An attempt to co-otp real world issues into marketing has gone south for CD Projekt’s GOG.com. A now-deleted tweet using the transgender awareness #WontBeErased hashtag has raised more concerns about the studio being transphobic.
Third time’s the harm.
Last evening, Twitter users noticed and took screens of a now-deleted tweet from the official Twitter of GOG.com:
GOG deleted this but… they really tried to use a Trans rights movement hashtag for some advertising hm… pic.twitter.com/12rqYLBgMS
— Piranha Plant main (@nlntendho) October 22, 2018
The #WontBeErased hashtag sprang up over the past couple of days after a troubling New York Times article. The article broke news about how the Trump administration, spearheaded by the Department of Human Health and Services, is attempting to redefine gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth”. According to the New York Times:
The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who… recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.
Given what’s at stake for the transgender community, it’s easy to see why they would be upset over a co-opting of a protest hashtag. The last line in GOG.com’s tweet also gives the worrying implication that they were fully aware of what they were doing. It also doesn’t help that CD Projekt has gotten into LGBT Twitter controversies in the past.
Today, the GOG.com Twitter posted this apology:
Yesterday, we posted a tweet containing a trending hashtag as a pun. The tweet was neither intended as a malicious attack, nor as a comment to the ongoing social debate.
GOG should focus only on games. We acknowledge that and we commit to it.
— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) October 23, 2018
Unfortunately for them, a good amount of people are seeing the tweet as a non-apology:
What a remarkable nonapology. No admission of wrongdoing, no promise to do better… This is somehow even worse than "I'm sorry you were offended" – at least that would be pretending to apologize.
And this isn't even the first time you've stuck your foot in your mouth, either.
— MistahFixIt (@Mistah_FixIt) October 23, 2018
This bit of bad press has some particularly bad timing. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales: CD Projekt Red’s newest game in the world of The Witcher releases on PC today, and it’s exclusively available via GOG.com. This Twitter controversy is likely going to scare away potential customers and long-time users alike. In addition, today also marks the 1.0 release of Gwent, another Witcher spin-off. There’s no word yet on if any other action will be taken by GOG.com.