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

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  • 2eo


    I hope this ends his career, mind you here in the UK we have people who think Bernard Manning was funny so he’ll always have an audience of subnormals.

    Sadly, we educated gamers are in very, very short supply.

  • 2eo

    Also, people who were actually there, including a friend of mine have confirmed this is exactly what happened and Millward is lying.

  • Teleny

    Many people still assume that Transpeople are jokes, have no dignity or human worth. This ‘comic’ is a piece of trash!

  • Red_Dragon_888

    I am surprise that there were no video of this comic antics. That is a surprise in itself.

  • openguy

    Would be super funny to break his teeth out in stage, what an ugly phuck

  • Polaro

    I have no idea who is right on this one. I’d suggest letting it go.

  • stranded

    That’s what I was thinking as well. I don’t want to judge the situation too much to one person’s favor. When a comic calls you up on stage, there’s a really good chance he/she is going to make fun of you. That being said, this wasn’t a comedy show, it was tech expo. Wrong call on microsoft. You want light pg humor.

  • Will L

    On the one hand, if Ms. Dale was dressed as in the picture I’ve seen, the look is very androgenous. I don’t see obvious breasts. She looks like an effeminate male.

    On the other hand, if Mr. Millward was equally confused, he should have not invited her to the stage. He wouldn’t have placed himself in the situation to address her one way or the other. As the MC, he was in charge of the situation and clearly failed.

  • TheMarc

    “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.” No, if Millward’s account is true (not saying it is or isn’t) it confirms that Dale is in fact a liar and is someone who is either seeking fame and attention or is using a minor incident to fan flames. If Millward’s account is accurate; this is an unfortunate incident that will ultimately do more harm to the cause of eradicating transphobia.

    Transphobia is a REAL problem; it does not need sensationalist accounts or flat out lies to justify the need to reduce or eliminate it entirely from our society. I do hope that Ms. Dale provided an accurate account; but again, I was not there and have seen no video of the incident. But if she is not being truthful, I won’t accept this article’s author or anyone else trying to white wash this as if lying of this nature can be justified because it still happened a little; especially as it appears unintentional, by Millward’s account.

  • Stevenw

    Never heard of this ‘comic’ in the UK. No wiki entry, either?

    Cheap of MS, to go for a complete unknown. Serves them right.

  • 2eo

    @Red_Dragon_888: @stranded:

    The last section of the conference was a list of technical information and a demonstration of the cloud features to be incorporated into the new Xbox, it is protected by an “NDA” or none disclosure agreement, it isn’t unusual for those to never be filmed.

    My friend is working on the processing algorithms, he’s a programmer through and through whereas I’m more talking into deals and working with outsiders and was there to show them off. He also confirms he did use the language described by Laura.

  • Jayson

    Is that Mr. Bentley from The Jefferson’s?

  • scotshot

    @TheMarc: This comment reminds me of the phrase “damning by faint praise”. How many ways can the writer trash Ms. Dale in one comment. Is “this guy” a republican, a troll, or a republican troll?

  • Michael

    @Will L: So in order to be treated with dignity and respect, your anatomy must be obviously presented, and you have to dress a certain way? Fuck you. And it’s not the emcee’s fault, it’s this asshole’s fault for being completely disgusting.

  • TheMarc

    @scotshot: How so? I offered no praise for either; faint or otherwise. I was quite direct. I don’t hide behind idioms or colloquialisms. Nor do I attempt to discredit someone by assuming (incorrectly, I might add) what their political affiliation is, which would be quite irrelevant regarding the topic in question.

    What exactly do you disagree with in my statement? If you have a problem with the number of words I use, then let me be more direct. If Millward is lying; then this only compounds his despicable act. If Dale is lying, it is a despicable attempt to gain attention and will only hurt the cause she claims to care for.

  • 2eo

    Sadly the Microsoft inclined gaming press has taken the side of Millward. Although it is worth pointing out the Xbox team and its associates have an enormous grudge against the site Dale works for, which is Kotaku which embarrassed the company by showing the new Xbox was vastly more difficult to work with than the PS4.

    I’ll listen to my friend who actually works for a company owned by Microsoft and told me it’s exactly as Dale says, as he was there.

  • Will L

    @Michael: No, that is not what I meant. If you can’t tell which way the person is inclined, you have a 50-50 chance of offending someone – one way or the other. He may have been trying to come up with something on the spot that didn’t lean one way or the other. However, as I stated, if he didn’t know how to address her correctly he didn’t have to invite her to the stage and put himself in that predicament. Either way, he failed miserably. Now, eat shit.

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