- Nearly a dozen people have spoken out against at least five YouTubers in the Pokémon community, accusing them of sexual assault and harassment.
- The allegations first went viral in a video uploaded by a user named AttackOnSylveon, in which she described being abused by a man who was prominent in the Pokémon community when she was 15-years-old.
AttackOnSylveon’s First Video
Allegations of sexual assault and harassment have shaken the online Pokémon community, where numerous people have accused at least five prominent YouTubers of sexually abusing minors.
These allegations first started going viral after a user named AttackOnSylveon posted a video on March 27, called “Finally coming forward…”
In the video, AttackOnSylveon describes an interaction she had on Twitter when she was 15-years-old with a man who was six years older than her. In the video, she said she does not want to name names or take legal action, but said she felt like she needed to share her story.
AttackOnSylveon said that the interaction started when she posted a picture of herself in a swimsuit by a pool. They talked a lot, and he would often comment on how she looked and what she was wearing. She said that at the time she did not see a problem with that.
Then he started asking her to send him pictures.
One night, he started sending her pictures of himself shirtless and asked her to send pictures of herself in response. She did not send him pictures in return, but he started to get pushy.
“He continued to make me feel like the bad guy because I’ve done all these things to him and made him feel like he was being like left out I guess,” she said, “And I, I really didn’t want to do it.”
AttackOnSylveon then said she sent him a picture of herself covered in a blanket, but he told her she could do better. Again, she told him she did not want to, but he still pushed her.
“I knew it was wrong,” she said, “And I knew I shouldn’t have done it. But anyway, I went on and I sent him the pictures that he wanted.”
After that night, she tried to distance herself from him, but he continued to message her. Eventually, he gave up, and they stopped talking.
Then, about a year later, he messaged her again, wanting to reconnect.
AttackOnSylveon did not want anything to do with him. “He would not let it go.” She said, “He messaged me on twitter, on Snapchat, on Kik, and on Facebook multiple times. Asking if we could pretty much talk the same way we used to talk before.”
She goes on to say she felt like he was taking advantage of her because she was young, but she just wanted him to stop.
Eventually, she finally snapped and told him she did not want to talk anymore, she said, showing screenshots of their conversation where she ended the relationship.
She ends the video by calling for others in the community to speak out, “I just want people to know what happened, and know that if something is happening to them they need to do something about it.”
“For this entire time I’m 15. I was super young and he still took advantage of me,” she said, “He was 21 and he knew what he was doing. He knew it and he was wrong and he didn’t care and that’s the problem is the fact that he didn’t care.”
AttackOnSylveon’s Second Video
The next day, AttackOnSylveon posted a second video where she said that her initial post got a lot more attention than she anticipated, and that people were asking her to use the person’s name.
She said that it was brought to her attention that if she did not name names, they would continue to assault people.
“His name is Josh.” She said in the second video, “And you know the story about that. But what I didn’t mention in that video was the fact that that didn’t happen once with one person. That happened with three people.”
She said the second man was named Enrique, and that he was 21. She said he would send her explicit paragraphs, and did so under the guise of them being in a relationship.
She then said that the last person is named Nathan and that he is incredibly difficult for her to talk about because he had actually threatened her.
“That person’s name is Nate. Well, Nathan, I guess. And I never wanted to speak out because I thought he would hurt me or my family and that he would send out the pictures, but he did it anyway,” she said.
More Allegations & Initial Response
The response to AttackOnSylveon’s videos happened fast and was widespread.
Many of the men she named in her videos are well known in the Pokémon community, so a lot of them were identified.
Specifically, the man she refers to as “Nathan” is Nathan Putnam, known as Dekadurr on Twitter and NintendoEncoder on YouTube.
After AttackOnSylveon shared her story, more women came out and said they had similar interactions with Putnam, some of whom provided evidence.
In an article published in Kotaku, at least three women described similar interactions with Putnam when they were underage or 18.
According to Kotaku: “Two of these women described how Putnam aggressively demanded naked pictures from them even after expressing how uncomfortable they felt. Two more say he hit on them when they were underage.”
One user who was keeping a thread of everything that was going on posted a screenshot of a message allegedly between Putnam and an anonymous source.
In the message, Putnam denies the allegations and says he barely talked to AttackOnSylveon, who he refers to as “Felicity,” which is her name on Twitter. Then he says he’s going to upload a video later.
It is unclear if he ever did upload a video, because on the same day he deleted his Twitter and Instagram. The then deleted his YouTube account the following day.
