Editor’s note: The title of this article has since changed from “Exotic Dancers, Microsoft and Outrage”, to our current title to properly represent the women involved.
Oh Microsoft, it’s almost like you can’t help but turn everyone against you. I have to commend you though; after announcing cross network play, people were really starting to warm up to you, but we can’t have that now can we?
So, you hired a bunch of go-go dancers dressed as school girls for your GDC party just a few hours after you hosted a women in gaming luncheon. People responded the way anyone would expect, with industry personalities commenting on the event. So now there’s controversy, and sexy Instagram posts.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) March 18, 2016
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) March 18, 2016
— Blaine 'Pyro' 🔥💀 (@PyroInsane) March 18, 2016
I kind of feel bad for the dancers here. They’re just doing their jobs and now they’re pushed to the center of this controversy. Let’s just remember in all this outrage, criticism should remain on Microsoft and their tone deaf decision. To start, this is a professional setting (to an extent), and you’re trying to show off a brand. If this was the 80’s, it would be a non issue. But now in the more socially conservative 2010’s, you can’t really do that. It’s just insensitive, the game industry is not an old boys club anymore.
Microsoft has since issued a statement through industry good-guy Phil Spencer to The Verge. “At Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was not consistent or aligned to our values.” Says Spencer. “It was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. I know we disappointed many people and I’m personally committed to holding ourselves to higher standards. We must ensure that diversity and inclusion are central to our everyday business and core values. We will do better in the future.”
Anyway, here’s a video.