GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

October 27, 2011 -

The closing performance at BlizzCon 2011 by Level 90 Epic Tauren Chieftain has drawn strong criticism from gay and lesbian advocacy group GLAAD. The performance featured an opening video from guest singer George 'Corpseater' Fisher of the metal band Cannibal Corpse. In the video he talks about how much he hates Alliance using strong anti-gay language that we can't repeat here. While most of the foul language was censored in the video, those who saw it knew exactly what he was saying. To say gay and lesbian members of the WOW community are not happy about it would be an understatement.

The band, Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain, issued the following statement as conveyed by Blizzard (who did not make comment officially as a company):

Thank you everyone for your feedback regarding the closing night performance at BlizzCon. While we had some other messaging worked up we were going to post, the members of band wanted to instead address it themselves:

Hey guys, we read and heard all the feedback from BlizzCon this year. The Corpsegrinder bit was never intended to be taken seriously. We are sorry that we offended anyone; everything at our shows is just meant in fun. Thank you all for speaking up. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for future shows.

Our humblest apologies,

Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain

Thanks to Blue's News and GayGamer.


Comments

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Allowing something to happen and arranging for something to happen are quite, quite different and if you fail to see the difference then there's no point taking this any further, my friend.

 

Darn, this should have been in reply to jdeman.  Apologies for the sloppy posting.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Why anyone at Blizzard ever thought it was a good idea to invite a member of Cannibal Corpse to a press event is beyond me. They really think it's a good move to have someone who writes songs about killing and raping women to come and support their game? Talk about alienating your consumers. And the to use a clip like this from an interview that had nothing to do with WoW or gaming?

For the record, I am a big Cannibal Corpse fan and even I will say that they are the absolute last people I would ask to endorse my product, even if the guy who writes a majority of the songs and lyrics is actually a really smart guy (Alex Webster).

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

If they wanted to invite anyone it should have been Jonathan Davis. He's actually tactful and his music doesn't suck, and he can sing.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

So was it the folks at Blizzard who fished out this old video and decided to show it, or was it the band? Because if it was the band, they ought to take responsibility for it, and Blizzard ought to have some sort of oversight over this sort of thing in the future. If it was Blizzard who thought it would be a good idea to show this video, then what the hell were they thinking?

I mean, I feel like the language he uses is just a case of being highly innappropriate and not really intended to attack gays, but it was still very poor judgment to show something like this at such a big public event where it is guaranteed to offend. WoW players are already the butt of a lot of jokes, they don't need to have that reputation cemented by a 41-year-old man who still acts like he's in middle school.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

The band -- Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain -- is made up entirely of senior members of Blizzard's management staff, including Mike Morhaime (the President of the company) and Samwise Didier (a senior art director), so there is no actual difference between "the company" and "the band."

And Mike Morhaime has sensibly offered a sincere apology:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424798330

Dear members of the Blizzard community,

I have read your feedback and comments about this year’s BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I’d like to respond to some of your feedback here.
 
As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon. 
 
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. We realize 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 judgment, and we regret it.
 
The bottom line is we deeply apologize 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.
 
As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.
 
– Mike Morhaime
   President, Blizzard Entertainment
                               

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

plus some attack each other over simply picking a different side.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

It was taken as an endorsement of harassment because Mike Morhaime, the President of Blizzard Entertainment, and Samwise Didier, one of the art directors, stood up on the stage at BlizzCon and welcomed a frothing homophobic bigot as an "Ambassador of the Horde."

http://youtu.be/pGsNsSX-iO0 (footage from concert)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_Lv0r-l4c (original interview uncensored)

And then they compounded the initial insult with the injury of issuing a disingenuous fauxpology where they accepted no responsibility for their poor judgment and instead attempted to claim the entire repulsive thing was a joke gone awry. And THEN they started ToSing and temp-banning people for posting links to the video they themselves showed at BlizzCon.

Fail all the way around, and Blizzard owes the paying customers they insulted, harassed, and offended a massive, groveling apology.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Other than going on like a complete moron in that interview and actually speaking like 95% of Blizzard's playerbase, can you show me where George Fisher is a 'frothing homophobic bigot'? I'm interested in knowing if this is some active campaign against the gay community or just a moron who chose his words very poorly. There is a stark difference between hating an entire group of people without cause (bigotry), and acting like a tool (see: his interview).

If it turns out he isn't actually a bigot, are you going to apologize to him for your accusation?

