I just received the following from Blizzard HQ regarding the outcry over the use of an insensitive video at BlizzCon. Blizzard president (and Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain band member) Mike Morhaime expressed his apologies for the incident:
Dear members of the Blizzard community,
I have read your feedback and comments about this year's BlizzCon, and I have also read the feedback to the apology from Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain. I'd like to respond to some of your feedback here.
As president of Blizzard, I take full responsibility for everything that occurs at BlizzCon.
It was shortsighted and insensitive to use the video at all, even in censored form. The language used in the original version, including the slurs and use of sexual orientation as an insult, is not acceptable, period. We realize now that having even an edited version at the show was counter to the standards we try to maintain in our forums and in our games. Doing so was an error in judgment, and we regret it.
The bottom line is we deeply apologize for our mistakes and for hurting or offending anyone. We want you to have fun at our events, and we want everyone to feel welcome. We're proud to be part of a huge and diverse community, and I am proud that so many aspects of the community are represented within Blizzard itself.
As a leader of Blizzard, and a member of the band, I truly hope you will accept my humblest apology.
- Mike Morhaime President, Blizzard Entertainment
Thank you, Blizzard, for a quick and sincere apology. And thank you Mike, for making it personal: your willingness to take personal responsibility for this snafu transforms the event from an insult to a teachable moment, and those are hard to come by.
To those of you who sometimes wonder if, in the course of our pursuit of equality, we sometimes come across as overly sensitive - this is why. To encourage leaders to speak out on our behalf. It does not happen in vacuum, and it does not happen when we are silent. To that end, and if you still have doubts about the relevance of this entire discussion, I'd like to link to VorpalBunny's astoundingly brave self-portrait, also hosted as a guest editorial at Kotaku, and which was written in response to the discussion following BlizzCon.