- 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)
Influencer Accused of Staging Motorcycle Crash for Photoshoot
- Social media influencer Tiffany Mitchell is catching heat for posting photos to Instagram that show her having seemingly fallen off of a motorcycle after misjudging a curve.
- Many are accusing her of staging the accident for a photo-op and are saying the photos were sponsored because one of them prominently displays a Smartwater bottle.
- Mitchell has denied both claims and said she didn’t know her friend was taking the photos but added that she was happy the fallout of her accident was documented.
The Post of the Crash
A social media influencer is denying claims that she faked a motorcycle crash and used it as an opportunity to take photos for Instagram.
In late July, Tiffany Mitchell posted a series of photos from her crash which she says happened in Leipers Fork just outside of Nashville. The post quickly drew the ire of many who accused it of looking too perfect.
In the post, Mitchell described the accident as a “scary, magical series of events.” She explained she misjudged a curve, hitting the pavement as her bike slid into the grass. She also said she had been wearing a helmet.
“I was scared, and relieved, and so thankful I could move all my joints and that I never lost consciousness,” Mitchell wrote. “My friends were at my side immediately, an ambulance arrived within 10 minutes (CRAZY fast), and sweet strangers loaded my bike onto their trailer to haul it back to my house for me. I was in a haze the entire time.”
One of the photos shows a man tending to her, a helmet placed on the side of the road, and another motorcycle propped up in the background just out of focus.
Another photo shows minor scrapes over the tattoo on her shoulder as that same man holds onto her.
In another, critics point to a prominently displayed bottle of Smartwater, which many suggested may have been part of a sponsorship.
Many people flooded Mitchell’s personal Instagram and other social media platforms like Reddit to speculate about the authenticity of the photos.
“They’re lit like a paperback romance cover, and the water just appears between shots with the label in crystal-clear focus,” one Reddit user wrote. “What, did her friend sneak over and pose the bottle then scamper back out of frame? NO oil on the ground. NO damaged tire. Give me an effing break.”
Why her helmet in the first picture doesn’t look like any of the helmets from the accident pictures ?— Laetitia (@lerandombadger) August 19, 2019
Trying to count how many parts of this story are lies is like trying to guess how many gumballs are in the giant jar at the carnival. No-one TRULY knows, but we all know it is ALOT.— King Codez (@CodezKing) August 20, 2019
Others called her out for seemingly glamorizing her accident.
“We had a very close family friend die in a motorcycle accident,” a Reddit user wrote. “A lot of people have. This is fucking gross. The fact that it’s clearly fake makes it grosser, because they had to come up with it, execute it, then post it. So many opportunities to not make a terrible decision.”
In her post, Mitchell also mentioned losing her boyfriend in a motorcycle accident three years ago.
“It brought back a lot of memories from 3 years ago when Kappel died,” she wrote, “and I in utter devastation had to decide how to move through it all, and whether it was worth it to ever get on a bike again.”
Nonetheless, many online criticized her for what they said was making light of the type of accident that killed her boyfriend.
“What the fuck?!?!?!!!!! Her bf dies in a motorcycle accident but apparently when she has an accident (if she really did) it’s an opportunity to take pics and get sponsored?!” another Redditor posted. “NOT EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS A PHOTO OPP Jesus Christ.”
Mitchell Responds to Backlash
Following the backlash, Mitchell then archived her post. The move also came after Buzzfeed News reached out to her for comment. She reportedly asked Buzzfeed not to run the story because it would “draw negative attention,” but it ultimately ran the story anyway.
Monday, Mitchell posted an Instagram story talking about the article and the negative reaction she’s seen since it was published.
“I’m really sad that what I shared inspired anything negative at all,” she said. “You know, I was really, really touched by those moments that happened.”
She continued, saying she didn’t know her friend had been taking pictures after she crashed. She also said her friend had not started taking photos until after checking to make sure Mitchell was okay.
Later, when Mitchell’s friend showed her the photos, Mitchell said she wasn’t mad they had been taken.
“She would have never done anything with those photos before showing me,” Mitchell said, “and when she showed me, I was so grateful for them. You know, she didn’t know. Maybe, I would have been offended. ‘How could you take—’ That’s not how I felt. When she showed me the photos, I was genuinely grateful because having a moment that was that intense documented, I appreciate that.”
