The head of Microsoft’s Xbox division has apologized after the company hosted a party featuring female go-go dancers during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week.
According to the Associated Press, the party featured women dressed in schoolgirl outfits; they greeted guests and danced on platforms.
They were dancing on podiums.
(Deleted originals to blur faces of the dancers) pic.twitter.com/pG1BxmtbnO
— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
The backlash came swiftly and was apparently strong enough that Xbox head Phil Spencer sent an email to the organization’s employees, calling the hiring of the dancers an “unequivocally wrong” move that “will not be tolerated.” The email was also posted on the company’s website.
“This matter is being handled internally, but let me be very clear – how we represent ourselves as individuals, who we hire and partner with and how we engage with others is a direct reflection of our brand and what we stand for,” Spencer wrote. “When we do the opposite, and create an environment that alienates or offends any group, we justly deserve the criticism.”
Ironically, at least one party attendee pointed out that Microsoft had hosted a “Women in Gaming” luncheon earlier that day.
The video gaming industry has struggled to overcome the perception that it excludes and stereotypes female players and game developers. Breitbart Tech has reported extensively on the issue.
The BBC reports that Microsoft has hired go-go dancers for other parties in both 2011 and 2010.