SMITE caster departs Hi-Rez after live rant on formerly suicidal donor

    
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Let’s imagine that you’re a studio-funded caster for a major MOBA. A fan joins your stream, donates $5, and tells you that he was suicidal but your streams helped save him. What do you do?

You probably don’t go on a tear telling your fan he’s a a selfish, terrible asshole who needs to learn how to deal with depression properly and that he — and everyone who disagrees — should go watch some other streamer, which is basically what Hi-Rez’s DMBrandon did on a SMITE stream earlier this week, landing him a nice big Reddit thread with a few thousand angry comments and a hefty helping of community outrage.

According to DMBrandon’s own tweet, he subsequently left Hi-Rez, saying “the stress levels of trying to juggle [his] lifestyle” had led him to screw up on air.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-nUigOMRwc&feature=youtu.be

Hi-Rez president Stewart Chisam says his company subsequently made a contribution to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; he issued a statement to Eurogamer:

At Hi-Rez, we care about our community deeply and we take topics like suicide, depression and mental illness not lightly. All our employees are free in their opinions, but when people don’t respect the values we stand for as a company, we treat it seriously. If any good comes from this episode, we hope it shines a light on mental illness issues, and the need for broader education, support and open conversation about how these devastating illnesses are perceived and discussed in our society. All of us have important people in our lives that have been touched by mental illness. How we talk about these diseases is important.

Source: Reddit. Thanks, Cramit!
Update: In a second post, DMBrandon further apologizes and explains his reaction is partly related to his own feelings about his family and his sister’s murder.

“The video that got shorter, and the rant I was on that got cut off and lost context showed me saying something awful. I seriously can not apologize enough for it, and I feel terrible. I stepped down form hirez because I realized that my lack of self control reflects badly on too many hard working people and I didn’t want to be a burden. That rant, at the end, said plainly: I did not save your life. Music, movies, no form of entertainment saved you. If I help you get over something deep, it’s a distraction. I, personally, am not helping you. Because you would have found something to get you through what is hurting you. You want to keep going, and it’s yourself you owe the credit for every victory you have. If you find help in your bad states, it’s still you who sought it, and you who wanted it most. And I love you for that. Depression is not something that defines you. It’s something that impacts you, and hurts you, but it isn’t you. You’re you.

“At the end of the day, there are people who need you. Even if they don’t like you. Even if it seems you’d be lifting a burden on them. I have seen what it looks like when a person leaves. It kills more than just you. It changes everyone around you, and rarely for the better.

“I am humbled and changed by the hate you’ve sent me. As a person in the limelight with so many secrets, it’s hard sometimes to be honest. And I bottle and I bottle and eventually I say stupid shit. Whether it’s to a kid who wanted to share with me, or a bunch of teens who were just trying to get a rise out of me, or even a friend whose attempting to make me chill out because they know why I’m being so fucking stupid. I’m sorry for letting it eat me alive to the point where I snap. None of you deserve my anger. No one does.

[…]

“I’m not a tv show character. Those words you say to me, they hit me. And I understand that’s hypocritical, with the way I act sometimes. But please know that I repent. Regularly. And not just when I get yelled at for it. I’m actually a really quiet person when the camera is off. I’m afraid and I’m scared all the time. And I’m absolutely the positive that people will use this to hurt me. But I’m okay with that. Because I’d rather give the people more ammunition to hurt me than be known as a person who truly meant to hurt someone. I’d rather have my life put on display like a fucking Kardashian than allow you to think that I could possibly mean I’d want anyone to come to harm.

“I’ve said it. It’s all I can do now for now. I definitely don’t know enough about mental illnesses and disorders. I figured by leading my life as I have, with so much hurt around me, I was pretty knowledgeable. But my experiences barely scratch the surface. I’m going to educate myself more on the topic, and I will do my best not to talk about it until I know a ton more. I tell people a lot that they shouldn’t have an opinion on something unless they understand it. On this point, I was the ignorant one.

“Now, as much as I want to hide in a hole and never come out, I have to go keep working. Not for myself, but for the people whom I live for. I was wrong in my approach, and I hope you’ll forgive me.”

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SwobyJ
Guest
SwobyJ

JohnD212 “We truly have raised a generation of not only unemployed, self absorbed idiots but also soulless brats.” As if this is some unique behavior and we didn’t treat other far, far worse in the past.

dorn2
Guest
dorn2

MorpayneRADIO 
Point out where I ever stated my opinion was a fact?  I simply said it was a superior opinion.  When you’re discussing things you don’t generate a “fact” as your conclusion. 
It’s like you have some sort of brain disease where you see opinions and automatically go “that’s an opinion it has no weight”.  That’s simply wrong.  People don’t make decisions based on facts. They use information to form opinions and then act.

