On June 26th, Beahm was removed by Twitch without warning, and soon afterwards his paid subscribers received notifications that they would be refunded. Beahm had an audience of more than 4 million subscribers on the live streaming platform and in March he signed an eight-figure contract to stream exclusively on Amazon’s own platform. Twitch has given no reason for the separation, which is why the circumstances and reasons for the move are the subject of much speculation.
Beahm called the Washington Post in his first interview since Twitch threw him aside. He was grim and measured his answers. Many of his answers went back to the community he had built and his hopes for the future. When asked about his removal from Twitch or his next steps, he often followed his lawyer̵
“I am dealing with a lot of stress and fear,” said Beahm to the Post. “You know, my wife and I both, that’s our livelihood. We worked very hard to get to this point. … Let’s just say I’ve felt all the emotions that you could possibly feel. “
Beahm claims he still doesn’t know why Twitch effectively voided his contract, just a few months after a two-year exclusivity agreement first reported by The Verge.
“Frankly, we just don’t know,” said Beahm to the post. “It was a total shock. Imagine you come to work and the doors are closed and you cannot enter. You go, “what’s going on?” And you were told that you were fired. But you weren’t told why. We just didn’t get an answer. … It was the worst feeling. “
Beahm said he heard the news when he saw a friend’s stream on Twitch. Noticing that some of the functions that were normally available to him as the creator were not available, he emailed Twitch. In response, the company informed him of their actions, but gave no reason. (Twitch is owned by Amazon, whose CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.)
A Twitch spokesman, asked for more details on the day of the decision, said he was “unfamiliar with additional information at the moment.” Since June 26, Twitch has declined several additional requests from The Post to answer follow-up questions.
Discord, a video game chat platform, said they also removed Beahm from their affiliate program shortly after the Twitch news hit on June 26. Discord’s program did not require Beahm’s active participation; It only checked its presence on the platform and gave its account certain otherwise paid functions. (Beahm and his representative told the Post that they were not aware of the partnership.)
Through a spokesman, Discord told The Post that partners “are subject to a higher standard than typical users,” and made a similar statement to Twitch: “Discord partners must adhere to our Code of Conduct, and if violations occur, we take action Action Action. “The company declined to comment on the reasons for the termination of the partnership.
In the days since, Beahm said that he had spent time with his family and had a short vacation on the beach while considering his legal options. He declined to refer to any pending legal action based on the advice of his lawyers.
Twitch’s silence about Beahm’s removal has left a wealth of information full of speculation, from conspiracies about Doc leaving the platform for a competing service to suggestions that the removal was a PR stunt. On Twitter, David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who was recently removed from YouTube and Facebook for spreading anti-Semitic allegations, linked Twitch’s termination of Beahm’s contract to Beahm’s reference to the stream.
The break between Beahm and Twitch also takes place in the middle of a settlement of misconduct in the video game and esport industry. In the past few weeks, dozens of women and men have tweeted allegations of sexual abuse and harassment by prominent members of the gaming community. So far, no allegations have been made publicly against Beahm.
Speaking to The Post, Beahm refused to go into certain theories and repeated that Twitch had not told him or his team the reasons for the removal, often referring to the support of his subscribing audience. “It’s just because I’m not interested in crazy speculation,” said Beahm. “You know, I have a great community, loyal fans.”
The last minutes of Beahm’s last stream have also fueled theories about his distance from Twitch. Videos of this last stream show him pursing his lips and having trouble speaking. In the end he says: “I appreciate everyone who is watching today. We will … we will … we will come through this Champions Club [his name for his online supporters]. Life is weird now, we’ll get through this, okay? “Then he swears and leaves the stream.
Beahm flatly denied any connection between this stream and its subsequent distance. He told The Post that his comments focused on the current “state of the world”, including the corona virus and protests across the country.
“I stepped out of my doctoral character, which I do from time to time just to have a more personal moment with my audience in my community. And that was a special moment, and that’s exactly what it was, ”he said.
Beahm started full-time streaming in 2015 and created the character of Dr. Dispect, a brazen, bombastic alter ego that has become an icon in video game streaming circles for its looks. These include a fake black mullet and a mustache, colorful performance sunglasses and a pseudo combat vest paired with a spandex long-sleeved shirt. As a former NCAA Division II basketball player with a family, Beahm contrasted with the teenagers and 20-year-olds who are leading the video game and online streaming world. For his fans, Dr. Dispect’s ability to play first-person shooter games like Call of Duty may be secondary to the character’s trash talk and tendency to look for dramas that both made him famous and occasionally got him into trouble.
Beahm’s streaming career included several controversies, from offensive jokes to an incident at the 2019 E3 gaming convention, in which he entered a public men’s room and continued to beam live on camera. He was excluded from the convention and his channel was temporarily blocked by Twitch. Previously, he took a two-month break from streaming in December 2017 after admitting to cheating on his wife. Another scandal included allegations of racism for using a false Chinese accent during a stream.
“I was very transparent to my fellow human beings and my community,” said Beahm during the interview. “If someone knows the doctor and knows who I am, you know that I went up every time and took full responsibility. And I learned from these mistakes. “
At various times during his streaming period, Beahm received sponsorship contracts with brands such as Gillette, Mountain Dew, ASUS, Razer and ROCCAT, the company behind Turtle Beach game accessories. In addition to the exclusive streaming contract with Twitch (which, according to a person familiar with the contract who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it with the media, totaled eight numbers), Beahm also received a TV development contract with SkyBound Entertainment.
Beahm said in the interview that the plans for the TV show have not been affected by the recent events. SkyBound Entertainment did not respond to the post’s requests for comments.
“Listen, we’ll see,” said Beahm about the planned TV company. “We worked really hard. We are ready to go. You know, we look forward to the next steps. “
During a half-hour interview, Beahm searched for words and gave several stuttering answers to questions, including his last stream – a clear contrast to his WWE-like character. When asked how it felt to be so reserved after his removal, Beahm said his answer had been carefully coordinated by his team.
“I’m trying to take the right steps to deal with it,” said Beahm.
These latest developments came at a time when Beahm and his wife felt “just being in such a good place in life and [their] Relationship, family and work, ”he said.
“All the right points were on hand, all parts of this large puzzle in the Doc universe,” said Beahm. “And everything was just fine. Everything has just been lined up … to push the doctor character out of streaming and more into this universe. You know, kind of a mainstream media. “
Beahm and his team are considering possible next steps. Although its representatives refused to comment on possible future streaming venues, there are a number of alternatives. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the most popular streamers working today, has experimented with streaming on YouTube – but with no exclusive obligation. Mixer, the soon-to-be-defunct streaming platform supported by Microsoft, has been working to convert its users to Facebook Gaming.
“We have worked really hard to get to this point and suddenly it is as if everything has stopped,” said Beahm. “But I’m surrounded by a good team. And we put together a nice little game plan. I’m really looking forward to taking things to the next level. “