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Zombie Orpheus cancels contract with GOG over transphobia

JourneyQuest producers pull content, saying "We cannot do business with a company that doesn't take human rights seriously"

Zombie Orpheus Entertainment has announced it will terminate its contract with GOG.com following an offensive tweet yesterday on the game and media distribution platform's social media account - the third such tweet on its connected platforms this year.

Zombie Orpheus Entertainment currently has a number of films on GOG's service, including The Gamers: Director's Cut and JourneyQuest. At the time of this posting, they still appear to be available on GOG, though the official Zombie Orpheus Twitter account has shared an email sent to GOG from CEO Ben Dobyns requesting their removal.

"The harm that hate speech does to people who are under immense threat from governments, private individuals, and corporations is incalculable," Dobyns said. "It is downright sociopathic to demean our friends and allies in this way. There is absolutely nothing funny about it."

The first of GOG's social media incidents occurred in July, when GOG tweeted a gif of a person urinating on a grave marked "Games Journalism" with a date of death referencing the start of GamerGate to promote the release of Postal 2. GOG removed the tweet and apologized. At the time, our sister-site VG247 pulled support and coverage of the platform in response.

Then in September, GOG's owner CD Projekt Red invoked a transphobic catch phrase on the official Twitter account for Cyberpunk 2077. In that instance, the company's response was to say, "Sorry to all those offended by one of the responses sent out from our account earlier. Harming anyone was never our intention."

Last night, GOG.com's Twitter appropriated the trending hashtag #WontBeErased - a hashtag being used by the transgender community to push back against the Trump administration's new push to define transgender people out of legal existence - to promote its games.

GOG.com has since deleted the tweet, and responded this morning by saying, "Yesterday, we posted a tweet containing a trending hashtag as a pun. The tweet was neither intended as a malicious attack, nor as a comment to the ongoing social debate.

"GOG should focus only on games. We acknowledge that and we commit to it."

Zombie Orpheus has promised to provide free replacement copies from other sources of its films to those who owned them on GOG.

The Zombie Orpheus letter in its entirety follows below:

"This is the third time that the CDProjectRed's social media team, this time via the GOG.com twitter account, has posted transphobic material," the email reads, "The harm that hate speech does to people who are under immense threat from governments, private individuals, and corporations is incalculable. It is downright sociopathic to demean our friends and allies in this way. There is absolutely nothing funny about it.

"Please immediately cancel our contract and remove all of our films from your platform, until such time as your social media manager has been fired, a genuine apology has been made, and your replacement social media staff has received training in basic human decency. We cannot do business with a company that doesn't take human rights and human dignity seriously. Additionally, if you personally feel discomfort with the actions of the team managing your social media account, I highly encourage you to speak up.

"As a company that makes films around the world with people from every race and background, we affirm that humanity is in the struggle for justice toegether. Setting race against sexuality against nation, speaking words that dehumanize and erase, staying silent, or claiming that hate speech is merely a joke: none are the actions of people who want the best for their neighbors."

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Latest comments (1)

ChloeA year ago
So histrionic developer that makes parody films that involve insulting stereotypes is offended at a joke tweet that is not phobic in the slightest because the developer feels the need to virtue signal to trans people that never even asked for their opinion, I am trans and the tweet from GoG is literally nothing to be upset over, its an inoffensive joke, stop being upset by everything it makes you look like a bunch of nutcases, I would rather my money go to GoG that know how to make a joke than a dev team offended on my behalf but does nothing to actually support trans issues, pulling your products in no way help or supports any trans people, you are just doing it for attention.
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