Hungrybox Responds to Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma has responded to sexual misconduct allegations released earlier today anonymously through the same person who accused him earlier this week, Devon Price.
This is just the latest in the ongoing saga of the Smash community trying to purify itself of sexual misconduct, various abuses, and more. And while Hungrybox tried to get out in front of the accusations in general, his actions have proven not nearly as bad as some others in the community such as Sky Williams and ZeRo, both of whom were accused of being sexual predators.
What Was Hungrybox Accused Of?
Hungrybox, mostly, stands accused of harassing women through unwanted longing looks, flirting with women who are already in relationships, and generally being a creep. This particular accusation from the anonymous party extends to Hungrybox looking down someone’s shirt. The accusation was apparently vetted through multiple sources to verify its authenticity before being released.
“This is my account of my interactions with Hungrybox throughout the years. I am sharing this anonymously because I do not feel comfortable being known as the woman that Hbox did this to. I want my story to be heard because I am tired of seeing him control the narrative,” she said.
“I have been at countless events around Hungrbox and every time, unless he had a woman present, he would very openly stare at my chest and straight up look down my shirt while I was just standing there in front of him or walking by. His eyes would (far too slowly) and methodically work their way from every inch of my body until he would finally look me in the eyes and say “hi.” There were periods of time where this wouldn’t happen because a girlfriend was present, but whenever they were not, it would happen again.”
She went on to describe what would have been okay attention from top players:
“I DO NOT MIND being looked at or flirted with at tourneys,” she said. “But there is a big difference between flirting and being made to feel like a sex object with now autonomy with one of the most well-known players of the game. […] It scares me that he has most likely done this to women other than me, who don’t have a “safety” group of friends.”
In that regard, she says that the video that he released earlier this week was disingenuous, and only done because he knew that his time was coming and wanted to get out ahead of it.
“I want to make it clear that his video was especially upsetting to me because he seems to imply he has changed. He hasn’t. He’s just scared because people will actually believe us now with everything going on, and “little” (real) social interactions are being called out. This is not okay. This is not flirting. This is sexual harassment.”
They signed the post “A Fellow Smasher” in order to remain anonymous and so that they wouldn’t be identified, and then harassed, by Hungrybox’s fans in any capacity. Some fans of ZeRo’s for instance, did this, and were certainly a cautionary tale for folks coming forward to accuse top players.
Hungrybox Responds to the Allegations
The Jigglypuff main got out in front of the sexual misconduct allegations earlier this week, but that doesn’t mean Hungrybox wasn’t willing to accept more criticism and try to change for the better.
“If I want the community to be a better place for women, that change has to start with myself,” he explained. “I want to say that I’m very sorry this happened. I can totally see why you would feel objectified and uncomfortable. That’s not something I want you or any member of the community to feel.”
When he was called out for his language in his apology, that it somewhat removed him from the situation, he immediately accepted the criticism, noting that he will change in the future.
This is in stark contrast to many others in the Smash community, who initially denied their charges before admitting to them in the end.
What Impact Will This Have on Hbox’s Career and Legacy?
Team Liquid, Hungrybox’s home for over four years now, has not issued any corrective punishment for Hungrybox as of press time. They have, however, issued the following statement on their investigation into the situation.
“We’re aware of discussion in the community about potential upcoming allegations against HungryBox as well as the video he put out sharing his perspective,” Steve “Liquid112” Arhancet, co-CEO of Team Liquid said. “We will be listening to the women of the community over the upcoming days and/or weeks and discussing next steps.”
From that statement, it seems that Team Liquid will be weighing their options and considering whether or not Hungrybox seems repentant for his actions. Indeed, the allegations of sexual misconduct are not quite as serious as some others in the community, and the fact that Hungrybox came out on his own before any of them broke surely helps his case slightly. So long as the player commits to change, we might not be looking at a situation where he has to be cancelled entirely.
As one of the most ubiquitous and successful Super Smash Bros. Melee players of all time, Hungrybox has a lot to lose, and so does Super Smash Bros. Melee if he were forced out due to his actions here. Of course, the goal of cleaning up the community is far more important than his legacy to the sport, It would be a damn shame if we lost one of the brightest and most successful minds in Melee as a result.
The others in the Smash community that have been accused have not been so lucky, and rightfully so given their actions.