impossible not to want to know why game streamer Dr Disrespect was banned from Twitch. Sure, you might wish he would just go away, yet still...what if it’s really awful? Well, we may well soon find out as the streamer has apparently learned the reason. And he intends to sue Twitch over it.
Herschel Beahm IV (for it is he) was famously banned from Twitch in June 2020. At the time, Kotaku reported that the ban was to be permanent. But as is ever the case, no reason was given neither to viewers nor the streamer himself.
At the time, Twitch would only say, “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.”
Naturally, rumors began to swirl.
As noticed by Dot Esports, Beahm mentioned in a recent stream regarding his new home on YouTube that he’s found out what it is Twitch so objected to last year. Apparently, he’s known for months now.
Using some technical legal jargon, he explains, “we’re suing the fuck out of them.”
Beahm has been extremely evasive about the issue over the last year, according to Dot Esports, almost never referring to it on his YouTube streams and refusing to answer questions on the subject when speaking to the media. Shortly before the ban, he was espousing some ill-informed and dangerous gibberish about coronavirus, quoting such egregious sources as Dr. Thomas Cowan (author of books so stupid they have titles like Cancer and the New Biology of Water), and virulent idiot and conspiracist David Icke. However, in an interview with PC Gamer, Beahm attempted to deny this was involved in the ban, before his PR handler cut him off.
A month later, he returned to streaming, now on YouTube, where he’s since built a subscriber base of 3.4 million, no doubt enormously boosted by the controversy. However, Beahm said on a recent stream that he’s still making only a quarter of what he brought in on Twitch.
In the same clip, he drops in all sorts of unproven conspiratorial ideas, such as how he’s being “blacklisted” and “shadowbanned,” without troubling viewers with explanations of where, or how, or why. But he also argues that he’s having trouble getting major sponsors, given the first thing everyone knows about him is that he was banned for unknown reasons.
So, he’s suing Twitch. Exactly what case he believes he has is not clear. If Twitch can demonstrate that he violated their terms of service, then it’s vanishingly unlikely there will be anything he could bring in front of a court. And, of course, it would force the reason out into the open. Given that Beahm claims he knows the reason but is seemingly still unwilling to just say what it is, there’s presumably some reluctance on his part to have it be public knowledge.
Twitch, of course, recently said it promises to improve on its silence around bans as it leaves many streamers never knowing what rule they may unwittingly violate and suddenly lose their income. Beahm’s situation is certainly more unique, and it’ll be hard to look away from the slow-motion car crash should his legal attempt go ahead.