Dr Disrespect (Guy Beahm) has a marmite-like effect on the wider gaming community. Fans of the successful Twitch streamer lap up his jokes referencing 80s and 90s culture and enjoy the fiery quips of his wrestling ‘heel’ persona. The other side of the community reject his larger-than-life character, painting him as a bully that hides behind his brand to get away with it. No matter which side of the community you align with (if at all), it’s fair to say that the Doc has made a few mistakes in recent years.
His most recent slip-up occurred at E3 where, during an IRL (In Real Life) live stream he and his cameraman entered the public restrooms inside the Los Angeles Convention Centre, catching a number of adults using the bathrooms on his stream, as well as a minor. In breach of both Twitch TOS and California State Law, his Twitch account and access to the Convention Centre were quickly banned.
On 1st July, Beahm issued a statement apologising for his actions at E3. Here are the main snippets:
“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….”
“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 had no ill intentions and I feel that was pretty obvious if you watched the entire thing…On behalf of the Dr Disrespect brand, I apologize for this..”
He later goes on to say that he is looking to move forward after this incident and acknowledges the great amount of support he receives from friends, family and his community.
His apology was met with a mixture of forgiving messages from fans, as well as negative comments criticising him for ‘hiding behind his character’. As you’d expect, many outlets in the games press covered the apology. However, Nathan Grayson’s Kotaku article garnered a bit more attention from Dr Disrespect, himself. Following a few tweets regarding the article, Kotaku’s News Editor, Jason Schreier and Dr Disrespect joined the thread.
This was not the final word on the matter. Dr Disrespect then wrote two tweets, mocking both Nathan Grayson and Jason Schreier individually.
Schreier also replied to the tweet aimed at him and many others have responded to the threads since. Once again, the overall consensus is incredibly divisive. A number of people are criticising Dr Disrespect for mocking these journalists and have jumped to their defence. It appears that his actions have even crossed a line within his own community, with fans claiming that while they like him, and understand his character/brand, this is too far. Others are continuing to support the Doc’s jabs, and some have just taken this opportunity to just complain about Kotaku in general.
It’s difficult to predict how people will react to edgy characters like Dr Disrespect. Maintaining this kind of brand is proving to be very challenging in an environment where some people interpret his actions as those of an entertaining caricature, and others see them as something far more sinister and damaging. Either way, I think we can agree that being a massively successful and popular Twitch streamer is a tonne of hard work.