Daniel Klein, a lead game designer on the battle royale shooter Apex Legends, has been fired from his position by Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment as a result of sexist and racist remarks he had made in various blog posts across different websites as far back as 2007.
The posts in question were discovered on DeviantArt and Blogspot and shared in a series of screenshots, where Klein unleashed a series of tirades about women and African Americans, calling women irrational and equating the XX chromosome to “moron chromosomes” and saying he would not feed breadcrumbs to some African neighbors because “if you feed them, they’ll come back and shit all over the place.”
Klein acknowledged the posts on Twitter writing, “I take full ownership for the things I said, and I’m embarrassed, sad, and angry at my younger self for saying this stuff. I hope it is obvious that I don’t believe these things anymore.” However, it would appear that his apology was not enough, as Klein announced this past Tuesday that he was no longer working on Apex.
“You may or may not have seen the awful, bigoted things I said in 2007. I wholeheartedly agree that THAT guy should have been fired. I have poured so much energy into becoming a better person since then, and right now I’m just very depressed because it feels I’ll never be able to make up for who I was. I said racist and sexist things, not because I deeply believed any of them, but because I knew I could get a reaction out of people. That does not excuse anything I said; the impact of my words was the same regardless of what I believed. I’m mentioning this because with the help of a lot of people who loved me in spite of the shithead I was sometimes I was able to make progress on the journey to becoming a better person.
“Again, to be clear, I’m not saying EA or Respawn did anything untoward. They were absolutely within their rights to terminate me, much as I may disagree with that decision.”
The old posts first surfaced in response to Klein’s support of the ActiBlizz workers’ walkout over the company’s harassment scandal back in July, and there is also a theory that Klein’s rancorous relationship with some of the Apex playerbase was a motivator for discovering his past posts according to emailed statements from him.
“I fully own the awful, bigoted statements I made in 2007 and am disgusted with my younger self for making them. But there’s also no doubt in my mind that they came to light because someone went looking for things to hurt me with,” he writes. “I was aware of this allegation, and I specifically asked them to be on the lookout for these strategies being used against other employees in the future.”