Twitch Streamer 'Girlfriend Reviews' Harassed And Bullied To Tears For Streaming 'Hogwarts Legacy'

February 7th, 2023 - 2:36 PM EST by Adam Downer

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Twitch streamer Shelby of Girlfriend Reviews was harassed to the point of tears last night while she and her boyfriend Matt played Hogwarts Legacy, the open-world Harry Potter game that has become a hotbed of controversy because of its association with J.K. Rowling (among other reasons).

Rowling's recent slew of TERF controversies have prompted strong calls to boycott Hogwarts Legacy, for while Rowling reportedly had no involvement with the game, she will receive royalties for its success.

Yesterday, Matt and Shelby's Twitch chat quickly became a toxic mess shortly after they began playing the game, which they received a review copy of ahead of its Friday release. The couple soon turned on "sub-only" chat on their stream to try and mitigate the bullying, but to no avail, as it prompted a wave of people subscribing to their channel for the sole purpose of harassing and insulting the duo.

The clip of Shelby sounding as though she was on the verge of tears circulated widely on social media, sparking heated debates and backlash.


Trouble began brewing for the couple yesterday when they announced they were going to stream Hogwarts Legacy later that evening. After receiving some pushback, they assured viewers that they had received the game for free (meaning they hadn't financially supported Rowling by getting a copy) and would be raising money for The Trevor Project, a non-profit aiming to provide counseling to LGBTQ+ teens while they played the game.


Many on social media were outraged that Girlfriend Reviews (largely thought of as a wholesome and progressive channel) received such harassment and took the incident as a sign the backlash against Hogwarts Legacy had gone too far.


Others were less sympathetic, noting that the pair were asked by their fans to not play the game and should have seen the situation coming.


The incident comes amidst stronger calls for boycotts in the week ahead of the game's release. One developer has even made a single-use website, called "Have They Streamed that Wizard Game," for the sole purpose of allowing users to see if Twitch streamers have streamed Hogwarts Legacy.


The backlash has put many in the gaming journalism and streaming industries in a difficult position as well. Despite the controversy surrounding it, Hogwarts Legacy will almost certainly be a popular title on account of it being part of one of the most iconic franchises of the 21st century.

Some have noted how streamers and journalism outlets are in the difficult position of choosing whether to cover the game despite the controversy surrounding it or ignore one of 2023's marquee gaming titles.


Top Comments

Jill
Jill Moderator

When a lot of anti-trans legislation is being considered in the US and parts of Europe, harassing people over stuff like this is only going to push those who were neutral towards or slightly for trans people against them. I say this as someone who has adult irl friends whose lives would be directly impacted by proposed legislation in my state.

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