Rooster Teeth members Ryan Haywood and Adam Kovic have both been dismissed from the video production company after explicit photos they reportedly sent to fans leaked online.
Images of both Haywood and Kovic appeared on a bodybuilding forum a few weeks ago, before the photos resurfaced on 4chan last week, alongside unverified accusations of grooming and sexual solicitation, a Reddit user reported.
Achievement Hunter host Haywood allegedly sent explicit photos to Tessa Graves in 2017 — a fan who was 17 at the time.
Graves released a YouTube video explaining her side of the story, saying that she told Haywood, 36 at the time, that she was 18. Graves condemned the leaks and the doxing campaign against Haywood.
The pair met at PAX 2017 and, after she accidentally sent Haywood a photo intended for someone else, had intermittent exchanges for two years. Later exchanges included sharing nude photos, and they allegedly made plans to meet again during PAX 2019 to have sex. Haywood was married with children at the time.
Since Graves’ video went live, two former members of Haywood’s moderation team on Twitch have come forward, saying community members had reached out to them in the past about Haywood sending unsolicited and inappropriate photos.
But the mod team says they were not able to act on these, because they did not have the victim’s consent. One former mod said they talked directly to Haywood about it, but that he was “convincing and manipulating.”
Funhaus’ creative director and host Adam Kovic was reportedly catfished into sending explicit photos by someone who pretended to be a porn actress, Game Revolution reported.
This allegedly included photos that were taken in the Funhaus office, and a video featuring Kovic and his wife engaging in sexual intercourse, with unconfirmed claims that she was not aware of it being filmed. At the time of writing, no victim has come forward against Kovic.
Kovic reacted on his now private Twitter account, saying he’d been a victim of “an unbelievable breach of privacy and peeling back of [his] life.” He also apologised to his co-workers and his wife, saying she’s now “having to deal with the mess [he’s] created.”
Haywood also initially reacted on Twitter, saying he’s “made mistakes” and is leaving Rooster Teeth to “focus on rebuilding [his] family and life.” He apologised and added: “I do want to say emphatically that I never did anything illegal. The consequences of my actions are mine to deal with. Please stop harassing and threatening my family.”
He released a longer statement yesterday, saying he takes “full accountability” for the way he conducted himself over the past few years. He also admitted having flirted and had sexual relations with “members of the community.”
On its official Twitter account, Rooster Teeth emphasised that its code of conduct applies to community and staff alike. In a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, the company added: “We parted ways with two employees whose conduct did not reflect the values of our company and our community. Decisions like this are never easy, but it is important that we stay true to the values that we aspire to as a company, and that we hope to inspire in our community.”
Various Rooster Teeth members have reacted to the news, predominantly expressing sentiments of pain, betrayal and anger. A list of statements has been gathered on Reddit.
Achievement Hunter and Funhaus livestreams have all been suspended until October 14.