- Dr Disrespect, previously one of the most famous streamers on Twitch, spoke out for the first time since he was abruptly banned from the platform permanently last month.
- In several interviews on Thursday, he addressed what has been going on since the move, but insisted he still does not know why he was banned and has never been told.
- While he was tight-lipped about his next steps, he did say he has a number of plans in the works but does not want an exclusive streaming deal and has not committed to a platform or service.
Dr Disrespect Speaks Out
In a series of interviews on Thursday, popular former Twitch streamer Dr Disrespect spoke publically for the first time since being permanently banned from the platform nearly three weeks ago.
Guy Beahm, known online as Dr Disrespect was one of the biggest streamers on Twitch with over 4 million followers and had recently signed an exclusive multi-year extension deal to keep streaming on the platform in March.
However, on June 26, it was reported that the prominent streamer had been permanently banned from Twitch. Twitch, for its part, did not confirm the ban but responded with a vague statement to the media.
“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,” the company’s statement read. “These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
The next day, Dr Disrespect seemed to confirm the rumors in a tweet to his followers, known as the Champions Club.
“Champions Club, Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision,” he wrote. “Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.”
After that, he did not say or post anything for three weeks. Now, Dr Disrespect has finally broken his silence, first giving an interview to the Washington Post and then PC Gamer before speaking to a few other outlets.
Questions About Twitch Ban
While Dr Disrespect did provide some insight into what he has been doing since the ban in the interviews, he did not speak to the reasoning behind it. Though that, at least in part, appears to be for legal reasons.
According to the Post, when asked about the subject, “he frequently followed advice from his legal counsel to remain silent.” When pressed on the matter in the interview with PC Gamer, which published the full transcript of the conversation, he was interrupted by his publicist, who redirected the question.
However, aside from legal reasons, the streamer also did not provide many answers about what prompted the ban because he still does not seem to know those answers himself.
“Honestly, we just don’t know,” he told the Post. “It was a total shock. Imagine showing up to work and the doors are closed and you can’t get inside. You’re going, ‘What’s going on?’ And you’ve been told you’ve been fired. But you haven’t been told the reason why. We just weren’t given an answer. … It was the worst feeling.”
“I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety,” he added. “You know, my wife and I both, this is our livelihood. We worked really hard to get to this point. … Let’s just say I’ve felt all of the emotions that you could possibly feel.”
Notably, in both the interviews with the Post and PC Gamer, Dr Disrespect did address some of the theories around his ban and his last stream. Both noted that there has been a lot of speculation around his final steam, where at the very end he breaks character and becomes very serious.
“Life’s weird right now, I— We’ll, we’ll get through this, okay? And uh— Fuck,” he said, before cutting the stream.
As a result, many fans theorized that he had just found out about the ban. However, Dr Disrespect told both the Post and PC Gamer that the remarks had nothing to do with his ban and that he was just talking about the state of the world.
In reality, Dr Disrespect explained, he first learned about the ban when he was watching a friend’s stream and noticed that some of his creator features were missing. He sent an email to Twitch, which he said responded by telling him he was banned, but never explained the reason why.
Both outlets also talked about the fact that Dr Disrespect has been the subject of several controversies.
Those included offensive jokes he has made in the past, and an incident where he walked into a public men’s bathroom while live streaming at the 2019 E3 gaming convention, which ultimately resulted in him being suspended temporarily from Twitch.
“I’ve been very transparent with those around me and my community,” he told the Post. “If anybody knows the Doctor and who I am, you know, I’ve stepped up and taken full responsibility each and every time. And I’ve learned from those mistakes.”
In more current examples, PC Gamer also pointed to the fact that he has recently had discussions about the coronavirus and conspiracy theories linking it to 5G. In his final stream, he also talked about David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who was recently kicked off both YouTube and Twitter for spreading conspiracies and anti-Semitic claims.
When asked if those incidents ever resulted in Twitch warning him or saying anything, Dr Disrespect said they had not. PC Gamer followed up by asking if he thought it was the reason for his ban, to which he responded, “I don’t think so. In fact, I—” but he was cut off by his publicist, who warned him that they were “getting really close to dangerous territory here.”
PC Gamer also noted that Twitch has recently been banning a lot of people who have been accused of sexual harassment and other toxic behavior, and asked Dr Disrespected whether he knew if his ban might have been the result of similar allegations.
“Listen, I’m not interested in engaging crazy speculation,” he answered. “I’ve seen all the theories, I’ve seen all the possible conspiracies, and it’s just like, I’m just not interested in engaging that type of stuff. I have a great community of loyal fans and I’m totally focused on getting back and delivering great, entertaining content and that’s where the focus is.”
As for his next steps, Dr Disrespect was largely tight-lipped on that matter as well, though he did offer some insights and told PC Gamer that his relationship with Twitch was 100% over.
“Obviously, for legal counsel, I have to be careful here. But I can say however, that I will not be returning to Twitch, so, I mean, that’s it,” he said, adding that he is considering taking legal action against the platform.
He also told the publication that he is still trying to figure out exactly what his return will look like, and when asked if he is eyeing a specific platform, he said he was not.
“We’re just focused on the Doc’s return,” he said. “We haven’t made any decisions on platforms. We’re not interested in looking for an exclusive or any of that stuff. All the cards are on the table.”
PC Gamer noted that in a follow-up email after the interview, Dr Disrespect clarified that he is “considering streaming independently on his championsclub.gg website, in addition to other big options like YouTube and Facebook.”
Additionally, in both interviews, Dr Disrespect emphasized the importance of his community and doing what is right for them.
“We’re excited to take the next steps,” he told PC Gamer. “And I’m really focused on the community for now. We’ve got lots of fun stuff planned, lots of projects that are in the works.”
However, when asked about specifics, he responded, “You’re going to have to tune in to find out. That’s part of the fun. I think that’s one of Doc’s things is doing these cool projects and the big surprise elements that are involved. Whether it’s directly through the stream or a combination of social media and the stream but, fans should expect Doc 3.0.”
Though notably, he also did tell the Post that the TV development deal he had landed earlier with SkyBound Entertainment has not been affected by recent events.
“Listen, we’re gonna see,” he continued. “We’ve been working really hard. We’re ready to go. You know, we’re excited to take those next steps.”
Following the widespread coverage of his interviews, Dr Disrespect tweeted for the first time since June 27, sharing a non-descript video set to music.
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.