Video Game Company Fires Worker for Tweet Defending Privacy, Free Speech in Sterling Case
Turtle Rock Studios, a California video game company that has produced such titles as Evolve and Left 4 Dead, has fired one of its employees for tweeting that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling possesses privacy and free speech rights.
Josh Olin, the community manager at Turtle Rock, tweeted from his private account: "Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim." The NBA banned Sterling for life after the media broadcast recordings of private phone conversations containing racist remarks by the billionaire.
Management quickly fired Olin without discussing the matter with him. "The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio," the company's official account tweeted. "We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views."
"Anyone who follows me knows my tweets were not in support of Sterling's actions," Olin told the gaming site Kotaku. "Rather, they were promoting three core tenets I believe in: 1) The harm sensational media presents to society. 2) The importance and sanctity of your privacy within your own home. And 3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn't hurting anyone else. That last point not to be confused with condoning Sterling's actions, which I don't."
Turtle Rock lists as a core value "respect," for "everyone in and out of our community for one reason: because we treat you the way we want to be treated." Who wants to be treated like this?