There’s a great deal of misinformation surrounding Alison Rapp being removed from her Product Marketing Specialist position at Nintendo of America’s Treehouse localization studio.
Following an online furor regarding an employee discussing underage pornography working for a corporation that has spent decades marketing itself as a family-friendly company, the controversial Alison Rapp has been terminated. Still — and this is a point that several outlets seem to have missed or rushed to print in order to push a narrative before the facts were established — that’s not actually why she was let go.
Instead, Rapp lost her position due to extracurricular “moonlighting” activities. In a statement made to Mashable, Nintendo clearly states:
Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture. Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related. Nintendo is a company committed to fostering inclusion and diversity in both our company and the broader video game industry and we firmly reject the harassment of individuals based on gender, race or personal beliefs. We wish Ms. Rapp well in her future endeavors.
Rapp is crying foul, claiming that moonlighting is supported and even encouraged at Nintendo of America.
She has made no comment on the particulars of the second job she held as being compatible or not with Nintendo’s corporate culture, however, which involved racy photo shoots, including one that appears to feature one of her now-former employer’s products. She claimed that the work was done anonymously, using a fake name.
In the end, Nintendo’s decision reflects nothing more than their prerogative when assessing an employee’s compatibility with the image they want to present to the world. It’s unsurprising that Nintendo as a family-centric brand would want to separate itself from an individual who has claimed that child porn constitutes free speech and believes that sexual consent laws for children should be loosened.
Nevertheless, this seems less the result of a “harassment campaign” than the most obvious result of Alison Rapp being accountable for decisions in her own life, and Nintendo’s right to make decisions for their business.
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