Deadmau5 Deletes Twitch Channel After Being Suspended Over Slur

Image: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Howard Hughes Corporation

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.

Image: twitch.tv/deadmau5/

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.

Card

"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.


Comments

    If you read his "apology" on reddit, you can get a pretty good idea of what you're (not) missing from his twitch channel, he's borderline manic at times and quite unhinged.

    "What? It's just a word i use to convey hatred... oooooohhhhh!"

    Still waiting for the penny to drop here.

    "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.
    ...
    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. "

    When someone has a "one off" like this it's usually indicative of a person's character and the sorts of language and opinions they have when not in the spotlight. The guy has always seemed like a jerk.

      Language, yes. Opinions, no. It's kind of a common generic slur, most times not even used against gay men / straight women.

        Sorry but if you're in the public spotlight and cant even avoid language that will CLEARLY offend a large part of the community it shows a basic disrespect for that portion of the community.

          I tend to agree. But the portion of the community I am thinking of is just "people who would get offended by that word while watching a twitch stream" which isn't that large a part.

          MODS: This complies with the community guidelines

        Oh bullshit! Yeah, it's a "generic slur" not necessarily used against gays, because he's insulting the recipient by calling them gay, with the blatant ingrained insinuation that being gay is bad! That's the entire reason why "f**" is even AN INSULT IN THE FIRST PLACE! Why do I even have to point this out?! Calling a straight person a "f**" IS STILL HOMOPHOBIC!

          I have explained below.
          The insult can also be used to imply you are having relations with someone you would not be attracted to (in this case due to someone being a straight man, but may be used against anyone who is not attracted to men).
          Similar insults can come along the lines of motherf*cker or asskisser (as it pertains to ones boss).

          Not sure where people are getting the word f** from, that generally comes with stronger homophobic connotations.

          With respect, regardless of the origin of the term, it is becoming more and more disassociated with the homophobic slur. In fact, in most dictionaries, it refers to a tiring or unwelcome chore. Language has evolved, and just because someone uses a term that once (and in some parts still does) referred to a gay person does NOT imply negative connotations about the views of a person using it today regarding something other than gay people. Yes, the word has come to have an often distasteful association in its use as an insult, I don't disagree, but political correctness is going too far by implying that any person who uses the term today is automatically being homophobic. Hell, the word itself dates back to the 16th century, and didn't come to refer to LGBT-oriented individuals until the 1920s. Pretty damn sure they weren't using it to refer to gays negatively for three centuries before the term even became associated with them.

            *Please note, I am not making a direct reference to the context in which it was used in this case, simply arguing it in the context of general usage. Other things said by Deadmau5 in this case could certainly be taken to construe the words use in this case as a homophobic slur. I am simply arguing that the specified word does not automatically translate to a homophobic slur and should be viewed in terms of context, rather than people jumping to the conclusion that someone using it is automatically homophobic or had homophobic intent in its use.

          • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

            This comment is not available.

        I agree with you. Like the Southpark Harley episode, it's used reflexively as a bad word. Not as a specific targeted insult.

        That said, he is a public figure so it's not surprising he's getting held to a higher standard. I also think it's a pretty reaction from him to cancel the account and leave Twitch. Although, I must admit if I was in his shoes I'd probably do the same thing.

          Not intending to use it as a targeted insult is all well and good, but remember how Mr Garrison reacts when he sees it painted on a wall in town? That's the problem. Language don't exist in a vacuum.

            I also remember the "sticks & stones" rhyme. And being taught not to be so delicate that the slightest insult makes me burst into tears and run away. Something that I feel a lot of people must not be getting from their parents.

            Don't get me wrong, I think there is a point where a spur of the moment, random insult stops being that and becomes hate speech. But when you're angry and yelling abuse at an anonymous cheat in an internet game is NOT that point.

            Side note: I meant to type "petty reaction" in my first post not "pretty reaction" *facepalm*

      In some situations, cock sucking is actually viewed very favourably.

      Yeah, there is a background of this being used as an anti-gay slur, but it's one of those things that has kind of lost much of its bite or tendency towards that bent. Of course, there are still people who strongly associate that negative connotation with it rather than it being a generic insult.

