With multiple streamers and other game industry professionals currently facing accusations of sexual misconduct, the video game industry is officially going through its own “#MeToo” phase.
In response, Jaryd “summit1G” Lazar decided to speak his mind by tweeting, “Innocent until proven guilty…..unless it’s the internet where we do things backwards.”
What seemed like an innocuous statement quickly escalated into something contentious. Many took issue with the fact that this was the only thing summit chose to say about the situation, while others argued that “innocent until proven guilty” should only apply to a court of law.
as one of the biggest streamers in all of gaming and on Twitch if your first comment on social after a week of ~100 women coming forward with stories of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct is to say this, maybe it's better you say nothing at all https://t.co/JRfFWxv8aM
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) June 24, 2020
Rod “Slasher” Breslau wasn’t a fan of these remarks either, as he felt that summit should’ve kept his opinion to himself.
The esports insider explained, “as one of the biggest streamers in all of gaming and on Twitch if your first comment on social after a week of ~100 women coming forward with stories of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct is to say this, maybe it’s better you say nothing at all.”
saying 'innocent until proven guilty' as a hundred different women open up about their traumatic experiences for the first time is like saying 'all lives matter'. you're not wrong per se but you're missing the point entirely and also just kind of an asshole
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) June 24, 2020
The tweet kicked off a long thread explaining why he thought summit was an “asshole” and that he was “missing the point entirely.” But ultimately, Slasher still recognized that “summit is good people and said he was open to listening and that’s what matters most.”
Summit elaborated on his thoughts during his next stream. He started by making it clear he’s not denying that sexual assaults are indeed happening. The 33-year-old then moved on to the crux of his original argument. “I just also want to make it very very clear how dangerous it is to run someone’s name through the mud like that if it’s not a hundred percent true… I’m not trying to shit on anyone’s parade. I understand that that shit is fucking absolutely emotionally traumatizing,” the popular streamer said.
He later added, “I’m just trying to say that it’s not just whether someone is innocent or guilty on the other end of it. It is simply you accusing them that will run their name through the mud is what’s so dangerous looking about it.”
Much of the negative reaction stems from people thinking summit assumes the accusers are lying when he argues for due process. But popular WoW streamer, Asmongold, explained why this isn’t the case.
“Its possible to support and take someone who’s making an allegation seriously while also not immediately cancelling the person who it was made against It’s important to give people an opportunity to respond and defend themselves,” the streamer wrote.
Its possible to support and take someone who's making an allegation seriously while also not immediately cancelling the person who it was made against
It's important to give people an opportunity to respond and defend themselves
— Zack (@Asmongold) June 24, 2020
In a world where people are losing their jobs and reputations for saying things that go against popular opinion, summit knows he’s taking a risk by speaking his mind, and also made it clear that he’s not a fan of the trend.
“For the most part, you can’t really hate me to the extent where you feel the need to cancel me, you know? Cause that would be pretty fucked up in my opinion,” he said.
Whatever happens, summit has shown on multiple occasions that he isn’t afraid of speaking out on sensitive topics, and it looks like he won’t stop anytime soon.