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Two outspoken feminists have left League of Legends developer Riot

By mongeese · 104 replies
Sep 8, 2018
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  1. A little over a week ago Riot Games released an official apology on their website – they promised that “inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable” and that this is their “top priority.” After several dozen former and current Riot employees came out with stories of women being disrespected, sexualized, insulted, paid less for the same work and passed over for promotion the apology was sorely needed. As one of their first acts to create a better environment for female and non-binary gamers, Riot created a panel at PAX West last weekend that didn’t allow men, where they focused on League of Legends art design, game production, narrative writing and cosplay. Many fans were furious and called this sexist itself, but against Riot policy, Klein took to Twitter and Reddit to call them out as being misogynists and even calling them “manbabies.” Lehman supported his friend and defended him. They left the company shortly after and Riot insists it had nothing to do with their stances on discrimination.

    It would be easy to say that Riot simply fired them for advocating feminism, an anonymous Riot employee even suggested this. It would also be easy to say that they were simply being rude to fans and deserved to lose their jobs. Both arguments have merit, but first, let’s fully consider the chain of events that led up to this.

    Kotaku thoroughly investigated the sexist culture at Riot by interviewing many employees. It’s well worth a read, but in brief, they found that women were unable to pierce the “bro culture” that permeates the company. Women were essentially forbidden from management positions, jokes were made that they were only hired for their looks. A notable example from Kotaku’s source is an experiment she conducted after her idea was knocked back at a meeting. She asked a male friend to present the same idea to the same group a few days later and they hailed it as brilliant. Both male and female employees left the company due to their views on the sexism, some by choice, others not.

    A few days after Riot found out about Kotaku’s investigation, they put up a page on their website saying how dedicated they are to gender equality.

    The investigation came out and many fans of League of Legends were very unimpressed. Riot released their apology three weeks later.

    As part of a larger two-day event at PAX in Seattle, Riot included one room that only women and non-binary people were permitted into. The goal was to create “sessions to support women and non-binary folks who are interested in getting into games professionally.” The agenda included reviewing resumes and giving advice, amongst the more typical art, narrative, design and production presentations. There’s been some confusion about this on Reddit, so I’d just like to emphasize that nearly all of Riot’s activities were open to all genders.

    If you read through a few subreddits, you’ll find that many gamers were very angry and disappointed. They said that this was stupid, nasty to male gamers, backwards thinking and wouldn’t help solve sexism. Overwhelmingly, they said that the exclusion of male gamers was unnecessary and discriminatory itself.

    Daniel Klein became the target of this anger when he released a long tweet saying that those complaining were manbabies, overgrown toddlers, trash and several other words I’m sure you can think of without me needing to write them. He argued his points well that men are incredibly over-represented in gaming and will thus receive a “billion” other opportunities that female and non-binary people won’t get anyway, and that an exclusive event like this can be a powerful moment for women and non-binary people because it is exclusive. There wasn’t exclusive content at the presentation – it looked cool – but it was to celebrate the culture of equality. Many people did agree with him, but his statements that it was impossible to be sexist towards men were particularly controversial.

    After the Kotaku investigation came out, Mattias Lehman published an article detailing some of the racism and sexism he’d witnessed at Riot. Despite very strong (and as we now know valid) fears about his job security due to his outspoken stance, he saw Klein’s plight as another opportunity to stand up for equality. He did, and in a spirit of ‘if he goes down I’m going down with him’ he defended Klein and jumped in front of the smoking gun.

    Now gamers on Reddit and Twitter were calling on Riot to fire them for being too aggressive to the community. Since then they’re no longer working for the company.

    Riot tweeted that they expect “rioters to act with respect.” They maintain that they are highly committed to improving diversity and equality. Various sources have said that within Riot, there has been quite a lot of turmoil regarding the whole ordeal. Many are grateful that this is all coming to light, some are shocked and thankful they’ve found out, and of course, some claim this is far too aggressive, the wrong way to go about it and discrimination against men.

    That’s the end of the story. Whether or not they took it too far, I sincerely commend Klein and Lehman for standing up so strongly for what they believe in and hope they find success at another game studio.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,296   +2,755

    The subject is always cringeworthy. Whenever a guy f-s up at his job, he's sacked, and it's fine, but if it is a woman, then it is always turned into a feminism issue...

  3. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 586   +1,155

    ^ Which right there is 100% justification for virtually any company to fire an employee on the spot. You don't solve one wrong by inverting it and amplifying 1,000x to the extent of actively publicly attacking your customers. That's just creates a second backlash not positive solutions. (Outrage-Addiction fuelled 'journo' sites like Kotaku who positively thrive off 'two wrongs make a right' style escalation, absolutely love the clickbait revenue brought in from such outbursts...)
  4. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Booster Posts: 95   +77

    They were fired because they treated the fans like crap. Pure and simple. If you want to be treat people like garbage online. Don't put your work info in your twitter account and pretend its a shield that allows you to do whatever you want. And most of these people live in super liberal cities and act like its there job to force there views onto other people. And if they don't agree they call them a bigot or Nazi. It's so annoying that people have to search for existential meaning in everything. They go to other countries like the middle east, China, Russia, North Korea and pull this they would be rotting in a cell for the rest of there life in there lucky.

