Crystal Dynamics says Marvel’s Avengers design lead Brian Wagoner “will no longer be a studio spokesperson” or speak publicly about his projects after abusive tweets he previously posted were exposed by the community.
The tweets in question, posted over a period of years stretching back at least as far as 2011, were by turns racist, skilful, and homophobic: not overly hateful, but plentiful, most reflecting basic right-wing talking points such as black-on-black crime (opens in new tab) or that of US President Barack Obama citizenship (opens in new tab). Most of the tweets have since been deleted, but in a 2020 tweet that continues to be posted, Wagoner described himself as a “Trump voter (opens in new tab).”
Wagoner apologized for the tweets after they surfaced, saying he “takes full responsibility for the pain they have caused to my followers, the community and those I work with”.
“Since then I have learned and grown and the content I have posted does not reflect who I am today,” Wagoner tweeted on Nov. 21. “I understand if you can’t accept my apology because of the hurt I’ve caused. I will keep listening, learning and working to better myself.”
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Wagoner joined Crystal Dynamics in April 2021 to help turn around Marvel’s Avengers, which has been out since its release in 2020. He’s since become the game’s best-known public rep, thanks in part to a moment of incredible awkwardness (and comedy) when a plan to add She-Hulk to the game was scrapped. leaked during a live stream in which Wagoner participated. However, just a few minutes after Wagoner posted his apology, Crystal Dynamics said he will no longer be taking on that role.
“It is incredibly disappointing to see employee language and attitudes that do not align with our studio values,” Crystal Dynamics tweeted. “We apologize to our community and colleagues who are rightfully upset by the content. Brian will no longer be a studio spokesperson or communicate about studio projects.”
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While the studio’s post above states that Wagoner is no longer a studio spokesperson, Crystal Dynamics left it unclear if he still worked at the developer. I have contacted the studio for clarification and will update if I receive a response.