The Dr. Disrespect vs Twitch Saga Fires up a Notch as the Streamer Prepares to Take the Purple Snake to Court

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Few in the streaming world haven’t heard of Guy Beahm, better known as his alter ego Dr. Disrespect, but he’s not just known for his talent and showmanship. He’s also known for being the man whom Twitch banned at the height of his success and fame and for reasons we in the general public still don’t know.

But Beahm revealed he does know why and has for months, and that’s why he’s “suing the f*** out of them.”

And this is a good thing for everyone, even if you’re not a streamer or into video games.

To catch you up on the story, on Beahm’s last day of streaming on Twitch in 2020, he seemed to be doing what he was usually doing when suddenly, his demeanor changed. He began talking about how it’s a weird time and how we’re all going to get through this. Then he cursed and abruptly ended his stream.

It was then announced that the good doctor was banned from Twitch permanently. Rumors abounded as to why, with many people claiming they knew and adding that they’re not telling because of the sensitivity of the case. Twitch itself claimed that Beahm violated their terms of service but was very vague as to what rules he had actually broken. The nebulous reasoning only fueled speculation.

This was also happening on the tail-end of the Me Too movement, leading people to believe that it had something to do with Beahm being involved in something sexually nefarious. It didn’t help that Twitch was so adamant that Beahm stay off the platform that even the mere sound of his voice on your stream would result in a temporary suspension.

Needless to say, sponsors and deals left Beahm’s table as did a solid chunk of his audience. He was forced to migrate to YouTube to live stream there, and has since been rebuilding his audience slowly but surely and made some new friends along the way.

Still, Beahm admits that the entire situation has been incredibly difficult and has sent his anxieties into the stratosphere and that he now makes a quarter of what he made before his ban.

He doesn’t comment on the situation much, but on Monday he finally dropped a bomb. Talking to his audience during his Monday show, Beahm explained how hard it’s been for him and his team since his ban but revealed that he’s known why Twitch banned him for months now.

“And there’s a reason why we’re suing the f*** out of them,” he said with a smile.

Why does it matter if a streamer wins this lawsuit?

Because it proves that a god can bleed.

Twitch is a social media platform like all the others. What is and isn’t acceptable on the site oftentimes leans heavily toward the personal biases of the people who run it. Irk someone there, or someone the people that run it like, and you may find yourself suspended, shadowbanned, or permanently banned. You don’t even have to actually violate their terms of service. What’s more, a thing you did that was okay today may suddenly see you banned a week, month, or year from now. The rules seem arbitrary and made up on the spot.

That’s because they are.

If I had to guess, Beahm’s ousting from the platform was a mixture of politics and money, which makes the lawsuit all the more important.

Beahm does not engage in politics on his streams, or even outside of them, but that hasn’t stopped him from calling out ideologically bent journalists and news sites for their nonsensical and oftentimes fabricated reports. During an acceptance speech by journalist Richard Lewis, Lewis called out these very websites for their attempts to cancel gamers and industry developers because their political extremism led them to do so. He received a standing ovation, but before everyone else stood to applaud, Beahm’s Dr. Disrespect could be seen standing and applauding first.

Twitch is known to be run by hard-left, ideologically driven people. The kind that want to be feared and have no problem exerting their power over you if you irk them even a little. That culture peeked its head into the light for a time when it was announced a transgender deer-kin had become one of Twitch’s Safety and Advisory Council members. Named “FerociouslySteph,” this self-described transgender furry actively said power would be exerted over others, noting that Twitch had empowered her to do so.

Despite this controversy, Twitch continued to use FerociouslySteph as a council member, showing you just how radical they are. As popular Twitch streamer Asmongold said on the matter, if he or anyone like him had said the same thing, they’d have been booted from the platform post-haste.

It’s a clue as to the intolerance Twitch practices behind the scenes.

The other idea is that money was involved. Doc was expensive, and well should be. He’s easily one of the most celebrated streamers in the industry. After the fall of Mixer, a competitive streaming platform to Twitch, some very popular streamers were floating around in the ether. Twitch naturally wanted to make deals with them, but the theory is that they couldn’t afford them without cutting elsewhere. “Elsewhere,” some speculate, was Dr. Disrespect.

It seems odd to make that the only reason it happened, given claims made by Twitch, as well as the treatment of Dr. Disrespect afterward. If it was a money issue, then why didn’t they buy Beahm out of his contract and forgo a potential lawsuit down the line that would cost them even more?

Perhaps it was one, perhaps the other, perhaps it was both, and maybe it was neither. We’ll find out soon.

Regardless, platforms are highly abusive to those who utilize them. As a Twitch streamer myself, I want the platform to be fair and evenhanded. I want disciplinary actions to make sense and be highly transparent. I want Twitch to lose this battle with Beahm, and what’s more, I want other platforms to watch Twitch lose it.