And just so it's perfectly clear - Blizzard made one dumb ass mistake by using that interview at all. It wasn't even a WoW related interview in the first place just something that managed to turn in that direction. I am convinced that this move was never passed by the company's lawyers. They'd have gotten five seconds into that clip and slapped whoever thought this was a good idea.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

If the frothing homophobic bigot wants to come to me and ask for an apology for my accurate characterization of him, he's welcome to do so.

He'd be leaving my presence without his teeth or his manhood, but he's welcome to come.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Wow, you are like the gay version of the "Moral Majority".  Seriously you must have been reading from the Falwell handbook on how to be offended.  maybe you should start picketing funerals with signs saying "god hates guys who hate f*gs".  after seeing people get so uptight for years it's amazing that when people start to relax that someone else rushes in to fill the "i am so offended" void. 

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Well, he used the words homo, c*cksucker and f*ggot in the course of 8 minutes so naturally that makes him a frothing homophobic bigot even though the three were never used in unison with each other.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

yes, because anyone should be able to say absolutely anything they want and never have to take personal responsibility for it *coughjackthompsoncough*

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

I don't see anyone asking George Fisher for an apology. I see a bunch of people whining about a company's poor decision and how it somehow reflects some anti-gay agenda. Also I believe the personal responsibility has been accepted by the president of Blizzard.

Hilarious that people are somehow shocked when they are offended by a guy who writes songs such as 'Addicted to Vaginal Skin' or 'Sanded Faceless'. Come on people. The band is named 'Cannibal Corpse'. The singer's nickname is 'Corpsegrinder'. If you're somehow expecting G-rated entertainment here I don't know what to tell you.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

For the record:

I play WoW. I play Horde. I was shocked and offended -- not by Cannibal Corpse, but by the appallingly bad judgment of Blizzard Entertainment, a company that regularly gets my leisure money, thinking it would be okay to post a screed that directly insults and abuses their own customers and fans, using explicitly gendered, homophobic, and bigoted attacks. That was a) completely moronic at every conceivable level and b) an implicit endorsement, at the management level of Blizzard, of the vile, bigoted sentiments included in that screed. Nobody deserves to be publicly attacked in such a manner, at a con they paid to attend, by a company who expect to keep receiving their money and their loyalty. The blow-back was massive, well-deserved, and entirely avoidable.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

It really must suck to be you considering how easily offended you seem to get.  As far as the blow-back being massive; I'll wait to see how Blizzard's profits are affected.  I don't know but I have the feeling it won't be "massive". 

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Guess you got your apology:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2868801466?page=1#1

“How can one not be fond of something that the Daily Mail despises?” ― Stephen Fry

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

"These folks did something super offensive, but we can't tell you exactly what it is because it's so offensive.  Just take our word for it, these people are very very offensive."

I hate chickenshit articles like this that try to whip up a moral outrage and don't even have the stones to tell the reader what was said and let them decide for themselves how offended they should or should not be.  I expect that kind of garbage from a print outlet, but I had hoped for better from here.  If you can't write about it, don't write about it.  Simple enough, yeah?

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Yes!  Yes, thank you!  You can quote the guy, I seriously doubt it is really that offensive.  As a matter of fact I'm going to look up what he said on a site that has the balls to quote him since they know their job is to print news.

Just found it.  He is not attacking gay people or homosexuality, here is the quote found on the London Free Press site : (Since the proprietor of this site obviously doesn't want the words repeated, they are edited but at least you know what was said)

"Go f--king cry in a river and tell me about how you're going to slit your wrists, you Night Elf fa--ot.  F--k the Alliance. F--king die, you f--king emo c--ks--kers."

I get it, gay people want the "F" word to be the "N" word.  Only they can say it but no one else can.  Fine but GP, this was not too offensive to print IMO.  If it's news worthy , then quote the guy.  More and more foul language is being printed in mainstream news articles today when quoting figures in the news.  If you have to, give a warning, but don't tell me to trust you that it's so offensive that I can't handle it.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Yeah, this really should have been included in the summary.

This also disturbs me that people are trying to write this off as just 'fun' or 'just typical WoW banter'.  This type of stuff should not be considered acceptable and so many people saying that it should be really sends chills down my spine, esp given the rather high suicide rates among gay teens.  No expletive excuse for Blizzard allowing this at an event with their support behind it.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

I did find that a lot of the people who were writing this off as "all in good fun" either don't play the game or are horde players.