While all of this was going on, numerous people took to Twitter to call out Putnam, with many saying they had heard about him preying on young girls in the past. One of Putnam’s friends even said they knew about it and told him to stop.
Others commended AttackOnSylveon on Twitter and in the comments on her videos for coming out and sharing her story
Accusations Against TheKingNappy
One of the people who came out against Putnam was prominent Pokémon Youtuber, Kyle McNeal, who goes by TheKingNappy.
In a now-deleted tweet, McNeal released a statement condemning Putnam. He said that while there were rumors about what he was doing, he never looked into the extent of it or the details.
“So I want to start this off by apologizing for not speaking, publicly, about this situation sooner.” He wrote, “First and foremost, I want to make it absolutely clear that Nathan’s actions are incredibly cruel and unforgivable.”
He then goes on to say he spoke to Putnam about the situation and promptly cut ties with him. He added that he did not “lead the charge against Nathan” because he “didn’t want to dive headfirst into another pool of drama and allow that to consume my Twitter or my Twitch.”
“In hindsight, if I would have just said something from the jump, that wouldn’t have been something I needed to worry about.” He continued, “For those affected by Nathan’s actions, you don’t deserve any of what you’ve gone through.”
Shortly after McNeal posted his statement, a user named Callum posted a statement claiming that McNeal guilted him into being in a relationship when he was 16 and McNeal was 21.
“I initially told him I didn’t feel the same way, and that I couldn’t be in a relationship with him. He gave me an ultimatum. Date him or we’re no longer friends.” Wrote Callum, “I eventually agreed to try dating Nappy. At the time I was very ignorant about relationships, I didn’t take them seriously and I was unsure of my sexuality, I wanted to see if I could form feelings for him.”
He concludes his statement, writing, “This is something I really didn’t want to get involved with, but I felt it was important I came forward and said my piece since it’s been a question on everyone’s mind.”
On the same day, another user named Luke posted screenshots of a conversation he had with McNeal, and said that he would continuously make unwanted advances on him.
McNeal denied the allegations in a live stream which he later deleted. “Callum I hope and pray that any shred of respect left in you, you will tell the truth regarding this.” He said, “There is nothing that went down between Calum and I.”
McNeal also blamed his accusers and said they were the ones responsible.
“Nobody else made those choices but you,” said McNeal, “You chose to show up. You show to be a part. You chose to be quieter about how you actually felt for so fucking long.”
Since then, other accusations from other users have come out against McNeal as well, and other statements have been made on the situation.
On Wednesday, a Twitter user named Gabe said in a Twitlonger that he had a similar relationship with Kyle when he was 16 and Kyle was 25. Gabe also included numerous screenshots of conversations he had with Kyle on Discord and over text.
Unfortunately, that is not where the story ends. Since then, other allegations have come out against more members of the Pokémon community.
According to two people who spoke with Kotaku, a Pokémon YouTuber who goes by Mudkip Mama, also known as VegasJamie “aggressively pursued them when they were either 18 or under 18.”
A woman named Nikki said in a Twitlonger post that MudkipMama became “overly sexual” with her in a DM which she also posted on Twitter, writing: “Mrs. VegasJamie trys to claim she doesn’t hit on kids yet I’m 15”
Nikki also shared a screenshot on Twitter where MudkipMama allegedly admits to “dating” a fan with an “age difference.”
Additionally, over the weekend, other people came out against a YouTuber who goes by Mizumi and who is known for modding Nintendo games.
A woman identified only as Tori said in a Twitlonger post that he asked her for nude pictures when he was 18 and when she was underage. When she sent them, he tried to blackmail her.
Another woman identified as Jenny told Kotaku that he pressured her into sending naked pictures by “talking about wanting to kill himself and self harming behaviors and said things about how getting nudes would ‘help him feel better.’”
In an email to Kotaku, Mizumi did not directly deny the allegations but wrote: “This isn’t entirely my fault. The line is grayer than what everyone thinks and everyone here is a victim in one way or the other.”
Yet another person who is only identified as BiseProductions was also involved in the accusations, with many people on Twitter connecting him to AttackOnSylveon’s videos, though it’s unclear if he is one of the people she names.
The day after her second video was uploaded, BiseProductions posted an apology on Twitter, though his account has since been deleted.
In the apology, which was re-posted by another user, he writes, “I am truly sorry for my actions,” continuing, “I was very aware, after the fact, that this was not ok in the slightest.”
It will be interesting to see how this community responds. It seems like they are largely in favor of holding people accountable, but if more accusations come out, it might become difficult to keep the community unified.
