Two members of staff at League of Legends maker Riot Games are no longer at the company in the wake of a controversial panel at PAX West.
Systems designer Daniel Z. Klein and communications designer Mattias Lehman have lost their jobs, likely due to their criticism of Riot's working culture.
Following a controversial panel at the PAX West show which featured women and non-binaries exclusively, members of the community and Reddit criticised Riot for being sexist, claiming that the lack of male inclusion was an issue.
Klein responded in a thread on Twitter (below), calling those offended by this "manbabies" - and honestly, fair play to him because the notion that men are oppressed or are not represented in video games is, pardon my French, f*cking absurd.
This reddit thread about some events we're hosting at PAX being open to women and non-binary people only was just as much of a toxic landfill as I expected it to be:https://t.co/H8xoYPCLoF— Daniel Z. Klein (@danielzklein) September 1, 2018
So let's talk about this for a little bit!
Sources speaking to Polygon say that Riot asked employees not to engage with the conversation about the panel, with Klein later telling The Verge that he was fired for "violating our social media policy".
Lehman defended Klein over the PAX West controversy, which is likely why he lost his role.
"These departures are independent from our efforts to evolve our culture," Riot Games said in a statement to press.
"Our culture remains our top priority, and we remain committed to taking the steps that we need to become a leader in Diversity & Inclusion. We will always encourage Rioters to share their perspectives, and we fully support efforts by Rioters to further our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. We are committed to making real, positive change in Riot’s culture and internal advocates are a crucial part of making that happen."