Electronic musician Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman was suspended from the streaming service Twitch after using homophobic language during a game broadcast, and it doesn’t sound like he’s coming back.
Zimmerman used an offensive slur for homosexuals while playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. He was reportedly angry at another player who, according to Zimmerman, could have been “stream-sniping” him in the match.
After Twitch suspended Zimmerman for the language he used, he took to Reddit to reveal that he was not going to be streaming on the platform any longer, calling what he did “harmless” and accusing the platform of having a double standard for suspending people. He then published a longer statement, where his tune seems to have changed.
“I know what I said was wrong, and my hastily composed non-apology was insult to injury,” he said in a second Reddit post. “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.”
Zimmerman added that Twitch was within its rights to ban him for the slur, and that he would be staying “more quiet” as he continues to work on music. Since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds exploded in popularity, he had been an avid player and even began work on his own first-person shooter in 2018.
This isn’t the first time a high-profile celebrity has been criticized for using a slur while livestreaming PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Iin 2017, PewDiePie uttered a racial slur while playing the game, resulting in backlash from certain game developers. He later apologized and acknowledged that he needed to learn more from his controversies, though it was far from the last time he’d find himself in hot water.
The controversy comes at a time when LGBTQ identities are becoming more broadly accepted and included in video games themselves. Most recently, Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends launched with one male character in a same-sex relationship and another non-binary character. Blizzard’s Overwatch also has several characters who are part of the LGBTQ community, including Soldier 76 and Tracer.