Telling people to go die is never acceptable.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Amen. It would have saved alot of people 8 minutes of their lives listening to that interview just trying to find the offensive part. Just listening to it he only used that F word one time of course he did say homo too. So that naturally makes him a frothing homophobic bigot.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

If he doesn't want people to consider him a frothing homophobic bigot, he shouldn't spew homophobic bigotry. That's not hard to accomplish, millions of people manage to do it every day.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

I do find it amusing that people would take offense to what obviously amounts to as a juvenile rant about a video game. My amusement is only heightened by those who take it to the level of a company actually endorsing harassment of gay and lesbian players. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that the language and words in that interview were 'nice' in any way, more like juvenile. Do I think it was a poor choice to show that video? Yeah, perhaps. I think most sensible people would watch that interview and see it for what it is - someone going on a juvenile rant about a video game. I've seen that video numerous times and no where do I see where he's attacking a group of people (other than alliance players. who are all emo. seriously. ;)), just being 14.

One thing I find in common with a lot of people who make these allegations is that most of the time they are just looking for something to complain about. It's not always the case, but I've found in my travels that this is more often the case than not. I think I'll run this interview by a few of my gay and lesbian friends and get their feedback. Other than the language I don't see anything wrong with it, but perhaps an opinion from someone with more of a direct line would help me see things differently.

Since we are on the topic of Blizzard's endorsement of harassment, let's touch on a few more hot button issues:

The sexist behavior and endless harassment of female players that goes on in game. This is an obvious endorsement of Blizzard's stance that all women belong in the kitchen.

Constant racism in the trade channel: Blizzard must support the Ku Klux Klan and websites such as StormFront since this just never ends. I heard that L90ETC will be wearing their white hoods next con.

Player vs Player combat: A shining example of Blizzard's endorsement of murder.

The ability to get drunk in game: Blizzard is in cahoots with the alcoholic beverage industry to go encourage our children to drink to excess and attempt dangerous stunts such as riding raptors or trying to slay dragons. Perhaps this is a two fold deal with the medical profession as well, afterall, more patients this way. The bottom line is that Blizzard endorses the killing of our children.

Critter killing achievements: Blizzard not only supports the killing of small helpless animals, they also endorse the creation of serial killers. (it all starts small, then it's Ted Bundy time)

 

Why are these monsters still in business?

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Does Blizzard pay people to talk in the in-game chat channels?  If so, maybe you COULD blame them for any sexism, racism etc that those people might transmit over those channels too.  Otherwise your comparison is fundamentally flawed.

 

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Ah, I see my point was missed. Taking this to the level of Blizzard endorsing harassment is akin to everything I've stated here and just as ridiculous as my examples. In that same line of thinking the fact that Blizzard allows guilds that exclusively have gay members must also (by the logic of the complaints by some of the community) show that Blizzard endorses being gay. Nutty isn't it?

You also ask whether Blizzard pays people to act like idiots in game channels. Obviously they do not, nor do they pay George Fisher. A little fun fact - that interview was from 2007. It wasn't an interview conducted by the company. It happened to go in that direction and he started going nutty about a video game.

Or do I need to draw a picture to make this more clear?

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

It is easy to find amusement in such things when you are not on the receiving side.

And no, the excuse 'but my gay friends are ok with this!' does not diminish the impact on others... nor does the 'boys will be boys' cop out.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Another point missed. Where does it indicate in my comment that my 'friends are ok with it'? No no no. I want their opinion on the issue. Is this man attacking the gay community or is he ranting on like a typical WoW idiot? There is a fundamental difference here.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Part of my point is, there is NOT a fundemental differnce, esp when the company is giving voice to the ranter.

It is also pretty obvious from your post what you expect your friend's opinion to be.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Yes, because you can obviously read my mind from my post. What else am I thinking? What are my friends going to say?

There's a psychiatric condition for that you know. *cough*askjohnbruce*cough*

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

idk, I'd give the organization a break, its their mission to work against these slurs, and while they may not actually see this hate speech directed at gays, it's their job to draw attention to it and fight it. I they didn't a more important battle at a later date might be lost because "blizzard did it". I feel like it's almost like defending a trademark, even i you don't think it was intentional, you still have to point it out and defend your brand or else you risk losing it.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: GLAAD Assails Blizzard for 'Anti-Gay' BlizzCon Video

Adding to that that him being invited to perform after a video like that was shown was taken by many as an endorsement of the harassment of players of certain sexual orientations and Alliance players in general.

 
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