Joel Zimmerman, aka Grammy-nominated electronic music producer Deadmau5, has abandoned his Twitch account after a high-profile ban for using homophobic slurs.
In the past, Zimmerman has leveraged his popularity to play with several high-profile Twitch personalities, including Shroud and DrDisrespect. During a live game of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Zimmerman responded to another player shooting him by saying ‘Is that some fucking cock-sucking stream sniper?’ before calling the player the f-slur. Since Twitch’s community guidelines prohibit hateful conduct, which it defines as including racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs, Zimmerman’s account was temporarily suspended. This is the standard punishment Twitch hands down for a first offence.
However, Deadmau5 took to Reddit to vent over what he considered shoddy treatment by Twitch.
“im not going to stand for twitch’s double standard when it comes to censoring and suspending me for harmless shit, […] im gunna have to cut this one short. I dont have the capacity to deal with that kind of shit.” said the 38-year old man. About the slur, and his justification for using it, he commented “it was intended to insult a fuckin asshat who was being a fucking asshat…. it wasn’t “directed at an entire group of people who have a sexual orientation that differs from my own” fuck off with that shit. i know who i am, and i dont have to fucking sit here and cry and defend my fuckingself with the obligatory “IM NOT THAT PERSON, I AM SORRY” reflex.”
He also attempted to write off his initial outburst as a ‘heat of the moment’ aberration, joining the likes of PewDiePie in blaming poor impulse control for using bigoted language in front of huge audiences. Unfortunately, this kind of unpleasant, petulant behavior is part of a pattern, and not one restricted to merely livestreamed video games. On a previous stream he called fellow electronic musician Slushii’s music ‘autistic’ and ‘AIDS music’. This was especially insensitive considering Slushii is on the autism spectrum. In the same month, he went off on a random Twitter troll, accusing them of being willing to ‘suck a guy off for 40 grand ZERO fucking questions asked’. When called out for the homophobic tone, he doubled down and added transphobia to his repertoire, claiming that ‘women don’t posses penises’.
On Thursday, Deadmau5 followed up his previous Reddit post with a more coherent and level-headed response.
“I needed a little cool down there for a few and seriously reflect on all this. I know what I said was wrong, and my hastily composed non-apology was an insult to injury. I realize that trying to somewhat dismiss it as “gamer culture” was even worse. I don’t know why I did that. But I do know it was stupid and insensitive and I feel even more ashamed. This was my worst moment.
As for twitch, they had every right to ban me for that, it was clearly in violation of their terms, even if it wasn’t … it was all around an incredibly irresponsible and insensitive thing to say nonetheless. Especially for someone who has a reach. What I said was incredibly stupid, and I don’t actually hold those beliefs, at all. I let some gamer get the best of me, and in that moment I completely lost control. And me lashing back with some knee-jerk post about how it may have seemed unjustified… was completely unfair to twitch and its viewers. So I apologize for that as well.”
It does seem like Zimmerman will be sticking to his guns about keeping away from Twitch for the time being.
“Apologies once again to everyone I’ve disappointed. I would love nothing more than to finally be at peace with myself and be the best human being I can be, trust me. Being “mr. I don’t give a fuck” is not someone I ever aspired to be.
So I’ll keep things even more quiet until I can learn to be the person.”
We hope that he can make improvements in his conduct and become a better person as well.