Kick leadership disputes ex-staff’s disturbing allegations amid internal investigation

Michael Gwilliam

Kick’s leadership has responded to a series of disturbing allegations levied against the platform by an ex-employee.

On June 17, a former Kick staff member who only referred to herself as ‘Melissa’ posted a video in which she accused the platform’s social media team of openly making racist remarks, as well as alleging that higher-ups deliberately offered less money to a Twitch streamer battling cancer to join the site.

According to Melissa, Kick offered this streamer, believed to be Kyedae, less money because “she probably thinks she’s gonna die soon.”

Melissa’s video spread across the streaming community like wildfire, leading to a wave of backlash against the platform. However, Kick staff is aware of the allegations and say they’re investigating while casting down the legitimacy of the claims.

On X, Kick’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Andrew Santamaria, commented how these remarks “don’t reflect the Kick I know,” adding that the site listens to its creators and has a commitment to being the “best place for streaming in the world.”

He doubled down on a live stream, accusing Melissa’s claims of “belittling the amazing work” done by Kick’s employees.

“None of these claims were raised with our internal team. They were never raised with anyone in senior leadership. They were never brought up, even when [Kick co-founder] Eddie reached out to her in a tweet, there was never that moment of, ‘Here’s a chance to say what it is that I got on my mind.’”

Santamaria continued to express confusion about how the first time he or other Kick staff members heard about these complaints was in a YouTube video.

“How is this the first time this stuff is being brought up? And why in the world is it being brought up in this manner?” he asked.

That said, Santamaria revealed that the team is looking into the claims, but the apparent lack of any evidence makes their investigation a lot harder.

“If evidence is ever presented, we will 100% look at that. We take the allegations seriously, we’re continuing to investigate them internally, and this is despite [no] evidence being presented,” he said. “That’s something that’s very important to this team. It doesn’t matter that these are allegations, what matters is getting down to, Is this stuff really happening?’”

He wasn’t the only one to raise some doubts about the claims, either. Kick streamer Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel took issue with the suggestion that Kyedae was offered a contract.

“I even sent people to investigate if Kick ever said anything to Kyedae, and I didn’t get anything,” he revealed.

So far, Melissa has yet to respond to Kick and xQc’s comments. However, she doubled down when streamer JakeFuture denied claims that Kick had “decimated” his rate.

“I’m sorry, JakeFuture, for having you involved in this. I did, however, relay a conversation that was definitely had. I’m unsure if my video changed their mind or not, but I’m just glad you’ve gotten to keep your contract,” she said.

Melissa has claimed she doesn’t care about any potential legal repercussions for her video, stating that she’s prepared to declare bankruptcy if Kick takes her to court.

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