Marvel’s Avengers Spokesman Loses Role Over Offensive Tweets | Popgen Tech
It’s a story as old as Twitter itself: Someone says stupid, offensive things in the past, someone gets famous, old tweets are unearthed, someone apologizes, the internet takes over of the court. The full performance took place again, this time featuring Crystal Dynamics’ spokesperson and game design lead Marvel’s AvengersBrian Wagoner.
Count Rock Paper Shotgun reports, over the weekend a bunch of Wagoner’s old tweets were unearthed, which has now led to his apology, and Crystal Dynamics followed up to say how disappointed they were, and that they were removing the status of Waggoner spokeswoman. Now everyone involved, who followed the prescribed script, probably hoped it would go away.
Waggoner’s tweets, from around 2010 to 2016 (during which he worked for Marvel and Gazillion), are pretty sad. Some are obvious attempts at jokes, at least one relies on lazy, racist stereotypeswhile the other only mockery of disabled people. however, others seem to be rude dogwhistle racism.
As is often the case, Wagoner reports that he has undergone a complete personality change, these historic messages from the distant annuls of six years ago are now disputed, due to his changed ways. “On the weekend,” he explained in a statement on his ongoing Twitter account“Old tweets I wrote before I was at Crystal have resurfaced and I apologize and take full responsibility for the hurt they caused my followers, the community, and those I work with.”
The boiler-plate apology text continues, “Since that time, I’ve learned and grown and the content I post doesn’t reflect who I am today.” For those unconvinced he adds, “I understand if you can’t accept my sorry because of the pain I caused. I will continue to listen, learn, and strive to improve myself.”
Then followed by Crystal Dynamicssaying:
It’s frustrating to see language and views from employees that don’t align with our studio values. We apologize to our community and colleagues who were rightfully offended by the content. Brian will no longer be a studio spokesperson or talk about studio projects.
Look, you don’t need my opinion on any of this, because you already have your own, and frankly, it sounds like a story we’ve written three hundred times already, with a different block name at the beginning . But hey, I still have opinions.
What I hate about all of this, in every aspect of it, is that none of it is realistic. On any side.
Scripted “sorry”s are designed to save face, to cover all the bases, and to “draw a line under it,” without ever actually apologizing to anyone for anything. It is empty, performative, only deceive those entrenched in corporate thinking who write to them.
At the same time, Waggoner’s tweets aren’t just causing untold damage to wider communities. These are rude, bigoted comments that were ignored at the time (a ‘like’ on one, a single retweet on another), and now resurface to be used as evidence in Online Courts for (possibly right ) he will be judged. People pretending they’ve finally dropped this cruel threat from his hate campaign is ridiculously disingenuous, and it’s equally disingenuous for Wagoner to “apologize” as if that’s what happened.
Crystal was then thrown out as well, with nonsense about “language and views” that were “inconsistent with our studio values,” as if the corporate entity itself were some sort of moral entity, possessing a pure- driven platonic perfection by ideal values. Have you noticed? Every company is morally blameless, without having to say how, instead allowing the individual to assume that this means its values happily match their own. Someone in the company causes anger, where this vague cleanliness fits in not thatand everyone is asked to assume that this defect in their perfection has been erased.
Read more: Marvel’s Avengers Reminds You That It Still Exists With the Addition of the Winter Soldier
People say and do stupid things. People hold terrible views, or make rude jokes. I know because I know. All of us. Even the most careful-presenting champions of wokeness have rude thoughts, say things they regret, or hope that the thing they once said will remain private forever. Sometimes people surround themselves with so many people who are like them that they don’t think about how horrible those things are when they are said publicly on social media. Later it came back to bite them in the ass. And should!
I just want people’s responses is honest “My God, yes, I really did become a dick, didn’t I? Damn, I really need to think before I speak.” Or, “You know, that’s a bigotry that I’ve always held, and I really need to do something about that.” Sure, in this particular case, Wagoner can be changed, but this idea that the views we held last Tuesday don’t reflect who we are today is tiresome, and the intended implication is that we’re perfect now, if everyone else is catching up.
And no one, anywhere, just says, “I’m sorry.” It always comes with warnings and justifications, and almost always the word “apology,” too. An action, rather than a feeling, a semiotic difference that brings out technique, rather than speaking from the heart. It really seems like the hardest word.
Oh, and then let’s not forget us, the braying gallery. “He wasn’t fired!” We don’t have a damn clue if he deserves to be fired, or if he’s a champion for good these days. But most of all, let’s stop pretending we care about this person never heard of before today, who said some things a decade ago that you didn’t notice, is keeping his job. What people want is for the offense to go away, and the idea that an ignorant public claiming this man’s head can somehow achieve this is ludicrous. If he was a dick to work with, then Crystal should have fired him. But let’s all be honest too, and stop acting like we know what’s best in every situation.