A journalist says she was "completely dehumanised" on stage during an Xbox One Event at Eurogamer Expo 2013, by a comedian who made degrading jokes about her gender. Eurogamer Expo says it is investigating the matter.
Laura Kate Dale, who is a transgender woman, says she was called "he," "it," "thing" and "this one," by the presenter, who does not appear to be a Microsoft employee but an entertainer hired for the event.
Hope someone from Microsoft sees this. Your presenter made completely dehumanised me in front of an audience. Ruined my Eurogamer.
Shows me for trying to take part and have fun like everyone else.
Dale identified the presenter as Fraser Millward, a British actor and comedian.
She said later that booth personnel attempted to apologise but would not bring the presenter out for Dale to confront him.
People at the stage "appologise that I was upset by his comments". Refused to bring him out for me to talk to.
Refused to give full name, refused to appologise for his actual actions.
Eurogamer Expo's official Twitter account told several followers that expo staff were investigating the matter. An expo representative told Kotaku that comment on the matter was pending the completion of that inquiry.
Microsoft's corporate posture is one of support for transgendered persons, through its GLEAM employee resource group, and the company has been visible in that support, notably sending a Halo Warthog and a Master Chief cosplayer to march in Seattle's most recent Pride parade. Dale later said "I doubt it was intentional," referring to the comedian's jokes about her appearance, "but doesn't make it any less humiliating."
Kotaku has reached out to Dale and Millward via Twitter and is attempting to reach an Xbox representative for Europe.
Editor's Note: While we believe that it is important to report about issues of discrimination in gaming, we have decided not to link to Dale's Twitter account directly to diminish the amount of harassment she's received since the publication of this story. We encourage all readers, even those who disagree with the issues at hand, to remember that there are human beings on the other end of your online comments. Thank you to those who have used this story for measured, sensible discussion. -Stephen Totilo, Editor-in-Chief, Kotaku.com