Ali “Gross Gore” Larsen, a controversial but popular YouTube and Twitch streamer, is being accused by numerous women of inappropriate behavior around RuneFest this past weekend.
Multiple accounts of Larsen’s activity were posted on Twitter, along with videos of his behavior at an off-site event on Oct. 6 following RuneFest, a festival hosted by developer Jagex dedicated to Runescape. Two individuals who were approached by Larsen, and made uncomfortable by his behavior, spoke to Polygon about their encounters. Both asked to remain anonymous out of fear of backlash from people within the community.
Although most of the encounters reported online between Larsen and women at the event were documented on Saturday, one individual told Polygon that another example of the behavior occurred on Friday night, when the streamer attempted to kiss her against her will.
“He was a nice guy, and when I saw him again later he bought me a drink and was asking about my phone screen, which is a photo of me and my boyfriend,” she told Polygon. “He was trying to kiss me at the bar before giving me the drink. I walked away, and told everyone he tried to kiss me. I laughed it off awkwardly because I didn’t really know what to do.”
Larsen’s alleged behavior continued the next night at an off-site get together. The same individual who the streamer attempted to kiss the night prior was out with some of her friends when Larsen approached her again, she said. She described him as drunk, acknowledging that she was also drinking that night, but told Polygon things got out of hand quickly.
“He saw I was super drunk, offered me another drink, which stupidly I took again because I didn’t think being drunk and accepting a drink was accepting to be kissed or asked to kiss multiple times,” she said. “This was when he tried kissing me, and I dodged it. Someone yelled at him saying, ‘What are you doing?’ and he yelled back, ‘She’s my girlfriend!’”
This wasn’t the only encounter Larsen had with women over the weekend that unsettled RuneFest attendees. Another individual told Polygon that Larsen would walk up to women and make comments about their breasts — something that he later admitted to in a video after another streamer, Skiddler, issued a statement about the situation on Twitter — and other sexually suggestive comments. She told Polygon that while standing with her fiancee, Larsen came up and said, “Think we can get these two ladies to make out? That’d be hot — then again so would a threesome.” She described being uncomfortable, and even when her fiancee commented on the situation, Larsen seemingly acted like it was an acceptable thing to say.
Both individuals comments echo a number of videos that captured Larsen’s behavior which circulated on Twitter after RuneFest. One video shows Larsen trying to give a girl a kiss while her friend records the encounter. Another video sent to Polygon finds Larsen walking up to a woman and asking her to “rate” him and his friend.
One individual told Polygon that Larsen was “so crude every time we spoke,” adding that “he made both me and my friend who was with me the whole night so uncomfortable.” She described RuneFest as a fantastic event, but reiterated that Larsen’s behavior ruined the experience for her.
“I had so much fun until the very end when Ali was in that room with us,” she said. “He made me feel uncomfortable and cheap, and it felt like because I’d accepted that drink, I was obliged to be OK with him doing the things he did and saying the things he said. He made me feel that way.”
One of the most public allegations made against Larsen, which two people Polygon spoke to corroborated, was comments he made about a woman named Rachel. Skiddler, a popular streamer who confronted Larsen about his behavior, issued a statement about the incident.
“He had sat down next to her, and repeatedly commented on her breasts, and how attractive they were,” Skiddler wrote. “She made it clear to Gross Gore that she was uncomfortable, however, he continued not only making comments, but fetched multiple people whom he was with to validate his opinion on her breasts. Rachel approached me shortly after, distraught, and left the hotel.”
The two reportedly got into an altercation after Skiddler approached Larsen over the comments.
Regarding an altercation that occurred between me and Gross Gore on Saturday evening. I've written a statement as there are false rumours circulating. pic.twitter.com/nl0GOpbp4B— Elliot (@Skiddler) October 8, 2018
The streaming community has rallied behind Skiddler and women who voiced their own encounters on Twitter, but Larsen’s response has only angered more people. He streamed a one-hour explanation of the night in an attempt to squash rumors. In that statement, he addressed the situation with Rachel, but defended his actions.
“I’m going to be really realistic,” Larsen said. “And I mean no offense to the woman, no disrespect. But the woman, she was wearing a really, really, really revealing top, and that’s great, we live in 2018, you can wear whatever you want. But people have to understand that if you’re going to wear something so revealing, people will comment on it. That’s life. If I drove around in a Ferrari, then people would comment on the Ferrari. That’s just the way people are.
“And I apologize if the woman took offense.”
Larson did not address the allegations made by other individuals, but said he did not sexually assault anyone.
Other streamers within the community, like Destiny, one of Twitch’s most prominent personalities, have commented on Larsen’s statement, acknowledging the blatant issue between comparing women to cars.
“What you completely, unintentionally, have done, is shown that in your mind, woman is analogous to car in this example,” Destiny said. “Whatever respect or consideration I would give to a car, is what I’d give to a woman. If somebody were driving a Ferrari, and that looks really nice, I’m going to say whatever I want about it. Much the same way that if a woman looks a certain way, I’m going to say whatever I want about that — it. It’s literal objectification.”
This isn’t the first time that Larsen has upset people within the community for comments he’s made about women. A previous video that Larsen said he created after a breakup features the streamer saying things like, “men will always, always, always, always overcome women” and referring to women as “bitches” and “slags,” a common euphemism in England that means slut.
Jagex, the developer behind Runescape, issued a statement to Polygon about the allegations surrounding Larsen around the event, stating the team is conducting an investigation.
“Jagex is conducting an internal investigation following reports of unacceptable behavior from RuneFest attendees,” the statement reads. “We enforce a strict code of conduct for everyone attending RuneFest, and take any matters concerning harassment or threats of any kind very seriously.”
Polygon reached out to Larsen for a statement, but did not hear back by time of publication.
Update (Oct. 10): Runescape developer Jagex has cut ties with Larsen following the allegations and a proper investigation from the team. The developer’s full statement can be read below:
With almost 2,000 people attending RuneFest this year, we thank everyone for making it a very special event in the RuneScape calendar. However, after RuneFest had finished, we were made aware of allegations concerning a small number of content creators.
While the alleged incidents did not take place at the RuneFest venue or within its opening hours, the safety and wellbeing of those in and around our events is of paramount importance to us.
Having reviewed the allegations we have found that the content creators concerned did breach our code of conduct. We do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behaviour in any way and, while we had a limited working relationship with some of the individuals, we will not be working with them, or inviting them to future events, going forward.
As we look towards 2019, we will strive to keep future RuneFests, and all Jagex events, safe spaces where attendees can continue to enjoy the inclusiveness and positivity that comes from being part of the RuneScape community.
Update (Oct. 19): Larsen has been suspended from Twitch for 30 days and prohibited from attending TwitchCon. Due to his Twitch partnerships, he is not allowed to stream on YouTube either.
On Oct. 17, he tweeted about the suspension and posted a YouTube video in which he claimed the suspension followed after a different incident separate from the sexual misconduct allegations. A clip of him following around another streamer while on his knees and shouting at her surfaced.
“I really am sorry. This was deemed as harassment, and there is no tolerance with harassment when it comes to Twitch,” Larsen said in the YouTube video. “So I really am sorry to the streamer that was offended and anybody else that was offended.”