An exodus of partnered streamers and staff has begun, following the Method esports organization’s mishandling of a series of sexual harassment and abuse allegations.
Method has officially cut ties with MethodJosh, a World of Warcraft streamer, and placed their Co-CEO, Sascha Steffens, on unpaid administrative leave. But it’s too little and far too late, as the organization’s biggest streamers and some staff have decided to sever relationships over the org’s prolonged inaction, despite allegedly knowing of gross misconduct for years.
I've been partnered with Method for quite some time and we've been in negotiations for a contract renewal for the last few months.
All things considered, I've come to the decision to decline the offer and move on from Method and explore my options as a free agent.
— Esfand (@EsfandTV) June 25, 2020
Method’s most popular content creator, Esfand, has been joined in leaving the brand by fellow streamers djarii, FloppyAdult, pandatv, Ziqo, Payo, MartinCreek, Ellesmere, Tips Out, Snowmixy and Graycen. Of employees, auxidental has resigned from his business development role and so has social media manager, Shana ‘darrie’ Sarr, who has been implicated in the organization’s negligence herself.
While not fully committed to a contract termination, streamers Whaazz, Naowh and Zizaran have all removed any Method branding from their social media.
Multiple women, including underage girls, have come forth recently to publicly speak out about Josh’s behavior. This follows a February 2019 Kotaku article that discussed his manipulation of underage girls and a June 2019 permanent ban of his Twitch channel by the app for unspecified reasons.
As for Steffens, he has been accused by former Method streamer AnnieFuchsia of sexual harassment and abusing his power to manipulate, gaslight and eventually blacklist her.
As seen in Darrie’s email response to someone raising concerns over Josh’s behavior, which was similar to the org’s stance with AnnieFuchsia, Method appears to shut down allegations as a nuanced matter of “he said, she said” without taking any actions against the accused nor mounting any further investigation.
Method statement on Josh
— Method (@Method) June 25, 2020
While no full statement has been released about Steffens, the org’s statement on Josh reiterates that the brand’s initial response to accusations against their affiliates is to “strongly encourage you to contact the police and make a report, so that a thorough – and proper – investigation can occur.”
They also clarify the consensus that the organization knew about the “extent of Josh’s behavior” is “categorically untrue and sickening to read.”
Considering the mounting evidence in years of screenshots provided by numerous victims, the brand’s content creators appear unswayed by this deflection and believe the years of inaction belie an unethical organizational character.
I took 24 hours to sleep and catch up on situations I had no idea about.
After some research I've decided I will parting ways with the Method org rather than a bad grammar tweet I thought I'd make a video
Morally I can't stand with some of the choices made pic.twitter.com/qhyLKfIbxF
— pandatv (@PandaTVoce) June 26, 2020
As expressed by pandatv in his response, “there were a lot of decisions made behind the scene that morally I cannot stand behind.”
While many of these “decisions” have yet to come to light, one must imagine that more will surface over the coming weeks—possibly in court, as Steffens allegedly told AnnieFuchsia he may need to take “legal action” because of her “messing with [his] reputation.”
For now, Method is dealing with an exodus of their most popular creators and has indicated that they are focused on “overhauling our internal policies.”