See what others are saying: (Kotaku) (Newsweek) (Pedestrian)
Twitch Shares Its First-Ever Transparency Report, but Critics Want More Accountability
- Twitch released its first-ever Transparency Report on Tuesday in a continued effort to address toxic and harmful behavior on the platform.
- While Twitch listed several statistics detailing how it’s taken action, many still accused the platform of ignoring user complaints.
- The Anti-Defamation League also argued that Twitch’s report lacked additional vital data, including a list of the specific communities being targeted by hate speech on the streaming site.
- The complaints against Twitch’s transparency culminated when a staff member directly told users that the platform would not be addressing why Dr Disrespect, a popular streamer, was permanently banned in June 2020.
Twitch’s Transparency Report
Twitch released its first-ever transparency report on Tuesday as part of a continued attempt to reduce hateful conduct, sexual harassment, violence, gore, nudity, and even terrorist propaganda on the platform.
In the report, Twitch notes that over the past year, it’s “made a 4X increase in the number of content moderation professionals available to respond to user reports.” In other words, Twitch is saying that it’s now much more likely users’ reports will be processed soon after being filed.
Despite this, Twitch stopped short of saying how many moderators it actually employs.
In another statistic, Twitch said at least 92% of live content viewed on the platform last year “occurred in channels with chat that was moderated either by active moderators, or AutoMod, or both.”
Throughout the report, Twitch continues to list similar stats, including that the total number of enforcement actions on the platform rose 41% between the first and second half of the year.
Calls for More Accountability
Reaction to the data set has been mixed. While WIRED described the report “as a victory lap for [Twitch’s] recent moderation efforts,” the platform is still being plagued by criticism that it failed to ever take action against some user complaints.
“I had [a] person send me repeated death threats and threats of violence,” one person tweeted. “I reported it to you several times providing screen shots and you took literally 0 action. If you are going to flex about keep people safe you might want to actually do something instead of whatever this is.”
Likewise, the Anti-Defamation League noted that Twitch’s report contains no information on specific communities being targeted by hate on the platform.
As Nathan Grayson, a writer for Kotaku, noted, “The report contains a handful of other, similar data sets, most of which paint Twitch in a favorable light. Certainly, they’re a useful measure of Twitch’s growth in these areas… The problem with these kinds of reports, however, is that they have a way of appearing to say a lot while revealing very little.”
“Twitch has offered numbers and a small amount of context, but streamers and viewers remain in the dark on major issues that came to light last year,” Grayson continued.
Part of that involves last year’s permanent ban against Dr Disrespect, who was booted off Twitch in June after years of streaming and even a multi-year deal with the platform. To this day, it’s still unclear exactly what precipitated the ban.
It also looks like (at least for now) it’s going to stay that way.
That’s because during Twitch’s Transparency Report Breakdown, one user popped into the chat and asked, “Any Dr. Disrespect news??”
Instead of Twitch ignoring the comment, a staff member flat out said, “no.”
James Charles Denies Grooming Allegations
- Over the weekend, a 16-year-old who goes by Isaiyah accused 21-year-old YouTuber James Charles of grooming him.
- Isaiyah shared censored versions of nude photos James allegedly sent him as well as Snapchat messages showing the YouTuber allegedly asking for explicit photos.
- James denied the accusations, saying Isaiyah initiated contact with him, sent lewd photos first, and told him he was 18. James also claimed that once he learned Isaiyah was 16, he stopped contact, though Isaiyah insists this is not the case.
- Since then, two more people have come forward with their own stories detailing situations where they felt James acted inappropriately with them.
James Charles Accused of Grooming
James Charles is denying grooming allegations after a 16-year-old posted videos accusing the YouTuber of sending and asking for explicit photos.
The accuser, who goes by Isaiyah, shared his allegations in videos on both Twitter and TikTok last week. On the latter platform, he has over 260,000 followers.
Isaiyah claims that he and James began talking on Snapchat on February 17, and he hoped the conversation would give him a chance to interact with an influencer he looked up to. However, Isaiah says James ended up making their conversation sexual.
He shared photos of their interactions, including one snap where James is allegedly asking for Isaiyah to send videos taken in the shower. In another, James appears to mention Isaiyah’s genitals and says, “I bet you can make me finish just by flexing and showing off your hair.”
Isaiyah also shared censored nude and partially nude images that James allegedly sent, which he says prompted him to tell the YouTuber he is only 16.
