N0z1ck · @N0z1ck

5th Jul 2020 from TwitLonger

Regarding EMG

EMG and Toronto Joe have been receiving some criticism recently, especially regarding their handling of the Nightmare ban back in late 2018. For anyone who isn't aware: the panel of Ontario TOs (which I was a part of at the time, up until that May) first learned of Nightmare's conviction of sexual interference in February of 2018. We learned the exact nature of the conviction shortly thereafter (still in the spring of 2018) when Toronto Joe confirmed the nature of what were only allegations until that point.

That's the first fact that needs to be highlighted: EMG knew that Nightmare was a convicted child predator since at least spring of 2018, and it's very likely that they knew before that, as Nightmare's relationship with the victim was something that many in the scene knew about when it was ongoing (much earlier than February 2018).

Nightmare wasn't banned until September of 2018, when Trulliam accidentally revealed the details of his conviction while on stream. Shortly thereafter, the wider Smash community became aware of the situation, and EMG soon had no choice but to ban him.

People have been criticizing EMG and Joe because they're now pledging to do a better job of keeping their events safe, but they have not (to my knowledge) issued a formal and explicit apology for this huge shortcoming, with Joe just offhandedly mentioning that he has made his fair share of mistakes. In my opinion, that is not adequate.

Now, some people on Twitter are defending EMG by saying that all of the Ontario TOs at the time were responsible for failing to ban Nightmare at the community-wide level sooner, and this is true. We all should have banned him in February when we first found out. However, Joe had confirmation of the conviction before any of the other TOs (and possibly even before it was first brought to our attention), and he was especially responsible due to Nightmare's affiliation with EMG.

Moreover, failing to contribute to a community-wide ban is NOT EMG's only failure. After it was confirmed that Nightmare was, in fact, a convicted child predator, they continued to allow him to attend *their* events, and that is a failure for which they are solely responsible. They absolutely could have prohibited him from attending their events at ANY point after confirming the conviction, but they did not. They allowed him to continue to compete, and in some cases even actively assisted him by guaranteeing his sets were played off stream. They knew that his attendance at their tournaments was objectionable but he was allowed to compete anyway.

And this is not the only instance of problematic behaviour from EMG. The previous year, when the Ontario TO panel was dealing with the case surrounding another community member's eventual ban, some of the most vehement pushback towards that ban came from EMG staff (not Joe himself, as he was mostly absent during the deliberations), and I maintain that this was a result of personal bias (and I believe the person in question would probably admit as much today, which I concede is admirable).

And now we have the situation with Bobby Big Ballz, which is eerily similar to the Nightmare situation: EMG sponsors a problematic player (when their problematic behaviour is no secret) and then only condemns their actions when it becomes bad for business.

That's all I really have to say. EMG should absolutely not be let off the hook on the grounds that all the other TOs at the time also failed, because EMG was guilty of additional and more serious failures.

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