Comic Apologizes, Sorta, For “Dehumanizing” Trans Gamer

fraser-millwardYesterday, we reported on the controversy surrounding the launch Microsoft’s Xbox One at the Eurogamer Expo in London over the weekend. On Sunday, blogger Laura Kate Dale, who is transgendered, tweeted that comic Fraser Millward, whom Microsoft had hired to MC the launch, called her onstage and mocked her identity. Dale said, “I was ‘he,’ it’. ‘Thing’ and ‘this one’. I was on stage and they still insist ‘we need a woman on stage, any woman here.’”

In a conditional apology released last night over a series of tweets, Millward denied every part of this assertion from Dale. His complete apology follows:

“I’d like to express my sadness and dismay at what has ensued following a live stage event at the weekend. No offence was intended when I referred to Laura Kate Dale as ‘this person’ after I asked the audience to applaud her and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any offence and hurt I may have caused. There will be no further comment or response regarding this matter. Signing off!”

In the wake of the incident, both Dale and Millward have received threats from across the internet, some of which wished them death. Yesterday, when a blogger asked Dale for a rundown of the Eurogamer incident, she responded, “I’m asking people not to cover the situation. Each time it’s covered, another wave of transphobic hate comes my way.”

But the story keeps unfolding, with apologies (and non-apologies) continuing to flow from the concerned parties. Yesterday, Microsoft released the following statement:

“We are aware of an incident today on the Xbox booth at the Eurogamer Expo, at which an inappropriate comment was made, and we apologize for any offense caused.”

And this morning, Millward broke his self-imposed gag order and tweeted the following addendum to his apology:

“To be crystal clear; as mentioned in the Purebox interview, I did NOT use the words ‘he’, ‘it’, or ‘thing’ when addressing Laura on stage…. or any words to that effect. Wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.”

In the Purebox interview, which Millward gave on Sunday after the incident, he went so far as to call Dale a liar, explaining:

“There are ways of complaining in a mature way, but this is inflammatory and slanderous. 30 witnesses saw that this did not happen and that I didn’t say those things… I referred to her as ‘this person’, at which point some of the crowd laughed. I should have diffused the situation, but I think that is what’s caused this to happen. I did not refer to the woman as ‘thing’ or ‘it’ at any point.”

If Millward’s account is accurate, it nevertheless confirms that Dale’s experience was humiliating and isolating, if mostly at the hands of a hostile audience. Dale has yet to respond to Millward’s claims of inaccuracies in her account, however, so at least for the moment, this comes down to a particularly volatile case of He Said, She Said.

h/t: Gay Star News