This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.
On Monday, YouTubers Matt Watson and Ryan Magee, hosts of the variety and gaming channel SuperMega, released response videos after a series of allegations that crept up over the weekend. Multiple former associates of the one-million-subscriber channel have claimed that the duo “covered up” a sexual assault by a graphic designer that worked for them.
Soon after the news of the assault broke, the allegations against the duo grew over the weekend: with one former collaborator confirming the series of events following the sexual assault, and another former employee accusing SuperMega of using bigoted language, Magee of sexting with fans, and Watson of showing his genitalia in the workplace.
Who is SuperMega?
Magee and Watson were originally editors for the Let’s Play group Game Grumps, before splitting off to start their channel. Since 2016, they’ve gained their audience by posting video games Let’s Plays, podcasts, and vlogs that showcase their fairly edgy online persona, full of crude toilet humor and over-the-top pranks.
But within four days of these latest accusations hitting the internet and their fanbase growing vocally upset, the pair released their video statements acknowledging that they acted inappropriately in response to the alleged assault, but denying some of the other claims made against them.
“We owe the deepest apology because Ryan and I didn’t handle the situation well,” Watson said in his response video that’s been viewed over 400,000 times. “I don’t think either of us was taking it as seriously as we should have been and that’s something I regret.”
On Thursday, cosplayer and artist Lex posted a two-hour YouTube video accusing a graphic artist that worked for SuperMega, known as DonDRRR, of sexual assault.
She claimed that in November 2021, while staying at Watson’s apartment, Don had “attempted to physically force” her to “give him oral sex,” despite her multiple verbal requests for him not to. She says she physically resisted enough to get him to stop, according to a summarized version of events on her Twitter. She claimed that she didn’t confront Don about it until April 2022 at the first Creator Clash, where both Watson and Magee were boxing publicly for the first time.
Lex claims that when she confronted Watson and Magee on the phone about her experience with Don, they gave “mixed messages.” She claims Watson said, “Technically Don isn’t an employee so we don’t have to do anything,” called the SuperMega brand his “Magnum Opus” and said the pair just needed to talk things out.
Musician, friend, and SuperMega collaborator Rav backed up some of Lex’s claims in his own Twitter post, writing that he was “with Matt and Ryan the evening Lex informed them of the sexual assault incident over the phone,” confirming her story.
Later that day, Don responded with his own Twitter post, “apologizing for any trauma” that Lex “may feel regarding [their] past relationship.”
SuperMega started to trend on Twitter, with many fans furious at the accusations being thrown about. Their subreddit turned into a warzone, with calls to stop donating to their Patreon, former fans ripping off SuperMega stickers from their laptops, and memes emerging about the death of SuperMega’s ongoing tour. Watson canceled his last two tour performances, writing on Twitter that he “doesn’t think it’s appropriate.”
Soon, others started to come forward about their own experiences with SuperMega. Leighton Stollard, a former employee of SuperMega who had been publicly fired from the group in April, went on a three-hour Twitch live stream on Friday making multiple claims, including, that on his first day, Watson had shown him his genitalia, that Magee would sext fans, and that the pair would make racist (including using the N-word), sexist, homophobic, and offensive jokes around the office.
In addition, Twitch streamer Morgpie claimed on a Friday Twitch stream that she had hooked up with Watson, while he had a girlfriend, and then ghosted her. The pair did not have a working relationship, though months later they did eventually reconcile and seemed on good terms.
The Response and Aftermath
Watson and Magee each released separate apology videos, acknowledging they had not treated the situation with Lex well.
According to Watson, “Lexi is an old friend of ours” and “some of the things on the call were misinterpreted.” He claims that after the call, they had an organized meeting with Don where he explained a story that was “different from Lex’s perspective” but he did eventually cut ties with the artist because of Lex’s claims.
“I wish I could do the entire situation over, I wish that I could remove any pain that I caused, and I wish that I had been a better friend,” Watson said.
Regarding the other claims, Watson acknowledged that he couldn’t have handled the situation with Morgpie better, but had started dating someone else and just decided to ghost her.
As for former employee Stollard, Watson claimed that he “has led a vindictive campaign to cancel us, to deplatform us, to ruin our image.” He acknowledges that “we did crude, Jackass style bits” and the N-word had “never been used between us in any context.”
Magee confirmed Watson’s account of Lexi’s story and acknowledged that they could have done things better. He admitted to and apologized for sexting with his fans, adding, “What I did is inexcusable and inappropriate.”
Once the apology videos dropped, the SuperMega fan base was divided. Some felt that there was no reason for this situation to even be made public and that “they’re not monsters, just really fucking stupid.” Others were quick to turn on Leighton, posting that he only cared about “getting revenge” on SuperMega.
It seems this serious internet story that started with a claim of sexual assault got co-opted by an angry fan base and slighted individuals who wanted to add to the noise. This public drama has caused SuperMega to lose around 50,000 YouTube subscribers, according to SocialBlade.
When an influencer screws up, the parasocial relationship they have with fans gets strained as if someone in their real life betrayed them. But the truth can get messy, especially when it gets blasted to hundreds of thousands of people and trends on social media.
After the pair released their videos, Lex posted one tweet saying, “After everything, I just want to heal and me talking was the first step to that.” Lex’s life, as well as the lives of the others who spoke out, were impacted by Watson and Magee’s inappropriate relationships and handling of trauma. There’s still no telling what permanent damage this has done to their career or any of the others mentioned.