      The guy lost his temper and that insult came out. Yes, it's possible that he could be an arsehat and a homophobe. That said, it could easily be argued that the people jumping down his neck and demonising him are engaging in behaviour every bit as responsible for fueling hatred as they're accusing him of being.

    He's a fucking tool, always has been.

    Unpopular as it might be, I could respect his response to the controversy....
    But the tantrum and consistent slip ups in the past just give me the impression that he is also a hat full of arseholes.

    There's stuff you just can't say in this day and age. Regardless of context or if everyone involved in the use of it okay with it.

    No one is immune and the more fame you have, the bigger target you have.

    No amounts of "I'm sorry's" is ever gonna change that.

    All he had to say was "yeah, I fucked up. Sorry for saying that" and it all would've gone away. Instead he shit's the bed, rolls around in it and refuses to admit that he stinks.

    What a big, dumb, baby.

      Yeah I think it's because he's the sort of person who genuinely thinks he didn't fuck up, that the internet is just too full of "SJWs". Just because you claim there's no malicious intent behind your casually prejudicial language doesn't excuse you from criticism to the impact it has. That's what annoys me the most about jerks like him, they want to be able to continue to "shitpost" without consequence or criticism under the guise of free speech, as if they're the victims.

        I imagine you have never said anything offensive before? Or said anything in anger that would be offensive?
        Honestly not baiting here. I wonder what peoples expectations are.

          Oh yes I've called people 'fucking asshole' before and called others 'degenerate trash' when dealing with shitty people or real selfish or violent individuals, but I can safely say my mind doesn't go towards racial or bigoted slurs, not since I've been 14 anyway and learned some semblance of empathetic emotional maturity. That probably had a lot to do with growing up in a multi-cultural school environment as a young closeted gay white man though.

          Anger's fine, but is it too much to expect others not to be shitty about it?

            This, seriously. Insults are fun, the most savage the better when you need to vent off. But there are countless ways to do so while not being offensive to groups of people, especially those who have been historically discriminated. Hell, you can come up with your own, those are the best.

            I understand that not all of us had the privilege of a non-bigoted upbringing and may have caught some unsavory words from friends and family. But this is the year 2019, people /know/ well what is kosher and what isn't. Even people who can honestly say that they adopted the words without meaning the intent should know to avoid them.

          Personally I've said offensive things before. I don't use slurs, at least not anymore. I used to call things retarded when I was younger, but when someone pointed out that it was offensive because it was derogatory to people with various mental or physical disadvantages or disabilities, I apologized and then stopped doing it.

          That's what the expectation is, you apologize and don't do it again

          Of course I've said shit before. I've occasionally even been a prick about it.

          But I wasn't a grown-ass man with millions of dollars and fans tied to my image.

          Nope I have never resorted to a single racist, sexist, homophobic slur in my idea life, even when angry.

          Because in my head, I dont connect those things with bad things. People who use, say cocksucker, in their brain they are angry and the first connection they think of is a man sucking a cock.

            You are truly a saint. Jesus must even think you are holy. Bless you.

              Nope. Just an adult. Who refuses to be an assh- to others based on their sex, gender, or race.

        So far the criticism hasn't been against the impact though. The impact hasn't even been shown to have occurred. People are either assuming impact or hypothesising that such an impact could occur.

        Even in the hypothetical situation where someone may interpret what he was saying as against their orientation, Deadmau5 has added further context with which they can interpret his comment : "it wasn't 'directed at an entire group of people who have a sexual orientation that differs from my own'". Which goes even further to shrink the range of available interpretations.

          I mean, deadmau5 doesn't get to decide his words have no impact, language doesn't work like that.

            On the flip side everyone has the ability to choose not to be offended.

            Well no, he doesn't. Although the impact hasn't been shown to exist.

            He doesn't get to choose the way his words are interpreted, but he does get to (and did!) clarify when they were misinterpreted. If people choose to remain in the dark beyond the point of clarity, it is on them.

            MODS: This complies with the Community Guidelines

    • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

      This comment is not available.

