TikTok star Larray addresses high school blackmail allegations - Dexerto
Entertainment

TikTok star Larray addresses high school blackmail allegations

Published: 12/Nov/2020 12:40

by Georgina Smith

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TikTok star Larri ‘Larray’ Merrit has responded to a series of allegations that suggested he had blackmailed students at his high school with personal photographs, claiming that he had “absolutely nothing to do” with the situation.

Larray is a popular TikTok influencer with almost 19 million followers on the platform alone, and millions of followers on other sites like YouTube and Instagram. He’s primarily known for his comic content, and is friends with other huge influencers like the D’Amelio sisters and James Charles.

On November 11, a TikTok account by the name of ‘larrayisanabuser’ posted a video that accused Larray of “sexually manipulating and blackmailing” them “along with three other men in high school.”

They alleged that in Sophomore years they were added on messaging service Kik by a girl they “thought they knew from Instagram.” As they exchanged flirtatious messages, the girl supposedly asked for revealing pictures, and the student sent them as requested.

Instagram Larray TikTok
Instagram: Larray
Larray is a member of TikTok’s Hype House.

According to this account, once they’d sent the pictures the girl’s “tone changed.” “This is when she starts to threaten me that if I ‘don’t make out with Larry’ then she’ll send my nudes to the principal and get me expelled.”

The account reports that when they confronted the girl about it on Instagram, she claimed she didn’t have a Kik account. The images were reportedly never leaked and they were not contacted by the user again. They also claim that several other boys who attended the same high school have come to them with stories that follow a similar pattern.

@larrayisanabuserusing muted treading sounds to boost my story ##WIP ##metoo ##feminism ##fyp ##shame sorry to bother you but please read♬ Adderall (Corvette Corvette) – Popp Hunna

After the allegations gained traction, Larray released a statement to defend himself, despite being “advised not to speak on the situation.” The TikToker says “I just want to clarify I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I wasn’t well liked in high school, and also had a social media presence at the time, so anyone could have used my name.”

Screenshot of Larray's Instagram comment in which he responds to allegations

He stresses that “I take sh*t like this very seriously, especially since I’m a victim of sexual assault.” He says he’s “not comfortable letting the situation go unacknowledged” and adds that although he “feels bad for what happened” he “can’t take responsibility for something [he] didn’t do.”

It’s unclear as to whether the matter has been investigated formally by the authorities.

Entertainment

Twitch removes “Blind Playthrough” stream tag after backlash

Published: 5/Dec/2020 18:14

by Daniel Cleary

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Twitch has introduced a new change to the stream tags on channels, which has completely removed the “Blind Playthrough” tag from the site following criticism around the language used.

It can often be difficult to get discovered as a new Twitch streamer, with thousands of other content creators broadcasting on the site at any one time.

Twitch has previously introduced tags to address this issue in 2018, which can be added to a streamer’s channel and can be used by viewers for filtering their searches to find what they’re looking for.

Twitch's browse page
Twitch
The Blind Playthrough tag no longer shows on Twitch.

While the usual tags often include information such as language and type of content, one tag that was used for those playing a game for the first time was the “Blind Playthrough” tag.

The tag would indicate that the streamer had not seen any spoilers or that they do not know much about the title’s gameplay and features before playing it.

However, in a recent tweet, Twitch’s community director Erin ‘Aureylian’ Wayne highlighted that they have removed the tag from the site, following criticism around the choice of words used, with some suggesting that the language was ableist.

“Happy to see Twitch has listened to everyone who shared feedback and removed the ‘Blind Playthrough’ tag to encourage more inclusive language for our community,” she added.

While the “Blind Playthrough” tag has been removed from the database, the Twitch director urged streamers to make use of the “First Playthrough” and “No Spoilers” tags in its place.

The term “Blind Playthrough” was central to a discussion on ableist language sparked by AbleGamers COO Steven Spohn earlier in the year and now Twitch has acted in response.

While Twitch’s latest change has been met with some positive responses so far, some users have argued the need for the change, highlighting that “Blind” has two official definitions.

However, Twitch has remained firm on their stance, and streamers will simply need to use an alternative tag while streaming spoiler-free gameplay.