A Lesson in (Dis)Respect - UPDATE

So I promised an update on my last post, and here it is - Infinity Ward pulled their "Fight Against Grenade Spam" video the other day. Kotaku posted a follow-up post on this, including some of the Twitter conversation that led up to it. You can see the whole thing, and that author's take, by reading their article. Here's what I consider to be the main points about this whole situation:

I've played a lot of Call of Duty online. I've been called a fag (as well as many other derogatory terms) while playing. The anonymity of the internet allows for little kids to feel "all grown up" by doing so. It's annoying, but there's no real way to stop it (though you can mute them, and ignore it - which I do). And while this isn't by any means the vast majority of the people I've played with, it does happen with some regularity. That's what, I believe, Infinity Ward was playing off.

I don't believe they're bigots. I don't believe they intended to offend the gay community. And while they never came right out and apologized, the comments by their PR guy seem to support this (keep in mind that he didn't create the video - though he did promote it. That is his job, after all):

I think it was more of a social commentary joke of that stereotype than it was a fist-bump of acceptance to it.

To which another person replied:
The problem is that it was so poorly handled/executed that it looks derogatory. It seems to enforce the asshole-ry.

The PR guy's final comment:
I agree. I think the core gag is great, the end is a bit too far from the intent of the joke & can appreciate the concerns. Pulled.

Not exactly the apology I was looking for (in that there was never a "sorry" aspect), but I'm ok with it. I agree that, without the FAGS part, it's a fine ad. It's relevant to their community of fans, and kinda funny. But the end result takes away from that, and he agreed. And he pulled the video (though other users have since reuploaded it, so it's still around). The fact is, he admitted that it wasn't ok, and took the necessary action. Besides, had they apologized, it probably would've been the standard PR apology, which would've included pretty much everything their PR guy said, but in a less personal way.

I'm a big believer in that what you should really judge people by is not the mistakes they make, but their responses to them. Everybody is going to screw up, and things like this are going to slip through the cracks. It wasn't intentionally offensive, and it was responded to acceptably and quickly. So I'm ok with that.

Now, back to being excited for this game!


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