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Deadmau5 quits Twitch following ban for using homophobic slur

The DJ took to Reddit, saying the company has a ‘double standard’

Deadmau5 takes on Typical Gamer in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Deadmau5 takes on Typical Gamer in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on May 1, 2016 in New York City.
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Activision
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Joel “deadmau5” Zimmerman is suspended from Twitch following the use of a homophobic slur over the weekend during a livestream of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The actions of the Amazon-owned media company prompted the producer and DJ to launch a tirade on Reddit where he promised to discontinue broadcasting on the platform going forward.

Both the clip of the incident and Zimmerman’s public response to Twitch have since been deleted. Polygon has reached out to both parties for comment.

The incident began over the weekend during a heated game of PUBG, the popular battle royale first-person shooter, in which Zimmerman was coming under unusually heavy fire from a concealed position.

“Is that some fucking cock-sucking stream sniper,” Zimmerman said, before concluding his sentence with a homophobic slur.

The clip was isolated by at least one viewer and reported by several dedicated music news organizations, including Since then tabloids like TMZ and other outlets have also picked up the story.

In his public comments on Twitch, Zimmerman is largely unrepentant. While he says homophobic slurs are “toxic” and “not an ideology i hold closely to my moral standing,” his response is seasoned with personal attacks on a journalist and complaints about the internet in general.

From his Reddit post, which was archived on imgur:

yeah, sorry about that guys.... i knew it was a fun place to connect and fuck around... but im not going to stand for twitch’s double standard when it comes to censoring and suspending me for harmless shit. While we’ve had some fun partnerships here and there, and they were a great company to work with... im gunna have to cut this one short. I dont have the capacity to deal with that kind of shit.

whatever dude. the internet is just basically full of shit for the most part.... and while what i said was generally toxic as fuck, and not an ideology i hold closely to my moral standing bya fuckin longshot.... it was just some bottom feeding piece of shit from colorodo who decided to make it news

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” fuck off with that shit. i know who i am, and i dont have to fucking sit here and cry and defend my fuckingself with the obligatory “IM NOT THAT PERSON, I AM SORRY” reflex. If im sorry for antying, im sorry that we live in a world where bottom feeding pieces of shit can sit there starring at a monitor, watching me play videos games, and just waiting for someone to get tilted so he can get a few fucking clicks. thats what i’m sorry for.

The post concludes by saying that, “the sane people who knew what it was in the heat of the moment knew the purpose of the statement, and the people that think otherwise, Im better off not even fucking knowing and they can just keep way the fuck clear of me.”

Update (Feb. 13): In an email response to Polygon, Twitch declined to comment.

“We do not comment on individual accounts for privacy reasons,” said a representative.

Update (Feb. 14): In a second post on Reddit, which clearly makes reference to the first, Zimmerman apologizes for his use of a homophobic slur and his attack on the Twitch corporation. Absent is any mention of apology to the journalist who first broke the story, whom he called, as indicated above, a “bottom feeding piece of shit.”

We’ve included his remarks below in full.

‘Damage control’ had asked me not to make a statement. But, I would rather you hear it from me, in my own words. You deserve that.

I needed a little cool down there for a few and seriously reflect on all this. I know what I said was wrong, and my hastily composed non-apology was an insult to injury. 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.

As for twitch, they had every right to ban me for that, it was clearly in violation of their terms, even if it wasn’t ... it was all around an incredibly irresponsible and insensitive thing to say nonetheless. Especially for someone who has a reach. What I said was incredibly stupid, and I don’t actually hold those beliefs, at all. I let some gamer get the best of me, and in that moment I completely lost control. And me lashing back with some knee-jerk post about how it may have seemed unjustified... was completely unfair to twitch and its viewers. So I apologize for that as well.

As for my fans, family and friends, and everyone else in my life that I’ve disappointed once again, I’m sorry. I feel like I’m trying to become a better person, but that’s a long and difficult road at times and sometimes... well sometimes I just fuck up. I do mean well. And I’m at least man enough to know when I’ve fucked up. And I’ve fucked up.

Apologies once again to everyone I’ve disappointed. I would love nothing more than to finally be at peace with myself and be the best human being I can be, trust me. Being ‘mr. I don’t give a fuck’ is not someone I ever aspired to be.

So I’ll keep things even more quiet until I can learn to be the person.

Going to focus on cubes and music.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.