Regarding the Smartwater bottle controversy, she said her post was not sponsored and someone had actually just brought it to her. Smartwater has not made any public comments on the matter.
Mitchell said she was shocked and had a lot of emotions running through her mind, but ultimately, said she wanted to share the moment.
“I archived the post because if there is a lot of attention brought to my feed because of that, I don’t want to leave that really vulnerable thing that I care a lot about that I shared open to any kind of hatred,” she said. “You know, I want to protect that. I want to protect that moment.”
See what others are saying: (INSIDER) (Independent) (Cosmopolitan)
Instagram Couple Apologizes for Disrespectful Post at Bali Temple
- Czech Instagram influencers Sabina Dolezalova and Zdenek Sloukat apologized after posting a video that showed Slouka splashing Dolezalova’s butt with holy water at the Beji Temple in Bali’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
- The post received backlash after it was re-uploaded by a Balinese senator, with many calling the couple’s actions disrespectful.
- Slouka and Dolezalova later posted a second video apologizing for the incident and said they did not realize the water and the temple were holy.
Backlash in Bali
Two influencers apologized after receiving backlash for posting a video of themselves playing with holy water at a temple in Bali.
The now-deleted video was posted by Czech fitness influencers Sabina Dolezalova and Zdenek Sloukat at a temple in Bali’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud.
In the video, Dolezalova bent over and lifted her skirt while Slouka splashed holy water on her butt.
The couple came under fire for the video after Balinese senator Arya Wedakarna reuploaded the video on his Instagram account saying it was “insensitive” and that the influencers were “harassing” the temple.
Many people reacted to the post, condemning the couple for disrespecting Bali’s culture and calling for them to be kicked out of the country.
“This is completely insensitive to local culture,” one user wrote. “Before you travel to another country you should read up on local culture and educate yourself.”
Dolezalova and Slouka posted a video apologizing for the stunt, which Wedakarna also shared on his Instagram along with a screenshot of a private message Dolezalova sent him apologizing for the incident.
“We are so sorry about the video from yesterday,” Slouka said in the video. “We dishonored the holy temple and holy water in Ubud and we didn’t know it. So we are so sorry about what happened and apologize to you.”
“We had no idea that was some holy water or that there is a holy temple so we really didn’t want to do anything bad,” Dolezalova added. “We are so truly sorry and we hope you gonna forgive us, and now we are just finding what we can do to fix it.”
But the outrage did not end there. Some responded to the apology video saying that it seemed insincere or fake.
Others who spoke Czech pointed out that the influencers must have known it was holy water because the person filming the video told them it was.
“They knew very well it was holy water the woman filming this says it out and loud,” one user wrote.
“You apologized just because you got caught,” another user said.
After the video went viral, Bali’s governor Wayan Koster announced that the government would do more to protect holy sites from tourists.
“In the future, if there are tourists behaving like that we should just send them home, they are being disorderly coming to Bali,” he said in a statement. “We will give them this warning.”
According to The Telegraph, the couple tried to make amends with the people of Bali by participating in “a ritual purification ceremony where they wore traditional clothes and touched pressed hands to their heads as a show of respect.”
Wedakarna argued that the ritual should be mandatory for tourists who publicly disrespect Bali in the future.
“They made a mistake sullying our island,” he told reporters. “Anyone who violates our traditions must take part in a purification ritual.”
Dolezalova’s manager also told the Czech site Sezman that the situation had been resolved.
“Sabina and her friends are continuing on holiday as planned,” he said. “A voluntary contribution was proposed to the local village. Whatever amount Sabina and her friends give, it is up to them and purely voluntary.”
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (VICE) (Yahoo News)
Creators File Lawsuit Against YouTube Over Alleged LGBTQ+ Discrimination
- A group of LGBTQ+ creators have filed a lawsuit against YouTube and Google claiming that YouTube flags, suppresses, and demonetizes LGBTQ+ videos.
- The lawsuit claims YouTube restricts content featuring certain LGBTQ+ tags such as “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” or “transgender.”
- YouTube has denied such claims in the past but has not responded specifically to the lawsuit.
The Lawsuit Against YouTube and Google
Several LGBTQ+ creators are suing YouTube and its parent company Google for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQ+ content on YouTube.
