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Game Grumps host Dan Avidan accused of grooming and exploitation [UPDATED]

Daniel Avidan, of Game Grumps and Ninja Sex Party fame, has been accused of grooming young fans

The drama surrounding Dan Avidan has just gotten more complicated. The original accuser has allegedly recanted their accusation, although the posts doing so have since been deleted. So without a series body of evidence, it would seem that the internet has dogpiled another exploitation claim into silence. Any cursory glance at the response to the drama would reveal legions of angry fans of Game Grumps. These fans were trying to defend Avidan from the accusation by pointing out that the accuser was 22 when the alleged sexual intercourse happened. It seems they got what they wanted. Avidan has since effectively confirmed parts of the initial accusation.

Avidan provided the following statement to various outlets in response:

“I stand by the fact that any interactions that took place of a sexual nature with the person in question were done so when she was 22 years old and we were both consenting adults,” Avidan stated. “To claim I engaged in any predatory behavior is simply untrue. I have made mistakes in the past, and I apologize if my actions or words ever made anyone upset, but those mistakes were never ill-intentioned, exploitative or illegal in any capacity.”

So while the grooming was unlikely to be true, the fact remains that Avidan exploited his fame for sex. While not illegal, it’s certainly not something that many would condone. At the very least this will reveal the segment of internet fandoms that’s totally cool with abuse of power dynamics.

The original article is below:

The popular YouTuber group Game Grumps finds itself in very hot water this week as a new set of accusations find a content creator accused of grooming fans. This time, Game Grumps host Dan Avidan has been accused of grooming and exploiting fans for sexual favors. Fans and critics of the group alike have been trying to come to terms with the revelations; while trying to figure out how widespread the abuse was. Rough counts place the number of victims of this exploitation into the double digits.

Proof has now been collected and posted publicly implicating the host in a major scandal that saw him allegedly routinely sexting fans and exploiting them for sexual favors. Some of those involved were underage during their contact with Avidan. In response to these claims, alleged victims have come forward, all repeating a very similar story.

One victim posted their account of events. “He told me he wanted to ‘build an empire’ with me and that he loved me,” the victim said. “He booked fancy hotels in L.A. for us to have sex in. Then when I asked if we could be monogamous I never heard from him again. Next thing I know, he did the exact same thing to my friend.”

The post was made to r/rantGrumps, a subreddit dedicated to criticizing the content that said channel produces. In this case, they have become the center of a storm, and one that seemingly was a long time coming. The overall tenor of the accusations is that Avidan would routinely contact fans and strike up a seemingly friendly conversation, which he would then push in a sexual direction. It often ended when Avidan would eventually convince said fan to engage in sexual acts with him, only to cease contact afterwords. The video host would then repeat this pattern many more times with other victims.

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“For over a year now there have been accusations about Dan Avidan sexting, sleeping, and ghosting younger fans, among other things. Several girls have come forward publicly,” said the post. Avidan’s messages would often progress quite quickly into sexually explicit content and requests. The thread itself links to one such video featuring the voice of the creator, making some lewd remarks toward the recipient.

And let’s make something clear. There’s a very obvious undercurrent of celebrity that influences these interactions, regardless of the age a victim was. The presence of that celebrity status absolutely has an impact on their fans. And those same fans might be much more prone to manipulation if the person doing the manipulating is famous. Whether or not someone is of age doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a case of a famous person using their status for sexual favors, and then repeating that pattern of manipulation with more victims. So while the application of “grooming” applies to someone seeking to abuse children, which may not apply here depending on the facts, the fact remains that Avidan is someone allegedly abusing their status as a celebrity to exploit their fans for sex.

Dan Avidan was brought on to replace Jon Jafari, another founding member alongside Arin Hansen, in June 2013. Jafari left as a result of his desire to pursue his own JonTron project. Jafari later revealed a much more antagonist political stance, espousing views consistent with the far-right and white nationalism in various forums. Its possible growing tensions over these beliefs may have contributed to his departure behind the scenes. So it would seem that Game Grumps traded one pile of garbage for another.

I really wish I could say this is an isolated incident, but it really isn’t within the YouTube and Twitch ecosystem. A rather recent incident happened with former Rooster Teeth host Ryan Haywood, and had a very similar pattern of abusive and exploitative behavior. It’s all another reminder that people should be extremely wary of parasocial relationships and how they can be abused.

It could not be more obvious that some people, despite appearances, are not cut out for positions of power over others. And yes, being a content creator with easy access to an impressionable audience has that. This situation never would have happened if content creators weren’t in a position to potentially abuse their fans. Which they are, all they have to do is seemingly put on an aloof and friendly face, like Avidan.

I cannot believe this needs repeating, but it does. If you’re a content creator, don’t even think about doing this stuff. If you’re a fan, call this nonsense out and warn people. We’re long past the point where this behavior can be ignored.

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