    And Kotaku has turned into an SJW paradise. I hate people trying to mix politics and other crap into video games. Guess what people don't want to read/hear about that crap into video games which is a hobby for people to escape that crap. The same thing is happening in sports, and its not just the players the reporters are doing this too.

    Guess what work cultures are different at every place. If you have a problem then go to HR. But accept the chance that maybe you are the problem. Especially if your trying to force your ideas/beliefs on other people.
  5. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Maniac Posts: 240   +177

  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,861   +1,142

    Bla bla bla...If they are "that good" then start your own d*mn company and compete with them.
    Jennifur68, p3ngwin and alabama man like this.
  7. frostyshield

    frostyshield TS Booster Posts: 87   +89

    Coming up next, Riot trying to diversify workforce, they're hiring too many caucasian people. God these articles are cringeworthy at best lol What happened to the whole oh x does more work so heres a promotion when did it become a oh x is male so heres a promotion xD
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    However you must have missed the part where there was work presented and only praised by the male presenting it.
    Godel and Squid Surprise like this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,576   +2,295

    And nobody stops to ask how everyone just FORGOT that they had heard this idea before?? Seriously, who buys this BS?
    Robinson Ochoa and Jennifur68 like this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    If they are sexist, they would not care what was said from the opposite sex. They would not have heard a word of it.
    Squid Surprise likes this.
  11. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,360   +1,362

    Apparently, there’s a sexist climate among TechSpot forum posters.... it’s absolutely ridiculous, as, regardless of your views on the different physical natures of males and females, online forums SHOULD be the one place where it’s completely irrelevant what sex you are.... after all, there’s not even any way to verify your sex on here!
  12. Namtrooper

    Namtrooper TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +26

    Riot tweeted that they expect “rioters to act with respect.”
    What an odd thing to expect of a rioter...
    TempleOrion and Rayzor like this.
  13. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,810   +1,326

    What an absolute **** of an article always trying to spin it in their favor.

    Whenever a company goes woke they lose money. Get all the SJWs out, they are mentally ill.
  14. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Maniac Posts: 254   +245

    So basically something backfired on a couple of social justice warriors. That is what usually happens when morons collide online.
  15. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 642   +241

    Feninism = vaginal worship. Hardly inclusive.
  16. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,399   +431

    So they made a woman only employee meeting\event, got criticized for it by customers and insulted the critics. The reason they made the event is because they believe women are being unfairly treated within the company. Two wrongs don't make a right and insulting customers will get you fired. Excluding men is sexist. Paying woman less for doing the same job is sexist and they could likely sue.

    "A notable example from Kotaku’s source is an experiment she conducted after her idea was knocked back at a meeting. She asked a male friend to present the same idea to the same group a few days later and they hailed it as brilliant."

    This would be frustrating no doubt.
  17. The details here are missing.

    1. Same "job" does not mean same performance.

    2. What are the differences in their presentation skills? Any guy could perform the exact same experiment and get the exact same result and cry favoritism. Never trust a gotcha scheme.
  18. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    Oh god. These comments are horrible and show the type of culture women are fighting against constantly.
  19. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,360   +1,362

    What’s even sadder is that those making the comments have no idea that they are... talk about an uphill battle!
  20. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    Hmm. Interesting comment from someone who uses a loaded term like "SJW". A word I have only ever seen online and within male dominated online communities at that.

    From my perspective it is you who is trying to bring politics into this.....everyone I talk to in the real world agrees women should be treated fairly at work. This seems to apply in most places I have lived.

    Have you seriously thought about it and considered that you may be wrong and part of the problem? Have you discussed this in the real world with people who disagree with you or are you simply copy and pasting online put downs because it fits the beliefs of the online forums you frequent and the presumably conservative group of friends you have?
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    With our culture being diverse, it is only a problem with select few. That's a bit of irony for you. When the topic is asking for greater diversity within the workplace.
    Squid Surprise likes this.
  22. I can’t believe you posted this and then someone came in and did exactly what’s in the video:

    It was like a magic trick.
    takemaru and MaXtor like this.
  23. Angga B

    Angga B TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +16

    Thread carefully, techspot.You knew how #gamergate ends up, didn't you.

    Gaming is a male dominated world is not because patriarchy or sexism, it is simply because women do not share the same enthusiasm be it as players, or developers, or else.

    Any attempt to force change in the male side wouldn't get positive response at all. Instead, why not try to induce more women to play, or develop? Then the change will come naturally, without coercion, without drama.
  24. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    The video was about not being a ****?

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