To begin by being brutally honest, I've never particularly enjoyed DM Brandon's streams. His stream typically involes everything I hate about Twitch channels, so it's with no surprise that his "personality" has caught up with him.
During a recent stream he received a $5 donation from a viewer and during chat was told by the viewer that, "Tl;Dr I tried killing myself last August, discovered your videos once I was released, and Smite has become a positive outlet for me. Thanks."
Instead of being proud of the fact he has helped someone with their mental illness, DM Brandon went onto not only berate the individual, but mock all those suffering.
"There are a lot of streamers out there that would appreciate that message. I'm just going to call you an asshole.
"It's a selfish, stupid thing to do.
"If you don't like my opinion about that, you can find someone else to watch who's gonna tell you killing yourself is okay. "Go fuck yourself, kid."
"Everyone has fucking depression and anxiousness. Everyone has a hard time fucking waking up, and still a lot of us do it without putting the burden on a lot of other people.
"There is therapy. There are friends and there are people to help you. And if you decide you are going to end your own life or let this ridiculous debilitating disease ruin your life because you don't know how to deal with it, well then fucking good."
Unsurprisingly the SMITE community weren't too impressed with what he said, and Hi-Rez rightly took issue with it. Not only has he since left their casting program, but he'll be moving on from SMITE. As someone who never understood depression or anxiety but having had first experience with it (even still) I can honestly say such illnesses are crippling and debilitating. To belittle them is not only ignorant but highly inapproriate to all those who suffer from it. DM Brandon has since released a lengthy statement discussing the stream though still hasn't apologised for his behaviour.
Hi-Rez have also released a statement to Eurogamer on the issue
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.
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