    Deadmau5 is no stranger to unsavoury public remarks

    So he was burning through second chances, and still threw a fit just for a suspension. Bye, jackass.

    It wasnt even a homophobic slur.

      Yeah it was. By calling the sniper a "f**" he was calling them gay. If you're NOT a homophobe, why would calling someone gay even be an insult?

        Because you are saying they have sexual relations with people they do not find attractive?

    If I looked at that in isolation, I'd equate using "c^%ck sucker" as an insult that's on par with calling someone a "[email protected]$ker". Personally I don't use either of those insults (I limit myself to much more general swearing) but I can see how they'd come out when going on a general swearing rant. Sometimes people just need to dial down how "offended" they are over some random guy on the internet who linked two bad words together.

    Based on his reaction though and previous suspension I'd say this isn't an isolated incident and he deserved it.

      I've always been of the opinion that offence is in the intent, not the action, and this doesn't look like he intended to offend homosexuals in general. As you say, its an insult on par with calling someone a [email protected], and to me, clearly the intent.

      The problem with insults is that you're making a comparison to someone, and implying the comparison is to someone weaker or lesser than the norm. So if you work off the logic Twitch did here, every insult is discriminatory.

      Calling someone a c*nt is comparing them to a female, and implying they are lesser for it. Straight up sexism, but is that the intent? Generally its just a stronger version of calling someone a [email protected]

      Fully agree that sometimes people just need to dial down how offended they are. Joe Hildebrand wrote a good story on it over the weekend. I don't agree with most of what he says, but he made some very good points with this. Its worth the read, if only to understand the issues. People are far to quick to be offended, and often don't recognise the intent in that haste.

      https://www.news.com.au/national/joe-hildebrand-writes-the-death-of-truth-how-facts-have-been-replaced-with-feelings/news-story/e28fa779be461fa8245f71e203baf862

      I worry where its headed. Any insult is belittling some person or group. Pretty much every joke has a victim, so is that next? What happens after that?

        Means you're limited to only insulting people by calling them something that society universally thinks is bad, like a ginger.

          See that's every bit as offensive in it's own way. Generalising that anyone with red hair is somehow bad or inferior is hate just like insulting gays or people of a different race.

          ps: I know you were joking, but that's the reality of the situation. If we're to believe that one insult towards a specific group is bad and hate speech, then any insults towards any group are equally bad and equally hateful.

            Your p.s. is my entire point...I just made it using a joke.

              I figured, but I also figure there are a bunch of people who read this who won't get the joke, or the more serious issue behind it :(

          See even there, where you're just kidding about redheads, somewhere theres a ginger in their sunblocked room, furiously typing out their protest at being singled out...

          Could go on another rant, but at the end of the day it just pisses me off. I don't let it define me in any way, but I can lay claim to 5 or 6 discrimination target groups in one way or other.

          Having dealt with it my whole life, what I see concerns me. Enough that I rarely voice my opinion outside a few forums like this where the debate is generally civilised.

    Brings to mind the South Park episode "The F Word" with the gang of bikers and the boys explaining in court how they had not used it as a homophobic insult.

      My (and a lot of other people's) major problem with that episode's message is just because the writers don't think it's a slur anymore doesn't mean it's not.

        Just because someone thinks it's a slur doesn't mean it is either.
        The way we tend to deal with definitions is look at the context of their usage in current day (the 'literally' change is a big example of this). As it is, the word likely has multiple definitions in today's usages, for some reason people only want to use a more traditional definition as opposed to actually taking into account the context around it.

        MODS: This complies with the community guidelines.

          I love that you have to tell the mods your comment complies because I've had a couple in this section removed even though they do comply. Such a terrible system and overly moderated. It is becoming on par with the US site.

    yay, good riddance to yet another self obsessed streamer. I am thoroughly sick of homophobic and sexism from gamers (it is why I never use comms anymore) if someone's vocabulary is so limited such a term just pops in their head when angry, maybe put down the controller or k/b mouse and study the English language.

      maybe you could help out and provide some alternatives?

        maybe dont allow yourself to get to such a point that you are losing your mind that much at other people, for your all own failings in game. And if you still have to act like that use some good old fashioned generic swear words, that dont demonise the other person based on who they are. A well placed F- word is always good, BUT a c- or bitch, is not good.

