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Blizzard's Morhaime apologises for homophobic video

Fri 28 Oct 2011 1:41pm GMT / 9:41am EDT / 6:41am PDT
OnlineDevelopment

Blizzcon World Of Warcraft video featured offensive comments from Cannibal Corpse singer

Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime has apologised after a World Of Warcraft video containing homophobic comments was screened at the recent Blizzcon event.

"As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at Blizzcon," he wrote in a letter to GayGamer.

"It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period."

The video, which can be seen on YouTube, featured George Fisher of Cannibal Corpse talking about the game, and using a number of homophobic slurs. While those slurs were beeped out, but the fact that the speech was used at all offended many of Blizzard's forum users and LGBT advocacy group GLAAD.

"We realise now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgement, and we regret it," continued Morhaime.

"The bottom line is we deeply apologise for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We're proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself."

George Fisher was performing at Blizzcon as part of the Blizzard rock group Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain, of which Morhaime is also a member. The video was screened before their performance.

"As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology."

The reactions to both the incident and the apology have flooded the games official forums, with some users, like Night Elf Druid Arilith, arguing it's not enough.

"While an official apology is appreciated, apologies are empty unless they are accompanied with an attempt at remediation. In this case, an effort to change the attitudes that considered that video acceptable. "

8 Comments

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
I have to say that i won't buy a Blizzard product for the forseeable future. Apart from this, the "real names" farce and their tying everything into "online only" DRM is just completely wrong for me. The whole attitude of this company is just disrespectful to their customers and I can't support it, no matter how many apologies they trot out.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Morgan Owen Studying Electronic engineering, University of Nottingham

12 0 0.0
Yer protection from piracy is just despicable! /end sarcasm. I don't see blizzard as doing much wrong here.. It is a video that's been about for a long time, it was censored and it wasn't like it was a official blizzard product trailer or something.... Fans of the band had probably seen the trailer before. Maybe bad taste to of let it been shown publicly but they did censor it. So in order to be offended you would of had to go and watch the uncensored version?! (if it is the first video that people Are talking about)

Posted:3 years ago

#2

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@ Andreas and Morgan,


Okay, and imagine if, instead of being a homophobic rant with slurs against gay people that it had been a racist rant against black people... in the USA (which is where it was based). Or if it was about Jewish people in Germany...

I doubt that, in that instance, either of you would be saying "big deal"... and even then there'd be an even larger kick back from the community than there has been now.

I think i saw it said best when someone said, "Instead of political correctness, think of it as not being a d*ck". Acting immature and in a banal manner is not okay and it shouldn't be projected and endorsed by companies - even if it's a censored version.

And then, you realise that, if it was okay then neither Corpsegrinder or Blizzard would have come out and apologised for this event.... but they did.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Arina Smith

1 0 0.0
I think this is nice thing that Blizzard did. It's respectable that a company would apologize and acknowledge their mistake. Overall the Blizzcon was enjoyable, just wished we got a D3 release date:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050SZ...

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

354 1,508 4.3
I'm glad they apologised, but still appalled that anyone thought using that video was a good idea in the first place. And that anyone thinks it's 'not a big deal' :/

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Shane Sweeney Academic

401 417 1.0
Even without the slurs I cant believe they used that video.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

354 1,508 4.3
Andreas, the fact that it was a fan video makes its existence unsurprising but there is no way Blizzard should have used that at their own, official, event. Someone watched the clip, censored it, vetted it: someone in the company said 'this is an acceptable thing to represent ourselves as' and that was an incredibly stupid and offensive decision. They shouldn't be encouraging this kind of attitude in their playerbase no matter how commonplace it may be anyway.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 7 0.0
I have to second Jessica's sentiments. It's a bit crazy that the organizers and the management both thought that a video with that kind of language, censored or not, would not cause a decent number of people to think negatively about the company. There wasn't some other video they could create / find that would fill in that slot and not cause as many problems?

Either way, it's done now. Leave it to the PR firms to clean up the mess.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

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