UPDATE: Mixer announced Monday it will no longer exist.
Microsoft, Mixer's parent company, will partner with Facebook Gaming.
Mixer Partners, streamers, and community - today, we've got some very big news for you.
While we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer, we're officially partnering with @FacebookGaming and we're cordially inviting all of you to join.
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) June 22, 2020
Considering all of the major pieces involved in this story, it doesn't appear as if Mixer's demise was a result of Milan Lee's experience with his manager. Instead, Mixer released a statement explaining why it decided to shut down.
"Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible," the company said in a statement. "It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform. "
Former Mixer employee Milan Lee shared a story Sunday about his time working at the company, saying, "this experience was the worst I’ve ever had professionally and it’s all due to racism."
Lee worked at the streaming platform owned by Microsoft starting in 2018. In his story, he shared several instances when the color of his skin became a factor in his work environment.
"I was one of the only black people working at Mixer during my tenure," Lee wrote. "While at a conference I was pulled aside and told that the only reason I was hired is because I am 'street smart.' The first thing that popped into my head at the time was affirmative action. I believed I was only hired to meet a diversity goal because I was black."
Mixer: The Black Experience
— Milly #BlackLivesMatter (@MilanKLee) June 21, 2020
Lee said he was able to brush some things aside, but one incident was too much to ignore. Lee claimed his manager used an inappropriate analogy involving slavery.
"Time goes by and we are in an internal meeting discussing projects we wanted to execute," Lee wrote. "My manager decided to give us an analogy, that analogy was, 'I’m in between a rock and a hard place. What I mean is all the partners are my slaves, I own their content. I control their success on our platform. For me I am the slave master, I own partners.' Immediately I got angry, pissed off and honestly I didn’t want to work at Microsoft/Mixer anymore."
Lee said he reported the experience to a "skip level manager," but no action was taken. Lee said he then brought his comments to HR as well as the legal team to start an investigation. He said the investigation found his manager was not guilty of wrongdoing.
"One of the main people calling the shots has zero respect for any partner not their platform," Lee wrote. "She believes you all are slaves and she owns your future and content. I stood up to her because I refused to let anyone be classified as such and I hope no partners feel bad I did so."
Mixer responded to the allegations in a Twitter response.
Our goal is to build a positive, welcoming, and inclusive team and community. To those sharing your stories; it's unacceptable that we did not provide that for you. We'll be vigilant in addressing this more diligently in the future.
Thank you, Milan and to the entire community.
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) June 22, 2020
Following Lee's story, several other streamers said they would postpone their streams until something was fixed. Mixer's most recognizable streamers Shroud and Ninja have not yet made official statements on the issue. Ninja's "about" section on Twitch now includes the game "Valorant," which was released well after he switched platforms, leading some speculation as to whether he'll switch back. His Mixer page reads "No stream | Updates soon."
While Ninja and Shroud have remained silent, other streamers on the platform voiced their thoughts.
Effective immediately, my Mixer streams are cancelled until further notice. A real change within the company is needed.
I won't stream on a platform who's leaders or community team makes offensive remarks like this. This is NOT okay. I'm done.
Read This. ⬇️ https://t.co/5Q8GBxCRKG
— Enola Leone | #PrideAlways (@thatenolaleone) June 22, 2020
I just ended my stream early and will no longer be streaming on Mixer until this is fixed.
I haven't decided where as this is my main source of income but we might be trying Twitch, Youtube or Facebook in the meantime.
I stand with anyone who makes this decision. https://t.co/AY3OrD5kAV
— VideoGameDiva (@VideoGameDiva_) June 22, 2020
Reasons I WON'T leave a platform: -People don't think variety can grow there
Reasons I WILL leave a platform:
-It protects and keeps sexual assailants and harassers partnered
-Allows racist management
-Silences victims so they won't have bad PR
You have 1 week Mixer. 1 week.
— #BLM Lecka ️ (@Leckakay) June 22, 2020
I stand with my community ✊
No more @WatchMixer streams until this is taken care of!
This is our home and it has become a not so inclusive place. Mixer is better then what has come out today. I demand action to be taken.
— Tonzy (@TonzyMixer) June 22, 2020
I give Mixer one week. ONE WEEK! To get the piece of shits partnerships taken away (Cudi, Supa, Hollywood, etc.) and the asshole who thinks its okay to make a disgusting racist comment inside Mixer. If this is not addressed and dealt with, streams will be on twitch. Thank you.
— TheDramaQueen (@DQueen226) June 22, 2020
I will be spending the night setting up my Twitch stream.
I hope to return streaming to Mixer after they have removed the racist manager from staff and made an effort to show actual change. @MilanKLee your story is heard. We love you. You believed in us and took care of us.
— B NES (@ConcealedBones) June 22, 2020
I'm taking a stance.
Until @WatchMixer fires the staff that called content creators slaves as well as using the n word freely,
Until these nasty partners who harmed women are removed from the platform FULLY...
I will not stream on Mixer.
— Candice: Bday June 13th (@MunchkinDoom) June 22, 2020
Until action is taken I will stand with my fellow @WatchMixer partners together & streams will be suspended
Its not a one platform issue, its everywhere but Mixer is my house and I will start the fight here to #cleanuptheindustry
Our voices will be heard, Im a slave to no one pic.twitter.com/I25AMqm11D
— Tiddus (@Tiddus8) June 22, 2020
I stream full time for a living.
I will not be streaming on Mixer until something is done about what Milly BRAVELY came forward to us all about.
I urge you all to do the same, take a stand, bond together.
I LOVE MIXER. IT IS MY HOME! IT IS MY FAMILY!
But this, is not okay.
— Foxyzilla #cleanuptheindustry (@Foxyzilla) June 22, 2020