If you follow twitter chances are you already got the lowdown on the Perez situation but if you haven’t the situation is this: Ryan Perez was fired for a few harsh comments aimed at Felicia Day (I will refrain from saying attacked because this was hardly verbal abuse.)
Here’s a quote from his twitter feed:
“I keep seeing [you] 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.”
Following these comments Ryan admits he didn’t even know what he was talking about and was drunk at the time. The problem is by this time a lynch mob had formed and was being spurred on by the big guns of geek culture and the industry like Whil Wheaton.
Following this was the announcement that Perez was no longer with Dtoid.
Now Ryan was clearly wrong to direct those comments to Felicia in his position without knowing anything about Felicia Day (he should have acquainted himself with her awful work and posted undirected criticism on his feed in my opinion.) It also highlights the naive Journalist defence that the disclaimer “opinions are my own” doesn't work and will not somehow protect them from any consequences like a magic shield.
I do however think it was wrong for Perez to be fired. I really, really hope Dale North tried to do what he could to keep him onboard and had a chat with Ryan Perez asking him to post up a lengthy apology before even considering cutting Perez from Destructoid otherwise I would question whether it was a fair dismissal.
The biggest problem I have with the whole situation is how the industry influenced the journalistic side of gaming. The masses hungered for blood and Destructoid gave it to them. It highlights how there are certain figures within the gaming industry you just cannot p*** off or your head will roll. Unlike other forms of journalism the gaming kind is so utterly dependant on keeping these people sweet that even a strong interrogative interview is looked upon as rude and might end up with your nuts in a vice and your name on a blacklist.
Maybe nobody cares what I think, after all I’m not a twitter guy with 2 mill followers like Whil, but all I can say is I’m really disappointed it came to this and would have thought Destructoid would fight its corner.