The creator of acclaimed web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has cancelled a public appearance following an anonymous threat.
Anita Sarkeesian was due to deliver a presentation at Utah State University, but elected to withdraw. According to the Standard Examiner and Kotaku, multiple university staff members received correspondence threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American History” if Sarkeesian’s appearance went ahead.
This is just the latest salvo in a seemingly relentless campaign of abuse and intimidation against Sarkeesian. While she is known to have shrugged off threats in the past, the prominent critic and feminist decided to withdraw from this engagement because local police declined to employ metal detectors or conduct pat downs. “To be clear,” she later wrote, “I didn’t cancel my USU talk because of terrorist threats, I canceled because I didn’t feel the security measures were adequate.”
Sarkeesian also revealed that one of the threats received claimed affiliation with Gamergate. This loose collective of largely anonymous industry observers claims to be lobbying for improved journalistic standards, but frequently devolves into misogynistic rhetoric.
The Black Panel commends Sarkeesian for her ongoing attempts to broaden the scope of the industry and make our hobby and art form more inclusive. We unequivocally condemn the ongoing threats and harassment that she and other prominent women in the industry are being forced to endure.
You can view the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series here.