Getting disinvited from one of the largest conventions in your industry and being shunned by your colleagues are just two of the things that’ll happen to you when you make a sexist joke on Twitter.
Colin Moriarty, a former senior editor at IGN and a current member of the popular gaming podcast Kinda Funny Games, reaped the anger of his game journalist colleagues after he made a joke tweet aimed at the #ADayWithoutAWoman feminist hashtag that coincided with International Women’s Day.
“Ah. Peace and quiet. #ADayWithoutAWoman,” tweeted Moriarty, who was already in a position of disfavor for his libertarian views, a stance that puts him in opposition to the liberal progressivism of most game journalists.
It earned him swift criticism and reprimands from others in the media.
“Is this really the person you want to be?” asked IGN executive editor Justin Davis, who stated that he unfollowed him for the tweet. “Prob should have long ago. Disappointed to see someone with smarts be a low-road troll.”
Rooster Teeth director Blaine Gibson joined the chorus of condemnation. He wrote: “Looks like you’re really helping Kinda Funny cultivate their female audience. Great work!”
“The irony of this tweet is that not only do you work with no women, you work with some of the loudest men on earth,” remarked IGN producer Brian Altano, who once appeared in Feminist Frequency’s “Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male” public service announcement.
Greg Miller, the lead host of Kinda Funny Games, made a public statement condemning the tweet, apologizing to fans of the show who were offended. He announced that Moriarty would not be attending PAX East, one of the year’s biggest gaming conventions “in deference to the rest of the company’s founders.”
Interestingly, Miller admits to personally making jokes about abortions and “Kevin’s German grandpa,” which involved making jokes about the Holocaust. But because they were on the podcast and not on Twitter, there was no ability for Moriarty to convey tone or context in his joke.
As for Moriarty, he isn’t backing down. He replied to someone who suggested he’d get slapped by his girlfriend for making the joke. “She’s actually in bed next to me, and thinks my blatantly obvious joke is funny,” he wrote. “Because not all people are humorless sacks of shit. LOL.”
While free speech does not mean freedom from consequences, the response to Moriarty’s one-liner is excessive. Having the “wrong” set of politics and an unrestrained sense of humor hasn’t earned him any favors, either.