“I was getting really uncomfortable so I told him my age and I told him I was 16 and meanwhile, he’s 21, he’s a grown man,” Isaiyah said in the video. “And then he proceeds to say, ‘oh but I didn’t get to see the….yet’ meaning my body. And after telling him no, like I’m not going to send it to you, like, he kept asking for videos and pictures of body hair and me flexing and stuff.”
Even after this, Isaiyah claims James still asked to FaceTime with him. He ultimately said the interaction left him seeing James in a new way.
“I’ve heard multiple stories about him doing this to people but you never believe it until it happens to you,” Isaiyah said. “So now, I’m a big believer of what James Charles does to other people.”
Both TikTok and Twitter have since removed the videos detailing these accusations, according to Insider.
James Charles Denies Allegations
On Friday, James took to Twitter to tell his side of the story. He called the grooming accusations “completely false.” He then said he found Isaiyah on Instagram’s explore page.
He said he noticed that Isaiyah followed him, so he decided to add him on Snapchat. James also claims he woke up to multiple messages from Isaiyah saying how excited he was to speak to him, as well as lewd photos from him.
“I asked how old he was right away and he told me he was 18 so I started flirting back,” James continued, adding that he never saw ID to verify his age.
“It’s now clear, based on the video he uploaded, he was taking photos of me with another device, and had an ulterior motive from the beginning,” he continued.
“Later in the day, he said a few things that made me question the validity of his original age answer and when I asked him to confirm his age once again, he admitted he was 16.”
“I told him I was really uncomfortable and apologized for flirting, but he insisted on continuing talking, saying it could be our little secret, he’s a fan of mine and would never tell anyone,” the post continued. “I told him I wasn’t okay with this, he started getting upset, and at this point I unfriended him. We haven’t spoken since.”
James wrote that he was not trying to victim blame or make himself out as the victim, but instead wanted to share his story because he has dealt with accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior in the past. Moving forward, he stressed that he will ask people for their ID or passports to verify their age before speaking with them.
Isaiyah shot back at James’ statement and insisted the popular influencer was well aware of his age.
“James we both know I blocked you, you never asked for my age. After I told you I was 16 you proceeded to ask me for nudes and said it didn’t matter,” he wrote. “You called me hot and said ‘I wish the timeline could speed up so you can be 18.’”
James we both know I blocked you, you never asked for my age. After I told you I was 16 you proceeded to ask me for nudes and said it didn’t matter. You called me hot and said “I wish the timeline could speed up so you can be 18.” pic.twitter.com/60QGI8jtLx— Isaiyah (@Isaiyah13) February 26, 2021
“If you’re gonna text someone, make sure you know their age,” he added in another tweet. “He added me on insta, my insta has my tik tok which shows me age.”
In another post, he said he would be contacting the police about the situation.
More People Speak Out
At least two more people have since come forward with their own stories about James over the weekend. One said on Twitter that they told James they were 17-years-old, but the YouTuber still flirted with them on social media.
They said nothing sexual happened; however, it still felt weird, making them feel compelled to share the story as others were speaking out. Those tweets have since been deleted.
Another person, who goes by LifeOfUzzy on Twitter, said they had a “disgusting” experience with James. In a lengthy Twitter thread, he shared screenshots of their messages and a video his brother recorded of him opening a Snapchat from James as proof of their interactions. He claims that things started out fine but took a turn when James began flirting.
“We started talking for a little and he was actually A VERY NICE person the first few days. He told me he wasn’t looking for anything until he started calling me ‘daddy’ and ‘babe,’ LifeOfUzzy wrote.
He then shared a video of James allegedly spamming him, asking to do a video call, and apparently asking him to do “disgusting things.”
LifeOfUzzy wrote that after James allegedly used him for “sexual pleasure,” he sent James a message ending things and asking him to delete the pictures he screenshotted.
LifeOfUzzy explained more details in a series of TikToks and a YouTube video, claiming he was just looking to get to know James, but that James clearly had no interest in this and was asking him for specific and explicit pictures. He said James stopped talking to him after declined.
James has not responded to these two newer allegations yet.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Cosmopolitan) (Dexerto)
Former Member of David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad Says He Was Sexually Assaulted by Jason Nash on Video
- Former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois says he was sexually assaulted in a 2017 prank that YouTubers David Dobrik and Jason Nash pulled on him.
- Francois agreed to be in a video where he would make out with fellow Vlog Squad member Corinna Kopf while she was disguised as an old man. However, the costumed person he actually kissed was 45-year-old Nash.