    So the real winners are the stream snipers? =]

    I mean, I get it. I also grew up in a time when if something was 'lame' you called it 'gay'. Where 'fag' was used to insult people of ANY sexual orientation - not just gay people. When 'retard' and 'retarded' were common, accepted ways of expression that something was nonsensical or stupid.

    It was normal then. It was broadly accepted. But that didn't mean that it wasn't hurting people - people who flinch every time they hear it because it HAS been used as a perjorative by the folks who've had real, materially negative impact on their lives. People who can't tell if the use of hate-speech is because of actual hate, or because the person using it just doesn't give a fuck about them. (Note: neither is good.) Because the language IS also synonymous with hate for that group, that confusion is to be expected - by anyone with a fucking shred of empathy.

    We're now at a point where it's known that it is wrong, where the harm, the hurt, is understood and acknowledged, where communities who care about other peoples' feelings when they communicate have made the collective decision not to tolerate that harm any more.

    It's understandable for a habit to die hard. That's a perfectly understandable reason for people to fuck up, fall back into an old - bad - habit as a slip; not because they actually wanted to express some suppressed hatred for homosexuals or folks with learning disabilities, but because for the speaker it's internally, harmlessly synonymous with 'lame,' 'asshole,' or 'stupid'.

    But it's not OK. It's understandable, not acceptable. It IS still a fuckup, because it DOES still do harm. And when you slip up, you apologize for your fuckup. You acknowledge that you know it's wrong, and that you formed your habit without knowing it was wrong.

    Language isn't something you keep preserved in a bottle. It's a tool. We use it to communicate. If a tool doesn't do its job any more because it got some shit crusted on it, we use a different one. It's that simple. Not necessarily easy - like I said, habits die hard - but definitely simple.

      *applause* That was brilliant.

      This post is brilliant, but I have to disagree.
      The language is not synonymous with the hatred of that group, it is the same word with a different meaning. The confusion is a possibility (like with most words with multiple definitions), but should not be expected when the person using the word clarifies which definition they were using (as happened in this case).
      The 'slip up' isn't even anyone's fault in this case, it is a meaning which was lost in translation.

      MODS: This complies with the community guidelines

        I really don't understand this 'it's not a homophobic slur any more' argument. It's pretty self evident that plenty of people have a problem with that word - lots of people still think it's synonymous with homophobia, even if you and Deadmau5 don't happen to think so.

          Sure, happy to explain. You see the insult can also be used to imply you are having relations with someone you would not be attracted to (in this case due to someone being a straight man, but may be used against anyone who is not attracted to men).
          Similar insults can come along the lines of motherf*cker or asskisser (as it pertains to ones boss).
          Also to clarify, I do not think this is the only definition, I am reasonably certain that you can use the word in a homophobic manner, but in doing so, you would alter it's meaning from the one above.

            As in, I don't understand how anyone can think it's not a homophobic slur any more. The definition you are suggesting is the newer, but more importantly, less common one. Language changes work by consensus. Surely it would need everyone to be in agreement on the new definition - which they're clearly not atm - for it to become the actual definition? I mean, it's not even the de facto definition yet. And until such time as the definition actually changes, the people who don't think it's offensive in that way, but who are simultaneously aware that other people find it offensive in that way, should probably think twice about using it if they don't want to get people offside.

        I appreciate the compliment and polite disagreement and want to try cover a different perspective to address the point you’ve raised.

        Language as a tool, again: the metaphor I used earlier extends to when someone else uses what you consider to be your tool somewhere they’re not meant to, in a way they’re not meant to. Through that misuse they get some genocide/racism/homophobia gunk all over it, and now it won’t come off and you can’t use that tool you’re comfortable with any more. And that’s disappointing/annoying, but it’s also OK because there are a lot of fucking tools in the toolbox and even if you liked that tool, it’s not the right tool for the job any more and if you care about the job you’re trying to do, you use the right tool for the job. In this case, the job is: communication. Language is not ever just 'your' tools. It's everyone's tools. And that means that sometimes someone's going to go and fuck them up on us.

