Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as “deadmau5”, has deleted his Twitch channel and vowed to cancel all partnerships and associations with Twitch after the streaming platform suspended the electronic music producer over a slur used on a livestream.
The ban precipitated from a stream earlier in week, when the Canadian DJ was playing PUBG with fellow streamer SmaceTRON. During the stream, the pair’s location was exploited through “stream sniping”, whereby people target streamers in-game by following their stream on a second screen.
The frustration of that – which most gamers treat as akin to cheating – eventually mounted, and deleted Twitch clips recorded Deadmau5 saying “is that some fucking cock-sucking stream sniper f**”, as reported by EDM.
Following the airing of the clips, Deadmau5 was suspended for the homophobic slur. The artist responded by deleting his Twitch channel entirely, explaining in his official subreddit that he wouldn’t work or associate with Twitch going forward.
“While 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’,” the Canadian producer wrote. “I know who I am, and I don’t have to fucking sit here and cry and defend my fucking self with the obligatory ‘I’M NOT THAT PERSON, I AM SORRY’ reflex.”
Deadmau5 continued to defend his intent in replies to users, stressing that his remark wasn’t indicative of his views. “Of course there’s a huge line between being tilted as fuck over a video game and saying some shit vs. mobilising a fucking belief standard with what ACTUALLY is hate speech,” he said.
The removal of the channel has caused some confusion on social media, with some users believing that Twitch was responsible for removing Deadmau5’s channel, as opposed to Deadmau5 deleting it in protest. Fans of the artist have backed his move, labelling Twitch’s suspension as another example of double standards and censorship, while others noted that the speech was a violation of Twitch’s terms of service and language that is fairly simple to avoid.
Deadmau5 is no stranger to unsavoury public remarks, however. Late last year he apologised for posting transphobic remarks as part of a heated Twitter argument. In that same week, the producer used the phrase “autistic shit” to describe American producer Julian “Slushii” Scanlan’s music, a day after World Mental Health Day and even though Scanlan has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
The remarks and following criticism caused Deadmau5 to announce a hiatus from social media, with his management team posting on his Twitter account from November. Deadmau5 has been active on Reddit over the last month, posting on the site about the construction of Cube 3.0 and his McLaren Senna sports car.