Today I had planned to bring you a super sweet Standard deck tech that I have been working on for a while now. I wanted to do that, but due to what has happened over the weekend on social media I feel we have more important things to discuss. For all of you who were looking forward to some of our usual content I apologise, but the issues raised over the last few days need to be addressed. If you are unaware of what has happened I will give you a brief recap of the weekend’s events but feel free to look at the facts for yourself. Be warned, it might make you feel uneasy.
A succinct history of MTG Headquarters from Reddit user RarerMonsters. This should help if you are currently confused with this garbage fire. pic.twitter.com/ON5FfraVXb
— Vincent Kenobi (@PleasantKenobi) November 25, 2017
Well known cosplayer Christine Sprankle announced she is leaving the Magic community due to the level of harassment she has received online. Christine leaving Magic came as a huge shock to most people, but sadly the reason for her departure is not so surprising. Harassment of various content creators and other notable figures has been one of the black spots on an otherwise very supportive community for a while now, with people like Wedge from The Mana Source and the Professor from Tolarian Community College being amongst the individuals coming under attack. Now it would be easy to get sucked up into to internet meme machine and start going on a tirade of accusations and aggressive behaviour of my own, so I decided to do my own research and watched the YouTube video in which Jeremy from Unsleeved Media allegedly began his harassment of Christine. Unfortunately, the video in question was easy enough to find as Jeremy himself had added a link in his latest video defending his position. I sat down to the twenty plus minute video with an open mind.
By the end of it, I was sick to my stomach with what I had witnessed in the video that apparently showed that he wasn’t harassing anyone. The video starts with Jeremy defending a tweet by an individual that commented about Christine saying, and I quote “came for the cosplay inspiration and left with only an erection. In all seriousness though I love your work.” He then proceeded to mock anyone that came to Christine’s defence stating that they were single virgins that only wanted to sleep with her, before mocking Magic content creator Erin Campbell as being “a guy with a dick”. This was all in the first half of the video and it doesn’t get much better after that. Many Twitter handles show more of the same behaviour, with others following him in his abusive tirades and even defending him despite his views. I even saw people commenting on the current situation with statements such as “Wizards needs to concentrate on card quality more than this BS”.
It has been a rough year. And I have blocked and not said anything about him because I wanted it to die but without a doubt MtGHeadquarters/UnsleevedMedia has made my life hell this whole year with his unnecessary videos/tweets about me and other members of Magic.
— . (@cspranklerun) November 25, 2017
Sadly, it seemed that this kind of behaviour has been tolerated as just one of those things by some, and it seemed nothing would ever change. Well, Christine’s departure seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as community members took to Twitter and Reddit saying enough was enough. This has been a long time coming, and although it is sad it took a well know personality leaving the hobby for it to finally be taken seriously, I’m glad this subject has been brought into the cold light of day. At the time of writing this, we are still waiting for a full statement from Wizards of the Coast.
We're saddened by what happened in the Magic community this weekend. Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable, and we support those who come forward with their experiences. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome. We're working to be a part of the solution.
— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) November 26, 2017
Do we really need to wait for WoTC to act, or should we as a community be doing more to stop this kind of behaviour? The answer is simple. No, we don’t need to wait for WoTC to act to make changes in our community. While we could play their game and harass them online, we must not become what we despise. Instead, we need to challenge this kind of behaviour when we see it. Whether it is online or at your local Game Store, stand up and say this isn’t accepted in our community. If they continue to behave in the same manner, then report them. It’s also worth noting that online harassment is illegal in many states across the USA and in other countries, including Jeremy’s home state of Wisconsin. Demand change and don’t accept anything less. As I stated above this is our community, and we welcome anyone who wants to join us. Don’t let these horrible individuals speak for us, we have our own voice and we must use it.
— Abbie Deleval [MoM] (@MasterOfMagics) November 26, 2017
Now I know that some of you out there will take no heed to my words, or anyone else’s. If you are one of those individuals that believe that you can say what you want and abuse anyone you like, then I have one thing I want you to think about. You are outnumbered. We will not put up with this anymore, so if you want to remain part of this community you need to change your ways. If not then leave, you will not be missed.
Finally, we at Master of Magics want to extend our heartfelt support to all of those who have had to put up with this for far too long. We stand with you all and if you have had to leave the hobby because of this, then we hope you will come back to us someday. We will be here to welcome you back when you wish to return. Be good to each other, and let’s make a lasting change.