This is a tough one to write. I want to first describe the situation very clearly. I’ll give you the short version and then the long version. And there will be more posts about this because this gets to the very heart of why I created the parental academy — kids are fighting private battles and they’re losing.
Micro-celebrities in the Pokemon Youtube community have been using their popularity to seduce kids into sexual and pseudo-sexual online encounters including sending nude pictures and more. In some instances, grooming the kids into online relationships.
Kotaku, a video game site, has the best and most thorough write-up on this.
Nathan Putnam is a popular content creator. He creates graphics for Youtubers. He was outted after preying on underaged followers.
A young girl, now 19 years old, came forward explaining that when she was 15 years old, Putnam coerced her into sending nude pictures to him. She details internet stalking and harassment in a tear-filled video.
Putnam the predator was denounced by others in the Pokemon community, including being denounced by popular youtuber Kyle “TheKingNappy” McNeal. McNeal and other popular Youtubers had created a space for Putnam the predator to prey. He does graphics for them. The comments and other online spaces where the Pokemon community exist are basically online playgrounds. After McNeal denounced Putnam the predator, saying, “If we had been aware, we would have taken action years ago and Nathan would not have been considered our friend, to any extent.”
It turns out that McNeal was aware. Many were. They’d talk to Putnam the predator to tell him to cut it out, but he wouldn’t. And they just let it fly.
After McNeal denounced Putnam the predator, someone came forward and shared that McNeal was also a predator. One case was McNeal the predator coercing an underage Pokemon Youtuber named Callum into dating him in 2013.
“He gave me an ultimatum,” Callum wrote on Twitter. “Date or we’re no longer friends…I eventually agreed to try dating Nappy…I know I should’ve cut the relationship sooner, but I was still so terrified of losing friends over it.”
Another Pokémon YouTuber, GameboyLuke, came forward with his own story shortly after Callum. He told Kotaku via email that he was 21 or 22 at the time. Luke told Kotaku via phone that in 2015, McNeal made advances on him. Luke said he turned McNeal down but that McNeal persisted.
“It wasn’t until the third, fourth, or fifth advance that I realized something was really wrong,” he explained. According to Luke, McNeal also said that if Luke got a girlfriend, McNeal would have to cut ties with him.
“When he finally gave up, he kicked me from the friend group & he told everyone that ‘I didn’t fuck with them anymore’ when in reality McNeal couldn’t get me to do what he wanted & so he exiled me,” he explained on Twitter.
I’ll do another write up on this soon. Likely another video. Still absorbing all of this. Thanks to all the victims for speaking up.