People with superior opinions use facts, logic, reasoning, etc to form those opinions.  That’s why people who form superior opinions can say “I’m right” even when what they’re saying is an opinion.  If you think otherwise, you’re wrong.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

This isn’t about name-calling or accusations. This is about the process of suicide itself.
Please know the difference before spouting off to those who are put in the position of extreme compassion.

MorpayneRADIO
Guest
MorpayneRADIO

The damage from public humiliation vastly outweighs the good of setting someone straight.
Another opinion.
We can’t have a good discussion if you keep insisting your opinion are facts then basing your following argument around it.

MewmewGirl
Guest
MewmewGirl

First his statement about being “cut off” and being taken out of context is horse manure.  He wasn’t going to go on and say all these nice thoughtful things.  Seriously who does he think he’s fooling with that?

Also what he said showed pure ignorance about mental illness for sure, but it also was just so angry and mean spirited.

He compares what little depression and anxiety he has to real crippling problems and thinks that he knows what that’s like because he has small versions of them.  It’s like someone with a severe spinal injury comes on who is paralyzed, donates some money and thanks him for helping distract them from their disabilities and he compares his butt getting numb from sitting in his chair to their real medical condition.  Then he tells them to stop being lazy, very rudely tells them they could walk if they wanted to, then tells them off.

That might sound a little bit over exaggerated, but to me it’s the same thing as telling someone with severe mental disabilities that they can just snap out of them and walk them off and that they’re just selfish and to f off.  And that’s just what he did, so the paralyzed parable isn’t far off.

JohnD212
Guest
JohnD212

He should leave. What a nasty, unhappy person you have to be to act like that. The person gives you a donation, mentions something they had gone through and you choose to attack them? We truly have raised a generation of not only unemployed, self absorbed idiots but also soulless brats.

mrcaptainpants
Guest
mrcaptainpants

I’ve lived with clinical depression and anxiety for decades now, and I think it’s pretty clear that DMBrandon screwed up, big time. It was probably the *worst* kind of response you could give to someone who is trying to work through mental illness.

That said…well, he *admits* he screwed up, and from what I’ve read, I have to say that it sounds like he’s really owning the ass-hattery here. I’m not sure what good can be gained from tearing him down any further. I think he knows that what he did was inexcusable, so he’s really not *asking* to be excused; he’s asking instead for forgiveness.

And even though one can make the case that perhaps he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, I think that’s rather the entire point of forgiveness. If forgiveness was something that people “owed” us, we wouldn’t really have to ask for it, would we?

TL/DR: The rant was awful. The fan felt awful. DMBrandon feels awful. So much awful. Time to salvage what can be salvaged and move on, with (hopefully) more empathy, and the wisdom to avoid this sort of thing in the future.

Serrenity
Guest
Serrenity

Midgetsnowman ZenDadaist  I spent the first 27 years of my life thinking my anxiety and depression were something I could treat once and they’d go away, if I just figured out the right treatment.

UryuuThe9th
Guest
UryuuThe9th

I’m not twisting anything. I apologize if I misunderstood but I still don’t see anywhere in your first paragraph indicating you aren’t speaking about the group as a whole. That being said, I still disagree. I don’t know what your criteria is for someone being a bad apple but in my opinion, whether they’ve tried to take their lives ten times and failed, or they talk about it but don’t go through with it, or whatever other scenario, it’s not for you (or me) to decide if what they’re dealing with is real and valid or they just don’t care about draining other people or whatever. They still deserve help and they still deserve my empathy.
As for the two different types, it sounds like you’re implying that the one group brought it on themselves so again sorry if I’m misunderstanding but I disagree there too. Again, just because someone isn’t suffering a chemical imbalance and are suffering from something for other reasons, they still deserve help and they still deserve my empathy. And as a child of a depressed alcoholic I’m absolutely willing to invest in her as a person, but that’s the key thing here. I am, but I don’t expect you to, no one is asking you, a stranger, to. We’re talking about the people who care about them and love them. All anyone is asking of strangers when it comes to people with mental illnesses (or alcoholism or whatever else) is to be kind and have some empathy. It’s not your responsibility to do anything for them, nor is it your place to judge

dorn2
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dorn2

UryuuThe9th 
You’re cherry picking out of context but I’ll answer.

There are roughly two groups of mental disorders from what I know.  Those caused by physical issues like serotonin imbalance or gland problems, and then there are ones caused by events and realities of life which are unfortunate.  Of course you can have ones that don’t clearly fall into these categories but you get the idea.

I don’t really truck with the idea that most people in the second category have much reason to be suicidial.  If you’re depressed and suicidal because your alcholoic then I’ll be nice to you but I won’t invest in you as a person.  It’s not like I think those people deserve it or anything.  It’s just that this world is not that easy.  Everyone has their own problems.  It’s not correct to treat them badly but you don’t have to take time out of your day to help them either.

As for the quote that’s clearly you taking it out of context and twisting it.

Your applying my statement about a subset of a group to the whole group.  I’m clearly talking about the worst of the group, the bad apples, but your taking my statement and applying it to the general group.