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BlizzCon apologizes for homophobic gaffe

- October 28th, 2011

Looks like all that backlash from BlizzCon’s screening a clip of a Horde-tattoo-sporting metal head calling Alliance players homophobic slurs and telling them to go die has got the company’s attention.

Blizzard Entertainment  President Mike Morhaime has issued an apology, admitting that it “was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form.”

See full apology after the jump.

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BlizzCon shows homophobic clip

- October 27th, 2011

This year’s World of Warcraft-themed celebrations at BlizzCon featured a performance by Blizzard Entertainment’s art director Sam Didier along with Cannibal Corpse frontman George Fisher.

In introducing Fisher to the stage, BlizzCon broadcasts a video clip in which Fisher talks about what a die-hard WoW fan he is, and how he completely despises the Alliance, one of two opposing factions in the game, in favour of the Horde (he even has a Horde tattoo).

The clip, I assume, is intended to say to those in attendance: “Hey look, not only did we get a famous guest musician, but we got one who loves the game as much as you do!”

But there’s just one problem. In denouncing Alliance players, Fisher spits out horrendous anti-gay vitriol, calling the players homophobic slurs and telling then to go kill themselves.

Go f—-ing cry in a river and tell me about how you’re going to slit your wrists, you Night Elf f—–t. F— the Alliance. F—ing die, you f—ing emo c———.”

Lovely.

Now I don’t know the mental-health statistics surrounding people who choose to play humans, elfs and dwarves (thought I can plainly see they’re not terribly happy about this incident), but Fisher doesn’t need to tell gay kids to kill themselves. They already are, in record numbers.

In Canada, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24, and LBGT youth commit suicide at a disproportionately high rate.

Just this month, gay Ottawa teen Justin Hubley took his own life, at least partly because his peers barraged him with the kind of insults Fisher lobbed so casually at Alliance players.

Now, it would be naive to think this kind of language doesn’t take place in-game all the time, but for Blizzard to showcase this clip on stage to a throng of fans (who, by the way, cheered in approval) sends the message that the company not only tolerates anti-gay sentiments, but supports them.

I’ve asked Blizzard’s PR people for comment. Stay tuned.

Via The Mary Sue, via Rock Paper Shotgun via GayGamer.net