Vox Writer Connects Dots That Aren’t Quite There: Ties Disney Director’s Firing To Old Video Game Journalism Controversy


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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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A Vox writer tied in a controversy regarding ethics in video game journalism to the firing of filmmaker James Gunn in an article published Tuesday.

“[T]he way Gunn was fired sticks in my craw, just a little bit. It’s the biggest example yet of Gamergate and its ilk forcing a major public figure out of the job that made them a major public figure,” Todd VanDerWerff wrote in an article for Vox’s culture section.

The issue Vox mentions, Gamergate, began in 2014 after allegations that a gaming journalist offered positive coverage of video games in exchange for sexual intercourse with game developers. After that, the hashtag #GamerGate sprouted online — mostly on Twitter and YouTube — to discuss ethics in gaming journalism on an open forum.

Proponents of Gamergate furthered the discussion of ethics in gaming journalism with what they perceived as a forced narrative of progressivism and so-called straight white male privilege in the gaming industry itself.

VanDerWerff claims in the article the movement “arguably elected a president,” referring to President Donald Trump.

The crux of VanDerWerff’s argument relies on the public’s response to Gunn’s tweets, which were widely negative with a dash of defense from high-profile celebrities.

The publication argues members of Gamergate were successful in removing Gunn from the popular Marvel franchise using targeted harassment, which “they have deployed again and again to drive dissension in assorted online communities.”

Disney fired “Guardians of the Galaxy” director Gunn after old tweets were revealed concerning pedophilia, homophobia and racism, as well as what Gunn and others have since defended as “jokes,” The Daily Caller reported(RELATED: Comedian’s Old Tweets Reveal Pedophilia ‘Jokes’ Day After Director Fired For Similar Tweets)

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn wrote in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter July 20.

The Vox writer himself said in the piece that “Gunn’s past jokes are awful.”

VanDerWerff ‘s claim that Gamergate supporters were simply “alt-right trolls” who used the controversial discussion about journalistic integrity to “harass women in the industry” falls apart when researched. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest the opposite.

Gamergate opponent Anita Sarkeesian, who makes YouTube videos, led targeted harassment toward a transgender journalist covering the issue, leading to his dox, The Daily Caller reported in August 2017.

Doxxing is revealing someone’s private information such as names, contact information, employment history, home address or other personal information online.

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