Guy “DrDisRespect” Beahm is back, with an apology, of sorts, for his E3 bathroom mishap (link to the previous article here) you can catch up on here. It’s not been a great two weeks for DrDisRespect’s brand, banned temporarily from Twitch, kicked out of E3, and faced with public backlash over the fact no one thought it would be a bad idea to livestream repeatedly from a public bathroom. Outside of a surprisingly confident YouTube update, DisRespect’s been relatively silent. Now, he’s addressed the full controversy. We’ve included the entire two paragraphs below:
“I’d like to talk about Dr Disrespect’s Twitch ban from E3.
This was my first IRL stream as the Doc and if it’s not obvious by now, one of the things I try to stay true with is authenticity. Real life personas are so difficult to pull off, especially in today’s society. Doc is edgy, highly opinionated, cocky, etc. and that certainly adds to the difficulty in staying authentic without offending anyone on a deeper, personal level. When we were walking around filming at E3, we clearly weren’t thinking about the laws/repercussions of filming in the bathroom because honestly, it wasn’t in our mind frame at the time. We were sort of ‘all in’ with the Doc livestream experience and capturing the E3 event through the character. We were so into the E3 IRL journey that we became a little blind in what’s ok and what’s not ok. We had no ill intentions and I feel that was pretty obvious if you watched the entire thing. We wanted to capture an adventure, unfortunately we took that adventure into the wrongs areas unaware of the legalities surrounding it. On behalf of the Dr Disrespect brand, I apologize for this.
I’ve sat back and absorbed a lot of opinions on the incident and the aftermath. I think those that have followed me for years outside of the character, even before Twitch, know what kind of person I am. I have an incredible support system from family, friends, business partners, community and following. I’m very lucky to be considered an influential person in this entertainment space. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted. We are working on a lot of things (that take time) that will hopefully continue to elevate the brand and gaming entertainment as a whole into the main stream space. I have a ruthless passion for creativity, for entertaining people, making people laugh, growing new tools and tech etc. This incident was a step back, but like anything, we learn, become stronger, and move forward. If you follow the brand or myself, I hope you continue to stay with me on this vision.“
The Actor and the Brand
Initially, this sounds somewhat genuinely repentant. Beahm acknowledges that this whole bathroom shtick was a bad idea and that they didn’t take the legalities into account partially because this was their first ever IRL stream. An apology is given, on behalf of the brand. Also, it wasn’t Beahm himself or his crew that were accompanying him who made the call; they did it purely to stay in character, for the brand. It’s a deference of guilt towards a fictional character, but that fictional character is directly under Beahm and his team’s control. He’s portraying that character, therefore like any actor or creator, had every opportunity to say, “You know what, maybe we don’t do this.” Whatever “authenticity” one may want to keep with their audience, DrDisRespect isn’t an episode of Game of Thrones. It’s entirely within every performer’s control to step back and reassess themselves.
All this said, even if it’s an apology that deflects most responsibility onto the brand – going so far as to apologize “on behalf of the brand” rather than just directly as himself – if Beahm had left it at that, it’d be fine. Another Twitch controversy done and dusted. Except, he keeps going, effectively advertising for himself and how there’s new content on the horizon. That those who know Beahm outside of his persona would see the “incident” as a mere “step back,” and that thebrand had just gone off the rails. Repeatedly. Into a public bathroom.
This wasn’t enough, though. Within a day of apologizing, Beahm proceeded to take aim at Kotaku’s News Editor, Jason Schreier.
One could surmise that the outburst is in response to a recent piece by Kotaku that, similar to our assessment, takes issue with the concerning emphasis in Beahm’s apology. Except, ironically, it’s instead written by Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson, who for the record has been covering Beahm’s ongoing E3 controversy the whole time. Meanwhile, Jason Schreier’s been more busy talking about sweatshop working conditions at Treyarch’s QA department. Granted, he took enough seconds out of his day to respond to this latest outburst, with style to spare.
There’s no reason for this outburst. Perhaps it’s an attempt to shift the conversation away from the far more severe controversy, or maybe just the DrDisRespect brand continuing to strive to be more “authentic”? At this point, we can only begin to speculate how any creative decision is made by the DisRespect brand.
Where is the Accountability?
Worse still, there’s still no clear line of accountability drawn by Twitch.TV for when a streamer commits such extremely unprofessional behavior. By restoring DisRespect’s stream so swiftly frankly turns Twitch.TV’s ban of DisRespect into free PR. Two weeks of downtime slips by in a flash for online content creation. It didn’t teach Beahm that his actions were over the line; it gave him more momentum to merchandise his brand while offering a quick apology. In truth, even those trying to condemn his actions are caught in a whirlwind of accidentally giving him more coverage. He’s reaping the rewards of this small-time burst. Other streamers have been banned swiftly for far less. (Another potential cross-article link opportunity).
When this story first started, we called for a better standard for streamers. Now, we have to ask the same of Twitch.TV itself. It’s a marvelous platform, packed with literally thousands of hours worth of great content. This entire situation doesn’t convey that in the slightest. It makes the platform seem indecisive, or worse, reliant on such questionable content. Once again, we don’t want or need to see more creators suffer because a handful of bad actors are running around like children. No, Beahm shouldn’t have been banned permanently, but Twitch.TV sincerely needs to get its priorities in order.