Online streaming of video game and related content creation has evolved significantly over the past decade as both accessibility and technology have improved. At the forefront of online streaming are a number of easily recognizable names. Twitch, for instance, has Richard “Ninja” Tyler Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, Turner “Tfue” Tenney, and many more.
Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV, far more commonly known as Dr. DisRespect, is an American streamer and internet personality who has been around for years. Despite stepping away from content creation on numerous occasions, he has managed to come back bigger and better than ever every time.
Who Is Guy Beahm?
Guy Beahm was born on March 10, 1982. During his college years at California State Polytechnic University, he played NCAA Division II basketball and would spend his leisure time playing Halo 2 on the Xbox. Players may recall that during this time, Microsoft made the interesting decision to implement a feature known as proximity voice chat, with which players could speak to one another if their characters were close.
This is where the personality of Dr. DisRespect comes from, as Guy would trash talk opponents after defeating them and to taunt players he managed to approach without being detected before eliminating them.
His earliest video was uploaded on January 5, 2010, which showcased gameplay of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In many of these videos, voice over was often added to portray a character who was macho, overconfident, and, of course, disrespectful to opponents.
As for the physical appearance of the character, which is fundamentally a part of the act, Guy wears sunglasses, a tactical vest, a mullet wig, and cycles through numerous catchphrases. His mustache is named "Slick Daddy" or sometimes "The Venomous Ethiopian Caterpillar." He often states that he is the two-time back-to-back 1993 and 1994 Blockbuster Video Gaming Champion loudly when taking down an opponent.
Guy was clearly an outstanding player, which helped garner attention for his videos, as he appeared to understand game mechanics and the fundamentals so that many games simply looked as though he was toying with his opponents.
Then, in 2011, Guy stopped producing and releasing content onto YouTube and went on hiatus for almost five years.
Previous With Sledgehammer Games
When Guy Beahm dropped the persona of Dr. DisRespect, it was to pursue his dream of working within the video game industry. He began as a community manager for Sledgehammer Games before being promoted to level designer, which allowed him to assist in the creation of maps for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Shift To Streaming Full Time
In 2015, Guy Beahm left Sledgehammer with the intent of becoming a full-time streamer.
He began streaming early access content of the popular H1Z1, which was one of the earliest games in the battle royale genre to gain popularity. Later, Guy switched to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), but he also dabbled in Fortnite and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. These are still the main games he streams today.
Despite his various hiatuses from streaming, the last being at the end of 2017, Guy seems to come back stronger each time. His most recent return was on February 5, 2018, which was when he hit 388,000 viewers.
Criticism And Controversy
Guy Beahm has been no stranger to controversy. Much of the character of Dr. DisRespect embodies an aggressive, antagonizing, toxic masculinity that demands perfection, ridicules opponents for failing, and has out of control temper tantrums when he is unable to meet his own standards of gameplay.
In late 2017, Guy spoke candidly on his stream without the persona and announced that he was taking time away from the character to deal with family issues following an admission of infidelity.
In 2018, Dr. DisRespect was slammed by musician Jimmy Wong, who accused him of being racist based on a few clips highlighting offensive caricatures of Chinese accents and the language. To this, Dr. DisRespect replied that he wasn't racist because some of his best friends are Asian.
At this past E3 event, Dr. Disrespect was banned on Twitch after taking his camera crew into the men’s bathroom where men could be seen using the urinals.
This last controversy was widely covered by various news sources, with many bringing up questions about what constitutes going too far in a stream for the sake of entertainment. As YouTube and Twitch content creators thrive on the popularity of their videos, many find themselves constantly pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable or not.
Of course, one of the effects of Dr. DisRespect’s short ban from Twitch was that other streamers' viewership temporarily rose. Jaryd “Summit1g’ Lazar” was one of these individuals. He stated: “I think I’m getting viewers because Doc got banned,” and continued to joke that “This is working out for me really well.”
The ban itself was an interesting test to see how Twitch handles certain actions. Many streamers face bans for varying degrees of Terms of Service violations. Though we must concede that one wrong move during his trips to the bathroom with a camera could have inadvertently produced a moment of child pornography, Twitch decided to give him only a two-week ban.
Despite the controversy, Guy is still a magnet for sponsorship deals and currently has contracts with Gillette, ASUS, Razer, and F Fuel.
Despite being in the spotlight on a seemingly constant basis, Guy Beahm has done a good job at keeping his privacy intact. Aside from knowing that he has a wife and young child, we know very little about Guy.
Assuming there are no more bans around the corner, we are likely to continue seeing the rise of Guy Beahm and his Dr. DisRespect persona. Despite his over-the-top caricature of a hyper-masculine WWF wrestler from the 1980s, his streams are a non-stop source of entertainment and skillful gameplay.
For another in-depth look into the life of Dr. DisRespect, check out “The Story of Dr. DisRespect: The Face of Twitch” by YouTube content creator Keith Capstick.