Within the past month, entertainment company Rooster Teeth lost two more employees amid misconduct allegations. Achievement Hunter and Funhaus’s Ryan Haywood and Adam Kovic both left Rooster Teeth around the same time the parent company posted a vague and mysterious tweet. The tweet, dated for October 7th of this year, states: “Our Code of Conduct is meant for everyone in our community to follow and that includes our staff and anyone who works or partners with Rooster Teeth. We have parted ways with two employees whose conduct did not reflect the values we strive to uphold in our Code of Conduct.”
Haywood has released a statement of his own on Twitter as well, apologizing for his “mistakes” and
asking fans to “please stop harassing and threatening [his] family.” Haywood allegedly had been having an affair with a girl who was 18, though some sources say she has claimed she was 17 at the time of the affair. The affair included sending pictures of a sexual nature both to and from Haywood and the girl. According to Haywood’s tweet, people, perhaps fans, have been sending threatening messages to his family, particularly his wife, Laurie. They may have even attempted to find his family to harass them.
The allegations began after nude pictures of both Haywood and Kovic had been leaked on the internet. The two incidents are not linked, however they came about at the same time, leading some fans to believe it was made up. When Haywood created his tweet, it confirmed suspicions for some fans. Haywood stated that what he had been involved in was not illegal. Kovic delayed in making a statement until very recently.
Kovic does not detail his allegations similar to Haywood, but his tweet is longer and more detailed in the apology. He apologizes to his family, friends, coworkers, and specifically his wife. He states: “Jess has always been there for me and I hurt her. If it takes a lifetime, I’m going to fix this. Her love means the world to me.” Kovic has reportedly been accused of grooming underaged fans. He says, “I’m the one to blame. I’m the one who messed up.”
Both rumors of the Rooster Teeth employees cheating and sending explicit pictures first came under discussion in 4chan, where it then spread around the internet. Discussions of the allegations have been deleted off of the Rooster Teeth subreddit. While it may seem that Rooster Teeth is trying to cover things up, they seem to instead be respecting the privacy of their long-term employees.
Two close coworkers of Haywood, Jack Patillo and Michael Jones, released a video discussing the situation. In it, they apologize to fans for not noticing the signs sooner, for not acting sooner, and for the hurt that has been caused. Many fans had known of Haywood and his involvement in many Rooster Teeth projects since they were young, as comments beneath the YouTube video detail. In the video, both men are visibly emotionally shattered and refer to Haywood as a “monster.” They also ask that fans leave the Haywood family alone, and have sympathy for his wife and children, both under the age of 12.
The Rooster Teeth community has been shattered and rocked to its core once again, by those the community once trusted to be upstanding role models. One fan commented on the YouTube video that the community had not been so shattered since the tragic passing of RWBY creator Monty Oum in February of 2015. Rooster Teeth has continued projects despite now losing three employees, including voice actor Vic Mignogna, who also had sexual misconduct allegations against him. One can only hope that the community stays strong, and Rooster Teeth continues their strict Code of Conduct.