I’m probably burning this bridge before stepping on it, and it would be unlike me to report on another sire’s beef, but this just boggles the mind to unfathomable, Jeff Gerstmann levels. Ryan Perez, then-Editor at Destructoid, made a Tweet where he questioned how much gaming personality Felicia Day has contributed. The tweet after the break.
The Tweet stated:
Does Felicia Day matter at all? I mean does she actually contribute anything useful to this industry, besides retaining a geek persona? @feliciaday, I keep seeing everywhere. Question: Do you matter at all? Do you even provide anything useful to gaming, besides “personality?Could you be considered nothing more than a glorified booth babe? You don’t seem to add anything creative to the medium.
Need I point out that this was on Perez’s personal, non-DToid Twitter account.
I do not know much about Ms. Day nor about Perez. I don’t care about the legality, the etiquette, nor the tone of anything that’s happening here. I’m completely objective in this regard. But to outright terminate an editor for simply stating an opinion, one that would in no way negatively impact DToid as a whole, is just uncalled for. If anything, if they wanted to do anything to Perez, a slap on the wrist (literally) would’ve been pushing it. But termination? I mean, editors are hard workers. They’ve got bills to pay, people to please, and mouths to feed. It’s their life. Their income. Something as little as two sentences is not enough to fire someone and cut them off of their life blood and shit on years of their work. You just don’t do that. I mean, would the same fate befall him if he made comments about Olivia Munn? Kate Cox? Jessica Chobot? Phil Fish? David Jaffe? Adam Sessler? Though so.
Since the firing Perez has gone on to apologize and regrets what he said. But why though? This was an opinion he said on his own, personal twitter. One of their biggest editors makes a living on this, and no one’s batted an eye or thought, “Y’know, I don’t like your opinion. You’re fired.” So you you know what Perez, stop apologizing for something you have a right as human being in the United States of America to do. You said what you said and no one can take that away from you. And shame on you Destructoid for firing a person for expressing the very thing you and your editors do for a living.
Captains, you can rest easy knowing that I’ll never fire ya’ll for tweets.
[UPDATE: Dale North, Editor-In-Chief of Destructoid, responds to the issue]
I like how Dale says “I understand why some are upset, but our staff at Destructoid is made up of some of the kindest, warmest, most passionate people you’ll meet. I consider them both friends and family, and I don’t know what I would do without any of them.”
Totally, because it’s that easy to disown family and friends who happen to step out of line. Family? Friend?! Upset fans demand this guy’s head and what does Dale do? He triggers the guillotine himself. I’m not buying any of his talk about loving his crew and trying to sound like the good guy here.
And for what, calling Felicia Day a glorified booth babe and legitimately asking what she contributed to the game industry? I looked it up, she’s been involved in like four games. Granted, she is pretty hot, seems nice and makes for a fine representative of our growing nerd culture. That’s about it.
Ryan Perez had balls, and I wish him luck wherever he finds himself writing next.
She has voiced in games. Promoted said games. Made a popular online show about gaming. Plus she has done a crap ton more then this Ryan guy has done nothing to contribute atleast not as much as Felicia has. All Ryan was was a minor editor. Who is he to question her about her cred
He had every right to question anything about her and anyone else. As a journalist, both major and minor, he has a right to question people and what they’ve done in their field. While his wording might be abrasive, he had a right. Hell, politicians are questioned about their actions and motives everyday and no one’s been fired for calling Obama “job killing” or Romney “an out-of-touch republican.” Same applies to Sterling busting Riccitiello’s chops, or us to Nintendo and Reggie. Me to Phil Fish. Or heck, N’Gai Croal and Resident Evil 5! It’s our job!
If you want to take it a step further, nobody fired Kanye West when he said that infamous line to Taylor Swift. People talk shit in their off-time and have the right to mouth off their opinions even if the masses don’t want to hear what they have to say.
Call me a dick, Robert. Question my own cred. I promise not to cry over it or moderate your post to squash your opinion. Why? Because even if you don’t agree with something I might have to say or think badly of me, there is an obligation to respect your opinion and leave it standing for others to read and decide whether they agree with it or not.
A good reporter’s job is to ask these kinds of hard questions, like an interviewee. Even if the question might come off as a little disrespectful, the grown-up solution is to properly answer the questions if you want to shut the guy down instead of demanding his job. And you know what? I haven’t seen an answer to any of his questions.
Look at her IMDB page, look at her Wikipedia page. She voiced in what? 5 games? Of those, only Dragon Age II, Fallout New Vegas and Guild Wars II are notable. I also read something about her playing WoW. So let’s say she promotes those games, and reinforces it with her work on The Guild. That’s still only four games we recognize her for. They’re also games that would be popular with or without her involvement.
Perez on the other hand is a writer whose employment depends on producing a consistent flow of information about the game industry. Information including Felicia Day’s relevance in the grand scheme of things when her only serious involvement seems to be in the American RPG/MMO scene.
Her fans should be happy that through his last bit of journalism and all this drama, more people know who Felicia Day is — he gave her some good publicity at the cost of his job.
I’m really on the fence about this one. While I don’t know if Perez should have been fired, I can see why his tweet caused so much trouble. It’s one thing to have freedom of speech, but that doesn’t give one the right to antagonize others. Perez had every right to question Felicia Day’s relevance in the gaming industry as a journalist, the problem is his lack of professionalism.
James, you said that it’s a good reporter’s job to ask hard questions, as if in an interview. However, the way he questioned her seemed like anything but. If he just left his opinion alone on his twitter, I wouldn’t see a problem. But he had to go the extra step and comment on her twitter asking questions like “do you matter at all?”. It would be one thing if he conducted himself more like an interviewer than an instigator. Asking “what do you believe you add to the gaming industry?” sounds a lot better than “Do you even provide anything useful to gaming besides personality?”. It’s his tone and use of words that make it seem more like an “attack”, as Dale North called it. This makes him sound more like a disgruntled forum poster than a journalist.
Do I agree with the firing? Not necessarily. It could have been handled without having to fire Perez. Jim Sterling has stirred up quite some controversy at times, and he’s still there. The main thing is, I can’t agree with HOW he questioned Felicia Day. To be honest, she doesn’t really have much of an impact on the gaming industry and I don’t see why there’s such a fuss over this. It’s her web shows that are about, featuring, and influenced by gaming that has garnered her fanbase, not her actual appearance in games, It’s sad too because ff he had handled it a little more professionally, it would have been really interesting to see an interview between the two.
Also, it seems that Perez was actually a contributor, not a paid editor.