        You use a tool with shit smeared on it, you get shit smeared over what you’re working on, so don’t pick a tool that had shit smeared on it. Even if you’re OK with a bit of shit on your work and you don’t even notice it, the people you’re delivering it to aren’t.

        It does matter how people are using language now, and how many people are using it. Language is entirely subject to mob rule. People who are fond of their old language habits can complain about this all they like, but it doesn’t change the reality. It doesn’t matter how the language was used a hundred years ago, hell even twenty years ago. What matters is what it means to most people when you use it now, because the point of using a word is as a vehicle for an idea, and if the vehicle isn’t cutting it NOW in 2019, it doesn’t matter what it did in 1919 when ‘gay’ meant ‘happy.’

        People can’t use a slur like ‘faggot’ and pretend that the 20th century evolution of language didn’t happen and be all naively confused that everyone else is upset because they’ve interpreted use of language in the way that the broader community is using now. That might be OK if you were making up words that no-one else uses, but these are real words, that real bigots use.

        It doesn’t cut it to say, “My circle of friends uses this language to mean one thing that totally isn’t hateful, even though the rest of the world outside that circle of friends considers the exact same word to be used for hate.”
        This is especially true when consciously and deliberately broadcasting that language via a medium chosen explicitly for its property of reaching the rest of the fucking world.

        When the only clue as to the difference between homophobia and not, when using ‘fag’ as an insult is, “You guys just know I’m not homophobic, it’s cool,” then no, actually, it’s not cool. The difference is NOT clear. Communication has been unsuccessful. The language tool used to communicate has been poorly selected for its purpose and other, non-shit-smeared tools could and should have been used to get the job done.

      By what you're saying you can't use "Lame" either since it's an insult to less physically able people.

      That's why I have a problem with trying to dictate what people can and cannot say. Or trying to define words alone as evil without looking at context or intent.

    Deadmau5 [Cuts Off Nose To Spite Face] After Being Suspended Over Slur
    Yeah that'll show 'em

    Famous guy has tantrum because someone tells him "no".

    generally when I want to insult someone, I say stuff that I know, or am pretty sure, is going to be insulting to them. that they're going to take offense to. I don't choose my words to express my sincere feelings on any social issues, or to insult some arbitrary group who I don't happen to be pissed off at in that moment. is it insensitive to gay male folk? absolutely. does it express hatred? not necessarily, no. if he knew the guy was gay, then yeah, that would certainly qualify as an expression of hatred and should be treated as such

    when someone is angry enough with someone else to viciously insult that person, that person is they focus of their attention. and being insensitive does not indicate hate. it indicates insensitivity

    honestly, if you think it's OK to say "motherf*cker" (in a positive context) are you condoning incest? because that seems to be the logic at play in a lot of this.this is about using nasty, filthy language to express how you feel. "cursing" isn't really something that's supposed to have positive connotations. you do it precisely because it's offensive. that is the intent. not to express how you feel about a particular segment of society. that happens elsewhere. it's not some grand "reveal" about your psyche if you don't care about how certain people feel when your emotions are running high about something unrelated. you can say "well that person is terribly insensitive", and be correct, but you can't say that person hates gay people. you can't even say that person is discriminatory towards gays. not from a word. they could very well be that insensitive to everyone when they're that pissed off. is that something you know?

    I'm pretty old, and until I got out of school, homophobic slurs where the coin of the realm. unfortunately we also had no "out" gay people. at all. and that's not a cool thing. at all. I happen to be profoundly mentally ill. haven't worked in 25, don't leave the house. I'm not offended when someone uses "batshit" or "not right in the head" as a generic insult. if it was directed at someone I or that person knew had psychological problems, yeah, that would be a problem. if not, yeah, of course not. that's just part of my perspective as someone who deals with a tremendous amount of social marginalization and stigmatization. I actually understand the "reasoning" behind that marginalization and stigmatization. I understand why it would be used as insult. I don't really condone it but I understand why people fear it and why it makes them uncomfortable. and it's generally not becasue they're hateful people

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now