Guy Beahm, better known as your nephew’s favorite Twitch streamer Dr Disrespect, has been permanently removed from Amazon’s streaming service as of today, according to industry insiders speaking anonymously to Kotaku. The decision was made without warning and without public statement from either Beahm or Twitch after the fact, amid a wider culling by Twitch of streamers recently accused of sexual harassment and/or assault, which may or may not be related to Beahm’s dismissal.
Beahm has been streaming as Dr Disrespect, a “persona” befitting the name whose personality is built on confrontation and dismissive superiority, full-time since leaving Sledgehammer Games in 2015. In that time he has become one of Twitch dot Television’s most successful content creators, amassing over 4.5 million followers and more than 30,000 paid subscribers as of last month, according to TwitchTracker. He did so by being a white man in a wig and sunglasses who constantly screams like this, except for when he’s making fun of disabled people or being overtly racist. (The proceeding links come with content warnings for sexism, ableism, and racism.)
For his part, Beahm has consistently doubled down when faced with criticisms of his behavior online, shielded safely by the excuse that Dr Disrespect, not Beahm himself, has perpetrated these edgy and offensive acts. One rare exception came when Beahm issued a halfhearted apology “on behalf of the Dr Disrespect brand” following a temporary account suspension in 2019 after live-streaming from inside a public bathroom at E3, which is a misdemeanor under California law. In more recent times, Beahm has pivoted to espousing coronavirus denial conspiracy theories as part of “Doc’s” whole thing, in addition to the customary amounts of screaming, slamming things, and generally acting like a petulant child.
A since-deleted tweet from streamer ShannonZKiller claimed that internal sources at Twitch had confirmed to her how “serious” the situation with Beahm is, according to Kotaku, though it is still unknown whether Beahm’s erasure from the service has anything to do with ongoing sexual abuse allegations against a number of high-profile streamers. Over the past few days Twitch has removed several accounts at the centers of various allegations, though none have publicly mentioned Beahm, or other members of his general area of influence. It’s possible that Beahm was terminated after damaging information was confidentially made known to Twitch, but it’s just as possible that today’s dismissal is entirely unrelated.
Still, the timing begs the question. Baehm had signed a multi-year exclusivity deal with Twitch last March for an undisclosed amount of money, following the very public poaching of several other big-name streamers by Microsoft’s Mixer service — an investment that surely paid dividends. Whether Beahm stops streaming entirely after this, or relocates Dr Disrespect’s extremely loud carnival side-show to another service like Facebook Gaming or YouTube, remains to be seen. What happens next will largely depend on the details of today’s events, if and when they become public, with specific regards to the severity of the transgression that lead to his removal from Twitch.
It is possible that Twitch has simply cut Beahm loose, considering him too loose a cannon to keep around in an environment where accountability has just started to exist, but this is merely conjecture on my part. Twitch would also have to be willing to eat however much it paid Beahm to stay on the service last March, but since this is Amazon we’re talking about, that’s not entirely crazy either. It’s still 2020 out there, so he could be the compromised asset of a foreign government for all I know. We’ll just have to wait and see, and in the meantime figure out how to exist with one less boring white person screaming on the internet.