Competitive fighting gamer Aris Bakhtanians has prompted some ire with inflammatory comments he made during a recent episode of Capcom's "Cross Assault". "Cross Assault" is a promotional competitive web-TV series that pits a team of Tekken players against a team of Street Fighter players.
On the show, Bakhtanians made remarks about the entrenched sexism and racism in the fighting game scene, and how it was fine if those things never changed.
Giant Bomb's Patrick Klepek has posted a thorough story on the matter. Included in the story is a transcript of Bakhtanians from one one of the episodes. His response when asked, "Can I get my Street Fighter without sexual harassment?":
You can't. You can't because they're one and the same thing. This is a community that's, you know, 15 or 20 years old, and the sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it's not the fighting game community -- it's StarCraft. There's nothing wrong with StarCraft if you enjoy it, and there's nothing wrong with anything about eSports, but why would you want just one flavour of ice cream, you know? There's eSports for people who like eSports, and there's fighting games for people who like spicy food and like to have fun. There's no reason to turn them into the same thing, you know?
Later, when asked about whether shouting "Rape that bitch!" at a match is acceptable behaviour, Bakhtanians replied, "Look, man. What is unacceptable about that? There's nothing unacceptable about that. These are people, we're in America, man, this isn't North Korea. We can say what we want. People get emotional."
The Giant Bomb story also shares some of the reactions and discussion generated during the program, including responses from one of one of the female competitors on the show, Miranda "Super_Yan" Pakozdi. Pakozdi voiced disappointment about the events of the day on Twitter, though she eventually deleted the tweets.
Capcom has apologized for Bakhtanians' comments in a statement to Giant Bomb, stating, "The views and opinions expressed by cast members in the live internet program 'Cross Assault' do not reflect those of Capcom. As a company, Capcom believes that everyone should be treated with respect. This particular issue was brought to our attention and has been addressed. We sincerely apologise to anyone that was offended by any comments expressed during the show."
When Passions Flare, Lines are Crossed [Giant Bomb]