- Joseph Henning, who goes by DrWitnesser online, wrote on Twitter that he wants to pursue legal action against Twitch.
- The Amazon-owned live stream platform indefinitely suspended the Fortnite preacher in January.
- Hennig goes into games of Fortnite and preaches that they “need to repent for their sins.”
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DrWitnesser, the online alias of internet pastor and streamer Joseph Hennig, announced on Twitter that he intends to pursue legal action against Twitch.
Hennig, a member of the strict Seventh-Day Adventist Church Christian denomination, started streaming on the Amazon-owned platform in April 2020 under the DrWitnesser moniker. Influenced by the popularity of the mustached alpha bro DrDisrespect, Henning joining random Fortnite groups and preached the word of god, whether his teammates wanted to hear it or not. Dressed in a black button-up and an orange tie, his image is eye-catching if not dramatic.
Over the next five months, he amassed over 140,000 followers on the platform, who would watch him tell random teenagers and strangers not to say the lord’s name in vain or that they need to repent for their sins. His TikTok grew alongside his Twitch fame, reaching over 350,000 followers in just the latter half of the year.
In July of 2020, Hennig received his first suspension for seven days on Twitch. The action came after telling a young Muslim person in his game that “if you were to die in your sins today, you would be sentenced to hell.”
In a Twitter video, Hennig says that sometime after his first ban, his Twitch account did receive another 7-day suspension for currently unknown reasons.
An indefinite ban would come Hennig’s way in January 2021, for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people” according to a message he received from Twitch. In a now-deleted tweet, Hennig wrote “Twitch has yet again showed they have no tolerance for a #Christian streamer who preaches what the #Bible teaches. They are a bias, hypocritical organization that shoves their agenda down everyone’s throats.”
After his Twitch ban, the preacher moved over to controversial platform DLIve before transitioning to YouTube where he has 14,000 subscribers. His clips would still gain the attention of critics, with YouTuber Kurtis Conner sharing a video about the DrWitnesser streams to his 2.9 million subscribers.
“My guess is he plays Fortnite to get to these kids when they are young and impressionable and scared,” Conner says in the video. “It’s really gross, it’s really f— weird man.”
On Sunday, Hennig announced on Twitter that he is planning on suing Twitch for “unlawful termination of my Twitch account on the basis of religious discrimination.” The screenshot he shared features the Superior Court of California and the county of San Francisco, which currently does not have a lawsuit on file under Hennig or the DrWitnesser name. The streamer also tweeted that he is looking to find the “right firm for legal representation.”
—𝘿𝙧. 𝙒𝙞𝙩𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙧 (@DrWitnesser) February 28, 2021
Hennig did not respond to a request for comment.