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Kick Executive Addresses Allegations of Workplace Misconduct by Former Employee

Andrew Santamaria, Head of Strategic Partnerships at the streaming platform Kick, has publicly addressed serious allegations made by a former staff member, Melissa “ItsMelissaDude.” Melissa, in a YouTube video, accused the company of fostering a workplace environment rife with transphobia and racism.

In response to these allegations, Santamaria took to his official X handle to refute the claims, emphasizing that they do not represent the Kick he knows. “I’ve spent time in the KICK offices, and it doesn’t reflect the KICK I know. KICK listens not only to the voices of our Creators but also to the 100’s of staff who work globally-24/7. We’re committed to making KICK the best place for streaming in the world. going live,” he wrote.

Melissa quickly countered Santamaria’s post, alleging that he had been informed about specific incidents of misconduct, including the use of a racial slur by an employee, but had not taken appropriate action. She responded, “Andrew, you were in the office once in the past year. Are you seriously going to tell your audience that I didn’t come to YOU about the socials room? I never sent you a message regarding the N word situation and you said you would take care of it? never to speak of it again…”

The allegations have cast a shadow over Kick, leading to significant scrutiny from the public and media. Melissa also claimed that the company had unfairly terminated the contract of Jake Future, a disabled streamer, adding to the growing list of grievances against the platform.

Santamaria addressed these issues head-on in a statement aimed at reassuring the community about Kick’s commitment to inclusivity. He asserted, “100% minority races and disabled persons and LGBTQIA folks are awarded the same opportunities.” He also tackled claims about the company’s family policies, sharing his personal experience as a parent of a child with autism to underline Kick’s support for family time. “My daughter is on the spectrum and she has a lot of challenges. A lot of challenges that I have to take time off for and I love every minute of it and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” he said. “But I’m also not going to work with an employer who doesn’t allow me to take care of my family. So that is something that just did not resonate with me when I was hearing a lot of these things.”

Additionally, Santamaria touched upon a recent issue involving the appearance of two suspended streamers, Heelmike and Zherka, on other people’s streams. He clarified the company’s stance, stating, “Here’s the thing, we have no policy about a banned streamer being on someone else’s stream and we are looking at that internally right now.”

Santamaria’s responses aim to quell the growing concerns and demonstrate Kick’s dedication to a fair and inclusive working environment. However, the controversy has sparked a broader conversation about workplace culture within the company, highlighting the need for transparent and robust policies to address such serious allegations effectively.

The unfolding situation at Kick is a reminder of the importance of addressing workplace misconduct promptly and transparently, ensuring that all employees feel safe and valued. As the company navigates these allegations, the industry will be watching closely to see how it upholds its commitment to inclusivity and fairness.

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