It’s the saga that just won’t end. More and more high profile content creators continue to weigh in on the recent Nickmercs controversy, where the streamer had Activision remove his Call of Duty Operator skin from sale in the wake of anti-LGBTQ comments he made this week.
First, Dr Disrespect said he was quitting the game (again) unless Activision apologized and restored the skin. Now, Nick’s friend and fellow creator TimtheTatman is publicly asking for Call of Duty to remove his own Operator skin “in support of his friend.”
Before this, Tim went on video to address Nick’s comments, saying he spoke with him, but the video didn’t really say all that much. Now, it’s clear he’s thrown in behind Nick to the point where he’s asking Activision to stop selling his own skin, no doubt a financial hit for him to some extent. I saw this retweeted by Ninja, and it’s become pretty clear where the other streamers in Nick’s orbit stand.
At the time of this writing, Call of Duty hasn’t responded to Tim’s request. Again, it’s hard to know exactly the ins and outs of how these creator Operator contracts work when it comes to their real-life likeness. In Nick’s case, there is likely a clause that could allow for its removal in a situation like this. For Tim’s, can he just…walk away from it arbitrarily? Activision spent time and money making that skin in the first place, after all. Perhaps they never considered someone would ask for their skin not to be sold. I’m very curious to see what they do here.
This continues to be a wild story because Nick is the most-watched Warzone streamer as of late by quite a wide margin. That’s what led to him getting his own skin alongside Tim, as they picked high profile, recognizable, Call of Duty-associated creators. Again, Nick has not been banned from the game, nor has he lost the ability to stream it, it’s just about the skin, though this has brought a national culture war front and center in the gaming community.
For now, the millions of fans of these streamers, many of them kids, are watching Nick not apologize for his comments and his big-name friends line up behind him. Nick’s statement to “Leave the little kids alone,” posted on a video showing violence against LGBTQ supporters, is an extension of a specific Republican talking point regarding the supposed “grooming” of minors through the idea of teaching acceptance of LGBTQ children and adults. Conversely, LGBTQ supporters are finding themselves suddenly siding with Activision, of all companies, which has not had a sterling record on this front previously and has probably been the single biggest glorifier of the military industrial complex of the last two decades in entertainment media. Strange times.
We’ll see what Activision does with Tim’s request. Stay tuned for updates.
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