FaZe seemingly can’t leave the news following recent disputes among its members and FaZe NICKMERC’s recent rhetoric that has been viewed as hateful by the LGBTQIA+ community. Now, in the last 24 hours, Call of Duty has faced the threat of boycott from streamers like Dr. Disrespect and Cloakzy after removing NICKMERCS’ cosmetic bundle.
This all began a few days ago when NICKMERCS replied to a comment about a fight outside of an elementary school after a Pride month protest, saying, “They should leave little children alone.” Some accused this comment of being a dog-whistle common in right-wing spaces right now being used against members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Dog whistles in politics involve using “coded or suggestive language” in order to gain support, such as in the passing of policies or laws, and currently, there is a lot of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation that has passed in the US recently or is in the process of being pushed using the kind of language used in the tweet.
After receiving backlash from the comment, another clip from the streamer began circulating online where he defends himself and says, “It wasn’t an anti-gay tweet.”
Due to this, Call of Duty announced that it would be removing the NICKMERCS bundle that was added on May 31, a little over a week ago. In the tweet, the brand says, “We are focused on celebrating PRIDE with our employees and our community.”
Since then, streamers Dr. Disrespect and Cloakzy have come out against the decision, and have gone so far as to delete Call of Duty from their desktops, claiming that they would no longer be playing. Some fans of NICKMERCS have likewise taken to Twitter to show that they have uninstalled the game as well.
NICKMERCS did release an additional statement after the removal of his bundle with the following tweet:
Friends are created in good times, but families are built through adversity. Appreciate all of you that have my back, understand my position as a new father & recognize the love I have for all. Ain’t no hate in this heart. P&L
Thus far, Activision hasn’t released any additional statements, so we will have to see if they respond again or simply leave it as it is. With potential sponsorships and ad revenue on the line, it will be interesting to see if the streamers who uninstalled end up going back in a future update.