- In 2018, Dobrik pulled a nearly identical prank on Francois again, despite Francois repeatedly stating he was not okay with what happened.
- Francois says he is not trying to “cancel” anyone but his attempts to resolve the matter behind closed doors with Dobrik have not been successful, so he felt he had to tell his story publicly.
Seth Francois Calls Kissing Prank Sexual Assault
Former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois says he was sexually assaulted in a prank that massive YouTuber David Dobrik pulled on him with fellow creator Jason Nash.
Francois first told his story to Ethan and Hila Klein on the H3 Podcast on Feb. 12. The prank in question happened in 2017. At the time, Dobrik asked Francois if he wanted to be in a video where he made out with Corinna Kopf while she was disguised as an old man. Francois agreed, but when he kissed the costumed person, Kopf was not the one behind the mask. Instead, it was 45-year-old Nash.
“I was touched by someone I did not consent to,” Francois said on the podcast.
He told BuzzFeed News that it felt wrong when it happened, but as more time passed, he began to feel even worse. He decided to call a sexual assault hotline to talk about and processs the situation.
“They said, ‘I’m sorry you were sexually assaulted.’ And I broke down,” Francois told the outlet. “I called my mother and some of my close friends and I said, ‘I can’t believe that happened to me.'”
Francois said Dobrik asked if they could make a similar video again, but Francois refused, explaining he did not like the prank and did not want to have to go through that again. Still, in 2018 Dobrik ended up pulling a nearly identical stunt.
The second time, Dobrik told Francois that they were making a commercial for Jack Link’s Jerky, which Francois was thrilled about. When Francois got to the set, there were people in gorilla costumes, and he was instructed to make out with one. When that person took their mask off, it was Nash again.
Francois said this incident ultimately led to him moving out of Los Angeles.
Jack Link’s Jerky has since tweeted that they were not involved in the stunt and do not condone any non-consensual conduct that occurred.
Other Allegations Against Dobrik and The Vlog Squad
On top of all this, Francois said that during his time in the Vlog Squad, he was pressured to participate in racist jokes that played into stereotypes about Black people. He felt he could not say no to these bits.
“It was an unwritten thing where you see a pattern of people saying, ‘Yo, I’m uncomfortable with this,’ and all of a sudden they disappear and they’re not in videos anymore,” he explained on the H3 Podcast.
These are just the latest in a series of accusations former Vlog Squad members have made about Dobrik, Nash, and group’s general culture. Nik Keswani, known to fans as Big Nik, explained to H3 that the group was “toxic” and like a cult. Keswani said that he was bullied and felt forced to make jokes about his own size, which led to other people thinking they could make fun of him in cruel ways.
YouTuber Trisha Paytas has also accused Dobrik and Nash of inappropriate behavior on multiple occasions. Both she and Francois also say they have heard rumors about Nash assaulting other people or sleeping with minors. In some cases, Paytas says victims have contacted her directly about it.
Dobrik has not commented on the sexual assault allegations brought up by Francois, but over the summer he did issue a general apology for offensive content he had posed in his past.
“I want them to have a positive experience when they interact with anything I produce,” he said on his podcast, “Views.”
“And with that being said, I feel like on a handful of occasions I just missed the mark on that, and that really bums me out.”
Why Francois Is Speaking Out
For a long time, Dobrik has been a top creator on YouTube. He is known for his Tesla giveaways and was dubbed Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon by The Wall Street Journal. Francois said he felt the need to speak out because he fears Dobrik is not remorseful and is unaware of the harm he has caused.
“If [Dobrik and Nash] don’t know what’s wrong and they don’t understand that what they did was wrong, it makes me feel like that could still happen. Or maybe it has happened to other people who are afraid of speaking up,” he told BuzzFeed.
Francois said that he has asked for the videos to be removed, but Dobrik tried to offer him cash to keep them up. Dobrik eventually unlisted both prank videos and later privated the second one.
Francois has since tried to resolve the matter privately but has not gotten a response from Dobrik. He told Insider that his goal in speaking up is not to “cancel” anyone, though he felt he had no option but to make the matter public. He is now also considering legal action, which is a path he initially did not want to go down.
“People were saying I’ve betrayed David, but I feel like he betrayed me,” he told the outlet. “I was very hurt and even right now talking about it, it really makes you want to cry.”
“They profited off causing me a lot of mental trauma, which is something that really hurts to know,” he continued.
Now, people are calling for Dobrik to respond to the allegations. Many are starting to see his content in a new light and believe he should issue an apology.