Kick criticized for workplace misconduct

Kick allegedly exploited the vulnerability of a streamer with cancer making her a very low contract offer

Streaming platform Kick has come under fire after allegations of workplace misconduct and unethical behavior by staff members have emerged. The accuser, who goes by the name ‘ItsMelissaDude’ online, posted a video on YouTube saying that Kick harbored transphobia and racism among its employees. She also claimed that they made a very low offer to a streamer with cancer which took advantage of her vulnerability.

Andrew Santamaria, head of strategic partnerships at Kick, told his side of the story in public following these claims. In an official response on X (formerly Twitter), he denied all accusations put forth by Melissa claiming they did not correspond to what his experience working at Kick is. Santamaria stressed on the diversity of the Kick workforce and added that the voices of both creators and staff are always listened to.

Nevertheless, this did not sit well with Melissa and she alleged in response that Santamaria knows about certain misdeeds such as a staff member using racial slurs while working there. Melissa further added that Santamaria failed to address such issues accordingly.  Melissa also pointed to a case involving disabled streamer Jake Future whose Kick contract was terminated. This additionally intensified the scrutiny targeted toward Kick.

Continuing the debate, Santamaria guaranteed a level playing field for all minority groups including disabled persons and LGBTQIA members in Kick. To show that the company supports family time, he narrated his own story as a father of an autistic child, while rejecting the idea that Kick fails to cater to the employees’ families’ needs.

This became a scandal when well-known people from the streaming community got involved. Imane “Pokimane” Anys who is a Twitch star condemned the offer made by Kick towards the streamer diagnosed with cancer as “wicked”.

At the same time, another famous streamer, xQc, defended Kick by saying there was no such offer but later it was confirmed by streamer Kyedae that she indeed received such an offer from Kick which she rejected. She described the platform as dying and criticized its unethical behavior.

This is not the first time Kick gets backlash for crossing ethical boundaries. However, previous criticism was directed predominately toward the kind of content Kick allows on its platform. One of the controversies was sparked by an incident involving streamers Paul “Ice Poseidon” Denino, Sam Pepper and ‘Robot Andy'.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.