Milan Lee started working for Microsoft in 2017 then relocated to Seattle where he joined the Mixer team in 2018. Just a day before Mixer announced its shutdown and its partnership with Facebook Gaming Milan shared a story of his racist experiences while working at the platform via Twitter.
Mixer: The Black Experience
— Milly 🌩 #BlackLivesMatter (@MilanKLee) June 21, 2020
In Milan’s story “Mixer: The Black Experience” he speaks about instances where various unjust comments were made in front of him without any consequence.
#1 – I was one of the only black people working at Mixer during my tenure. 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. Anyways I decided to brush it off and let it go.
#2 – Time goes by and we are in an internal meeting discussing projects we wanted to execute. 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. My manager saw my mood was not the same and decided to have a 1:1. Within that meeting I told her why I was angry and why her using that analogy was NOT okay. She decided to defend her statement and even had the nerve to google that analogy to prove why it was okay. After Google showed her it was NEVER okay to use that analogy, she told me I need to work on myself. If I wanted to go far in this industry I need to work on my emotions and feelings to similar comments. After this meeting I knew I was leaving.
He then decided to do it the right way and take it to upper management and file a formal complaint. He was met with roadblocks along the way eventually marching his way up to the HR office where he found out no complaint was ever registered. An investigation that lasted months was finally ruled in the manager’s favor and no punishment was issued.
#3 – I reported my entire experience to a skip level manager, I also included examples when my ideas in meetings were passed on. When said ideas were the exact same from my white colleagues. The skip level NEVER reported any of the slavery comments to HR. So when I spoke with HR they were surprised and said this has never been communicated. After that meeting I resigned a few weeks later.
#4 – I spoke with the legal team to start an investigation with my manager. This investigation would continue even though I decided to terminate my employment. Months go by without a verdict. One day late last year I get a call from the legal team with their final findings. That finding was not guilty! The reason my manager was not penalized and the reason she still has her job today is because she CANNOT be racist. The reason she CANNOT be racist is because she hired a black person.
Mixer did issue a response to the Tweet.
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
The Mixer community responded vigilantly content creators banded together and boycotted the streaming service demanding justice immediately! Twitter has been on fire the past 48 hours in response to the story only to be hit with the news Mixer would be shutting down in 30 days the next morning. As of now, there is no evidence or statements proving the Mixer shutdown announcement was related to Milan’s story however there is some speculation. Mixer was already facing major scalability issues and viewership numbers have been on a decline. Their Major talent investments were not paying off and the lake was running dry.
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 (@Foxyzilla) 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
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