Dr Disrespect, one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, is not returning to the platform after he was abruptly banned three weeks ago, he told CNN Business in an interview.
The streamer, whose real name is Herschel “Guy” Beahm, was one of the biggest on the platform with more than 4 million followers. In May, he had 4 million hours watched, bringing him into the top 20 most watched channels that month, according to SullyGnome, a Twitch analytics website.
Twitch, the Amazon-owned platform that’s the leader in livestreaming gaming content, banned Beahm last month and hasn’t commented publicly on a specific reason. Beahm had announced back in March that he signed a multi-year, exclusive contract with Twitch.
While fans waited for an explanation, Beahm tweeted on June 27, “Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision… Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.”
In an interview Tuesday, he said: “Imagine driving to work and you show up and the doors are locked and you’re not allowed in, and you’ve been told you’ve been fired and there’s no reason at all. It’s baffling.”
“My whole life I’ve never really dealt with anxiety and I have to be honest, ever since we heard the news, I’ve had crazy levels of anxiety.”
Twitch said in an emailed statement on June 26: “As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
Fans on social media studied the last few minutes of Beahm’s last stream before his Twitch page disappeared and noted on June 27 that the streamer went silent for a few moments before saying, “I know it’s tough, life’s weird right now. We’ll get through this OK.” The broadcast ended soon after.
Beahm explained that he did not learn about the ban during his last Twitch stream and the reason he appeared a bit “off” was because of “feeling the effects of what’s happening around the world” including the coronavirus pandemic.
The actual moment he learned of the ban, he said he saw features were being turned off on his Twitch profile and his social media began to blow up.
The ban came in late June two days after Twitch announced it was permanently banning streamers, following “recent allegations of sexual abuse and harassment involving Twitch streamers.” The timing led some to speculate about Beahm, even though there are no public allegations against him.
“I’ve seen all the crazy speculation, theories and conspiracies out there … it’s very disheartening to see my name thrown around and all that,” said Beahm.
For now, Beahm said he is considering his options, which include other platforms like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming, and is not currently interested in signing an exclusive deal with any one platform. He is also considering streaming independently on his website.
“I’ve always had this dream of what does the Doc Universe look like instead of just streaming 100% of the time. That’s what we were working towards with a book deal and a TV deal,” he said.
The ban has also served as one of his few moments away from streaming.
“In the four years that I streamed on Twitch, I think I took like maybe one vacation,” said Beahm. “Obviously you want to be able to take a vacation on good terms and knowing that you can come back.”
He added: “These are different terms but at the same time, it’s good for the mind to get away from the tech and the social media.”