Wizards of the Coast has taken what they describe as their first step in bettering the Magic community, issuing a lifetime ban to Jeremy Hambly, owner of UnsleevedMedia, for his harassment and bullying.
[referenced url=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/magic-subreddit-on-lockdown-after-cosplayer-quit-due-to-alleged-harassment/” thumb=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/11/Sprankle-Cosplay-Freyalise.jpg” title=”Magic Cosplayer Quit Due To Alleged Harassment” excerpt=”This weekend, the /r/MagicTCG was on lockdown after cosplayer Christine Sprankle announced she was quitting due to persistent harassment. “]
“This is a first step. Tackling harassment and bullying is a larger initiative for Wizards of the Coast, and we feel it is important to address the issues in the ways we can.”
A look at the list of suspended DCI memberships shows that Jeremy Hambly, owner of Unsleeved Media, has been issued a lifetime ban from Magic: The Gathering.
Christine Sprankle, a former Magic cosplayer, cited harassment UnsleevedMedia as one of the reasons she quit cosplay. Unsleeved Media is owned and operated solely by Hambly.
He isn’t happy about the ban.
My Official Statement (the best I could do right now) Please watch & share this. We are facing some seriously scary times here, not just for magic the gathering but the entirety of gaming if people can be banned for memes.https://t.co/kO6VkEbsQl pic.twitter.com/VcjQyoT5lP
— ThotSeize (@UnsleevedMedia) December 8, 2017
Continuing to dismiss his actions as “memes” and claiming that he never signed the Code of Conduct, Hambly tried to turn the tables on Sprankle by claiming that her actions constitute harassment.
His response video suggests that he may take legal action against Wizards of the Coast if a suitable lawyer can be found.
A number of Hambly’s videos on YouTube have been removed due to what he describes as “false-flagging” after a number of users reported his content for violation of YouTube’s terms of service. There has also been a community-drive campaign to defund his Patreon, and he claims to have received a number of death threats. Using the report functions on social media was one of the actions Wizards of the Coast suggested people take against bullying and harassment.
The removed videos include a number of derogatory statements against other members of the Magic community. A video from Tolarian Community College highlights a number of times Hambly has harassed people through his Youtube channel including calling Sprankle a “serial virtue-signaller and crying for Patreon dollars cosplayer”.
Hambly also accused Mark Rosewater, Magic Head Designer, of sexual harassment based on a “satirical” Twitter poll.
[referenced url=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/magic-pros-band-together-against-harassment/” thumb=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/11/PTIxalan-20171102-0015.jpg” title=”Magic Pros Band Together Against Harassment” excerpt=”In the wake of the harassment of cosplayer Christine Sprankle, 66 Magic: The Gathering pro players have written an open letter addressing harassment in the Magic community and calling for inclusivity.”]
Magic pro Travis Woo also received a one year ban. Woo ran a (now closed) Facebook group called “Magic For Bad”, which drew a lot of negative attention in the wake of Sprankle’s departure from Magic.
This facebook thread asked people to p1p1 women who play Magic based on how bangable they are. I am LIVID. Why is it so hard to treat others with respect and not like pieces of meat? https://t.co/lIBzkZACx2
— Gaby Spartz (@GabySpartz) November 28, 2017
Woo has shown contrition over the actions of the “Magic For Bad” group and intends to appeal the ban.
Im ok. I will appeal. Any advocacy is appreciated at this time. Stay cool everyone. If this is for real i have other plans and it will be ok pic.twitter.com/iQCw8GFtir
— Travis Woo (@TravisWizard) December 7, 2017
This is not the first time that Woo has been the subject of controversy. Two years ago, he was suspended indefinitely from ChannelFireball for statements he made regarding the Holocaust.
This weekend is the Unstable pre-release, where Magic players around the world will get together and enjoy the game’s new joke set in a series of new player friendly tournaments.
In light of the harassment happening within the Magic community, it’s worth remembering that Magic is for everyone. Anyone who feels bullied or harassed at a Magic event should contact the event organiser or contact Wizards directly.
We have reached out to Wizards of the Coast to comment on this situation and are awaiting their reply.