The DrDisrespect Fallout: Twitch Ban Revelation Triggers Online Storm of Backlash and Memes

DrDisrespect Miloje/Shutterstock H3 Podcast Highlights/YouTube Remix by Caterina Rose Cox

The biggest Twitch news of the week, and maybe even the year, is the reveal of why Herschel “DrDisrespect” Beahm was banned from the platform in 2020. After a former Twitch employee tweeted that some streamer was banned after they “got caught sexting a minor” on Twitch’s private messaging platform Whisper, the internet quickly got to sleuthing and figured out they were talking about the Doc. 

Over the next few days, Bloomberg and The Verge confirmed the story, and Beahm himself admitted that there were “Twitch whisper messages with an individual minor back in 2017.” The blowback has been swift. Headphone developer Turtle Beach announced they were ending their partnership with the streamer. Soon after the San Fransico 49ers, who used him in multiple social media promotions, announced they would no longer work with Beahm. Even his closest streaming friends, like TimtheTatman and NickMercs, have distanced themselves in their own Twitter videos. Kai Cenat took some time out of his 100+ hour Elden Ring stream to block Beahm on Twitter. “DrDisrespect” hasn’t stopped trending all week with over 200,000 posts on X. 

And like any big internet scandal, the memes have been overflowing. Pictures of Beahm meshed with the movie “Predator” and Jeffrey Epstein filled feeds. While a DrDisrespect take on Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us Diss” track pulled in thousands of impressions. Someone even paid Chris Hansen, the former host of “To Catch a Predator” and Kickstarter scammer, for a Cameo on the subject.   

While some of Beahm’s most diehard supporters wrote that “this really hurts,” and that they were “disappointed,” going so far as to throw out their DrDisrespect Halloween costumes, others became irate. Breathing Beahm’s “violence, speed, momentum” catchphrase, they have been flocking all over social media to defend their favorite creator and their parasocial relationship. One Twitter user wrote, “I’m still waiting to see the actual text leak before I make up my mind.” “Rumble streamer Brandon Morse wrote, “I don’t believe the allegations.” 

The DrDisrespect subreddit with 76,000 members has also turned into a battleground, with users either trashing or defending the streamer. Though many of Beahm’s defenders have been removed. “I’ll believe it when I see proof,” wrote one Redditor. “I trust what the man himself says.” 

These sorts of responses were to be expected. Beahm’s large, young, male fan base has been conditioned to believe that their hero can do no wrong. A similar response occurred when creators like Andrew Tate, who is currently on trial in Romania for human trafficking, and Adin Ross, whose streams are packed to the brim with misogyny, experienced their mainstream cancellation. In those cases, the creators simply moved to a new platform with less strict community guidelines, like Kick or Rumble, and continued catering to the same crowd.  

These creators know how to bolster their fan bases and it feels like Beahm’s are following a similar path. It’s unclear if DrDisrespect will ever be able to return from this scandal. But if the comments section is any indication, some of his audience will still gladly embrace him.

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