UPDATE 2/12 | After reviewing the stream, Twitch decided to suspend deadmau5’s account, whereupon deadmau5 took it upon himself to delete his account entirely and sever all business dealings with the platform. Deadmau5 cited a “double standard” from the streaming service, which he claims unfairly targeted him when other streamers use the same kind of language without reprimand.

Not once in deadmau5’s long explanation of the situation did he apologize for his language, though he did refer to it once as “generally toxic.”

Deadmau5 has long had a history of fervent outbursts, generally accompanied by less than appropriate language used toward another person. Last year, in the span of a week, we called deadmau5 out for both making alleged transphobic remarks as well as calling Slushii’s music “autistic shit,” the producer himself having Autism. Deadmau5 took a brief hiatus from social media and now has a team member overseeing his socials to help keep them a little cleaner.

However, not everything can be censored in the moment; and especially during heated game play, some words can be let loose. The gaming community, especially games in which players can talk to each other via headset, isn’t one of the cleanest communities, language-wise. That’s well-established. So when deadmau5 was playing PUBG on a public stream on Twitch and another player was “stream camping” (watching his stream on Twitch to find his location, a lot like how someone would watch an opponent’s screen in GoldenEye, back in the day), deadmau5 understandably got frustrated.

“Is that some fucking cock-sucking stream sniper fag,” he says during his outburst. [Update: the clip has been deleted since it started gaining attention at the beginning of this week. Feb 12]

EDM.com has accused deadmau5 of hate speech and homophobia for his outburst — and while the word “fag” isn’t ever used in a complimentary tone, and is often used as a homophobic slur, it’s important to note the context. The fact of the matter is that this sort of language is used every day by tens of thousands of players in online games, and that likely won’t stop soon, not that that excuses the individuals’ actions in the first place.

These same players, generally, don’t actually harbor homophobic thoughts. For the younger generation, these words are simply insults, unmarred by decades of hate-motivated undertones. They should, of course, be educated about the history of these words, but it’s doubtful that they’re meant in any way more deeply than a simple insult in the moment.

For deadmau5, the onus is a little heavier. He’s already been reprimanded many times over for his hateful language, both online and offline, so it’s easier to call him out for something like this when it happens. And for a public figure like deadmau5, he should absolutely be held to a higher standard — after all, his voice reaches further than the average angry teenager in a game lobby.

Your EDM does not condone the use of hate speech or homophobic slurs in any capacity, and deadmau5 should absolutely apologize for his actions and acknowledge the derogatory nature of his language. But we must also be wary of the degree to which we address minor slights like this as opposed to real issues of homophobia and hate in the world.


Photo via Rukes.com

Article updated to more accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of the writer, as well as provide greater context – Feb 12.