Among the accusations, the creators claim YouTube restricts recommendations, demonetizes, and alters the thumbnails of LGBTQ+ videos.
Creators Bria Kam and Chrissy Chambers of BriaAndChrissy, Amp Somers of Watts The Safeword, Chase Ross, Linsday Amer, Chris Knight, Celso Dulay, and Cameron Stiehl all filed the class-action lawsuit Tuesday in San Jose, California.
“Our LGBTQ+ content is being demonetized, restricted, and not sent out to viewers which has highly affected our ability to reach the community we strongly want to help,” Chambers said in a video posted the same day.
In the suit, Kam and Chambers argue that their channel previously earned about $3,500 each month but now only generates about $400-500 monthly.
After posting a music video called “Face Your Fears,” Kam and Chambers said the video was categorized under “restricted mode.” The video was filmed as a dedication to the 2016 Orlando Pulse Shooting, and it features Bria and Chrissy kissing in front of anti-gay protesters.
“They flagged our pride,” YouTuber Chase Ross said. “They did not allow us to buy ads. They restricted us, they demonetized us, and they did not stand up for us.”
Last year, Ross, who often posts about trans issues, accused YouTube of age-gating his videos for including the word “transgender” in the titles.
“Growing up, I was in a very religious household,” said Amp Somers of the sex education channel Watts The Safeword. “I didn’t get any sort of gay education, alone queer education, that applied to me and the sex I was going to have. I created content on the internet that I wish I would have had growing up, but we’re finding it harder and harder to create content on this platform. Google and YouTube continue to censor us and tell us that we’re not breaking any rules but that our content is still not allowed and going to be restricted on this platform.”
YouTube Content Selection and Enforcement
The creators also claim YouTube is restricting LGBTQ+ content featuring words like “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” or “queer.” Notably, YouTube does not publish its algorithm, which can make it hard to tell if your content is actually being suppressed.
While a YouTube spokesperson replied with “no comment” to the lawsuit, YouTube has denied similar claims in the past. Last week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki pushed back against claims that videos are demonetized for falling under LGBTQ+ categories.
In an interview with vlogger Alfie Deyes, she said, “We do not automatically demonetize LGBTQ content… We work incredibly hard to make sure that our systems are fair.”
She also said YouTube does not have a policy to demonetize a video if it has a certain word in the title, and said both the process for recommending videos and determining ads are independent of each other.
On Wednesday morning, after news of the lawsuit spread, Wojcicki posted Deyes’ Aug. 4 video on Twitter, though it’s unclear if the timing is related.
Another part of the lawsuit says because YouTube is the largest video streaming website, it holds a near-monopoly.
The suit states YouTube “used their monopoly power over content regulation to selectively apply their rules and restrictions in a manner that allowed them to gain an unfair advantage to profit from their own content to the detriment of its consumers.”
The creators use the argument to claim YouTube “goes easy” on some of its biggest creators and cite content from James Charles, an issue that has also been raised in the past with YouTubers like Logan Paul and Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie.
“[YouTube] continue[s] to restrain the innocuous travel videos of Watts The Safeword under its Restricted Mode, age restrictions, and demonetization rules and practices, while allowing objectively and sexually explicit content that Google/YouTube sponsor and/or profit from to run unrestricted on the YouTube platform,” the suit alleges.
It continues by citing examples from a recent video on the beauty YouTuber’s channel showing him wearing a G-string and spanking a woman’s bare butt while at Coachella.
Even though Watts The Safeword features more mature content, the channel says it personally applies the restricted mode filter to its more sexually explicit videos.
According to the Washington Post, “eleven current and past moderators, who have worked on the front lines of content decisions, believe that popular creators often get special treatment in the form of looser interpretations of YouTube’s guidelines prohibiting demeaning speech, bullying and other forms of graphic content.”
YouTube has also denied those claims.
Following this lawsuit, many online said they were standing with the creators suing YouTube and Google.
Some on Twitter even shared their own experiences trying to generate LGBTQ+ content on YouTube.
my LGBTQ videos on youtube have been restricted and/or demonetized from day 1, causing me to lose the watch time i needed. when i earned the amount of watch time back, youtube REFUSED to reinstate my monetization, and i couldnt justify making LGBTQ+ content anymore.— 𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙪𝙢𝙣 🔜 colossalcon east (@autumnhause) August 14, 2019