Smosh Games YouTuber departs following sexual assault allegations
Amra 'Flitz' Ricketts denies all "false claims" but "cannot risk negative impact" on YouTube group
A member of the YouTube network Smosh Games has been compelled to leave the video platform after being accused of sexual assault.
Multiple women have made claims against group member Amra 'Flitz' Ricketts, who was a regular contributor to the channel and well known to its 7m subscribers. Smosh Games is best known for its sub-channel Smosh, which presents comedy sketches to its 22m subscribers, and the satirical Honest Game Trailers.
Kotaku reports accusations began on December 31st when non-binary performer Raquey Strange claimed in a Facebook post than an invite to Rickett's apartment turned out to be a group sex encounter. Several women made further claims against Ricketts in the comments below this post, either supporting Strange's original accusation or adding their own, including multiple counts of rape.
Ricketts has denied all accusations via Twitter, where he explained that his decision to leave Smosh Games is based on protecting his colleagues from the fallout that will inevitably follow as this case progresses.
"I wanted to let all of you know that effectively immediately, I'm leaving Smosh Games," Ricketts wrote.
"Most of you don't know, last week I was accused of some of the worst things imaginable by a group of old friends and former roommate. While I deny all allegations against me, this community, my family at Smosh Games, and the team behind it mean so much to me.
"I cannot risk this having a negative impact on them. I'm working with a lawyer to disprove all false claims and restore my name but this is my battle. I will continue to fight and address this appropriately but not at the detriment of this community we've created."
Accusations against Ricketts are the latest in the sweeping trend of sexual harassment and assault victims speaking out, triggered by various claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo movement that followed has revealed such abhorrent behaviour within the games industry, something the sector is now keen to clamp down on.
More recently, IGN fired editor-in-chief Steve Butts after accusations of sexual misconduct. The dismissal followed promises from the company to better handle such situations after allegations were made against former editor Vince Ingenito.