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Twitch severs ties with Super Smash Bros. streamer ZeRo

Twitch banned streamer Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, known for his involvement in the Super Smash Bros. community, from the platform indefinitely following his admission of sexually harassing minors.

Barrios’ Twitch ban comes after he was booted from streaming platform Facebook Gaming and e-sports team Tempo Storm following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against minors. Barrios was accused of sending explicit messages to victims Jackie “Jisu” Choe and Twitter user Katie, who didn’t give her last name on the social media platform, for which he apologized and claimed his abuse as a child impacted his decisions.

Barrio’s Twitch ban also effectively ended his partnership with the company, according to Twitch streamer CommanderRoot.

Most likely a perma ban as the account isn't a partner anymore

— CommanderRoot (@CommanderRoot) July 22, 2020

The Super Smash Bros. community is in the midst of a reckoning with this type of behavior. In addition to Barrios’ sexual assault allegations and admission, other streamers in the community, including Cinnamon “Cinnpie” Dunson, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, and D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, have faced sexual abuse allegations of their own.

Nintendo, which is not formally connected to the competitive Super Smash Bros. scene, responded by sympathizing with the victims and condemning the activities of the accused members within the competitive Super Smash Bros. arena.

Barrios’ Twitch ban follows the platform’s announcement it will responsibly address sexual abuse by and misconduct allegations by suspending accounts. The move came after widespread outcry from female streamers and community members. Multiple female streamers commented on Twitch’s announcement, including Katie Robinson and Nati Casanova, who criticized Twitch’s response to allegations prior to its late June declaration.

Twitch also banned popular streamer Dr Disrespect (Herschel Beahm IV) in late June, despite an exclusive contract Dr Disrespect signed with Twitch in March. No reason for the ban was given when Twitch severed ties with Dr Disrespect, though the streamer has since hinted at the possibility of taking legal action against the streaming platform.

Barrios’ behavior is part of what appears to be a broader issue in the gaming community, as multiple employees from developer Ubisoft have either resigned or been terminated due to sexual misconduct. This includes the company’s chief creative officer, who stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

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