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Dr Disrespect splits fans with coronavirus talk

Dr Disrespect has raised the ire of some of his viewers after a recent stream in which he discussed some theories surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. Some people believe that he has spoken out of turn or possibly shared irresponsible information. The video of the stream has since been deleted, but Game Rant has detailed some of the things that were discussed over the course of the stream.

Dr Disrespect began by bringing up the current controversy surrounding Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In recent weeks, Musk has called for the United States to begin reopening businesses and lessening the enforcement of social distancing guidelines. Musk was met with significant backlash over these comments, but Dr Disrespect's comments appears to indicate that he sides with Musk on this front.

"I don't need Elon to convince me," Dr Disrespect told his viewers. With that, he began reading an article from Dr. Scott Atlas that was originally published by The Hill. This article has likewise received significant pushback from the scientific community for its call to "open most workplaces and small businesses." It is Atlas' opinion that much of the anxiety experienced by the people during the pandemic is an undue panic.

The Doc then shared a video of Dr. Thomas Cowan in which he discussed a common conspiracy theory involving a connection between 5G cell towers and the spread of COVID-19. It's worth noting that Dr Disrespect did not explicitly state that he shared this theory. 

As Dr Disrespect explained, he wanted his viewers to keep an open mind and to form their own opinions. He said, "Let's not just be robots and say, 'Yes sir, we will do everything you tell us to do, government, sir.' Let's listen to the experts ... Again, I gotta bite my tongue."

Needless to say, with the Doc discussing such a sensitive issue, it wasn't long before people began arguing over the stream. Apparently his chat log was filled with people asking him to stop what he was doing, or to drop his usual character and stand by the comments as his real self. Others expressed their support for Dr Disrespect, sending in tips and applauding his willingness to weigh in on the issue. 

Still, as mentioned before, the original video of the stream has been deleted. However, as with any hot button issue like this, people have taken to Twitter to share their views on the controversial stream.

One of these dissenting voices was games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad. He not only took issue with Dr Disrespect's comments, but also what he saw as a the streamer's misuse of his platform. Ahmad tweeted, "With the ability to influence over 4m followers, he straight up endorsed the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory and advocated for lockdowns to end. The sad thing is Twitch / his sponsors probably won't do anything." 

Kotaku's Nathan Grayson mocked Dr Disrespect's online persona, tweeting, "I am beginning to suspect that dr disrespect might not be a licensed medical professional."

Others pointed out that Dr Disrespect is meant to be an over the top character, and that most of what he says should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, it's that kind of larger than life persona that landed the Doc a television deal late last year.

Despite this point, many people echoed the sentiment that intent doesn't particularly matter in this regard. Some felt that Dr Disrespect shouldn't be using his platform to give incorrect information, whether or not it's meant as satire. One user tweeted, "Even if he is in character; spreading misinformation on the virus is one of the worst things anyone can do at the moment no matter the context, so yeah, I feel like he should get suspended."

Dr Disrespect is no stranger to controversy, even occasionally kicking up dirt for fun. Last month, he came under fire for pretending to have Valorant beta keys to give to his viewers. When he was called out for it, he posted a video in which he pretended to apologize, but merely asked his detractors, "You're looking at the best in the business, baby. You think I give a [expletive]?"

While Dr Disrespect has yet to comment on this latest controversy, it's only a matter of time. For better or worse, Dr Disrespect doesn't let things like this just lie. Fans probably won't have to wait too long before he makes some kind of statement regarding the backlash. Notably, he's offered sincere apologies to his audience in the past. It remains to be seen whether or not he'll do that in this instance.