GI.biz has a detailed expose of Twitch’s corporate culture out today, painting a picture of ongoing and systemic racism, sexism, and abuse, both in the office and in the community. The article includes input and allegations from 16 employees, only a few of whom said they had never seen misconduct at the company. One of them, whose identity was protected by the author, put it this way:
“Twitch repeatedly swept accounts of harassment and abuse under the rug: sexual, verbal, physical abuse, and racism. And not just my own. It took place in the office. At events. In meetings and behind closed doors. It was rampant and unavoidable. We heard about it in the halls. We saw it at our desks. It was overt and part of the job.”
Another called Twitch a “boy’s club,” which ought to sound familiar as it’s the exact phrase used by victims, staff, and journalists covering Riot Games’ similar sexism and abuse scandals the last few years. Staff were accused of using the term “boob streamers” and worse to refer to the talent; work parties routinely got out of control; male staff allegedly conjured up reasons to kick female streamers off the platform; and women who reported abuse were told that if they didn’t feel safe, “they should just leave.” And that’s without even touching on Twitch’s longstanding problems with haphazard bans, moderation, and harassment from the streaming end.
“In multiple cases, women said the men they reported were promoted after their reports,” GI.biz says.
While the piece focuses mostly on sexism in and around the company, it does devote a large section to racism, which staff allege is present, if less overt: “Another employee suggested the company was less actively racist than it was tolerant of racial slurs and racist attitudes on its platform.”
Twitch representatives are quoted throughout the article; they said “many” of the allegations are “years old” and argued that the suggestion that Twitch hasn’t reacted appropriately to them “misrepresent[s] [its] culture, leadership, and values.” GI.biz acknowledged that it sought commentary on the company’s entire lifespan, both before and after Amazon’s 2014 acquisition, noting that according to its sources, Amazon’s influence and concomitant boost to professionalism “only helped so much.”
For disclosure’s sake, we note here that MassivelyOP streams through a partnered Twitch channel.