Cards Against Humanity Co-Founder Quits After Complaints Over Sexist, Racist Office Culture

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Max Temkin, one of the original eight co-creators of Cards Against Humanity (and perhaps the most public of them) has resigned his position after numerous former employees came forward with allegations that he was the “harbinger” of a toxic work environment at the company’s Chicago offices.

As reported by Polygon Temkin, who had already had his “managerial duties” reduced following previous “complaints from staff”, has now “stepped down and no longer has any active role at Cards Against Humanity.”

A statement on Cards Against Humanity’s site reads:

Starting on June 6, several of our former employees posted reports on social media about a toxic work environment in our Chicago office. Many of them centered on one of our eight co-founders, Max Temkin, who led that office. We immediately began an internal investigation, and on June 9, we made the following commitments to our staff:

  • Max Temkin stepped down and no longer has any active role at Cards Against Humanity, effective that day.
  • We’re hiring a specialist firm to review and improve all HR, hiring, and management practices at the company. Our goal is to make these practices more inclusive, transparent, and equitable.
  • An outside organisation will lead workplace training for all partners and employees of Cards Against Humanity, focusing on communication and unconscious bias at work.

As Cards Against Humanity rapidly grew from a hobby project in our parents’ basements to a company with 18 full-time employees, we made a lot of mistakes. We want to apologise to employees who were unheard or disrespected in our office. We are truly sorry. We also want to state unequivocally that we condemn harassment of anyone who has posted stories about their experiences at Cards Against Humanity.

In the interest of transparency, we are now sharing our complete responses to a series of questions we received via email from a reporter at Polygon regarding our company and the accounts on social media. Some of these accounts are true, others are not, and a few we are continuing to investigate.

We are committed to rebuilding a workplace that the partners and staff can be proud of. It is our responsibility to see this through.

Sincerely,

Josh, Daniel, Eli, Ben, David M., David P.

Active Co-Founders, Cards Against Humanity

The interview responses they mention relate to this excellent feature on Polygon, which you should definitely read before moving onto Cards Against Humanity’s replies.

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Comments

  • I’ve never heard they did anything else besides holidays stunts and the card game plus expansions.

    What do they do that entails having 18 employees? Genuinely curious.

  • >Go’s to work for people that created cards against humanity.
    >Expects them not to at least partially encapsulate what their cards are all about.
    These people aren’t the smartest going around.

    Also in there, an employee complains about “the N-word” being a card and “passable tranvestite” was removed due to complaint. Like these are somehow worse than “child abuse”, or the several that im pretty sure refer to genocide.
    Jesus people are f*cking stupid.
    You can’t find some of this game alright and not others without being a massive hypocrite and moron.
    Literally the sole point is to be offensive. Its like if you got mad at south park for making fun of something to do with your “group” but still liked the rest of the show even though all of that is just making fun of other “groups”.

      • I know right? It’s almost like they think a drunken games night and a corporate office are two different spaces with different standards of acceptable behaviour.

        • I was referring to them being offended by what is on the cards themselves as mentioned in the article. Literally offended by the game they’re there to make.

    • This is kind of my thought, it’s fascinating to me seeing cancel culture steamroll its way through every facet of entertainment, like the whole appeal of this card game is the fact that none of those jokes are okay in a modern context.

      I’ll be curious to see when the actual payback comes (I feel it’s starting because an inordinate amount of otherwise progressive entertainers seem to have a history of doing blackjack which is being unearthed ATM)

      Reminds me of ICAC in NSW, introduced by Nick Greiner who became one of its first casualties!

      • Culture changes and moves on, the human race evolves. Or more correctly, it should. The culture in which the game was made, is not the culture of the world today.

        Offensive comedy will always a have a place, if it is done by clever people. That is why Seinfeld is full of moments that will never make it to air these days BUT because the punch line of the jokes is (mostly) the gang themselves, not the racism and sexism they show, it works. Likewise The Inbetweeners, those kids are constantly being sexists in increasingly bad ways BUT they never win and are never the hero because of their actions. Like Seinfeld, they themselves are the joke. These cards, the joke are the names/terms they use. As such they have dated badly.

        • “I don’t find this funny, Therefore it must be censored!”

          Who named you the arbiter of what is and isn’t funny?
          Its almost as if comedy is subjective.

          • No where did I say anything at all like that. And yes comedy is subjective, but comedy also comes with a high skill cap to pull off. Offensive humour can have a place, and it can be used to make us laugh and think about issues, or it can be used to dig a further hole of questionable and continual bigotry . While the card game can be used for a silly drunken laugh, I am way too old to sit by while other people use racist or gender names and terms as the punch line as a joke.

            If you want to do that, have fun, I couldnt think of anything more tiresome and unfunny. In short: you do you.

        • No this game is still very popular, its just groups of excessively thin skinned people that get mad at everything and are the loudest about it

    • Sure you can. It is fundamentallly impossible to care about every cause in the entire world and still remain sane. Some people are affected by some things more based on their interests, their life style, upbringing and their culture.

      There is nothing hypocritical about it all, it is just common sense. It is the reason while some people were greatly upset by Notre Dame burning but not the Indigenous trees lost in Melbourne, any every time some lame person on social media draws parallels between two completely different and unrelated causes, because they think there are being insight pointing out other peoples hypocrisy.

      NOPE. Just human beings are complicated, we are the sum of ours contradictions. We all have them, whether we are willing to admit it or not.

      • Obviously in the full scope of life you can’t be knowledgeable on, let alone mad about every little issue. But this is one game, and if they know about this card they have seen many others in it. So it IS hypocritical in this case, because the other “issues” they aren’t angry about are in the same game as the one they are complaining about a card from, they have almost certainly seen dozens ‘worse’ than what they are getting angry about, but don’t bat an eye because its not “their group”.
        I don’t care if they take offense to some things more than others, but if they are going to get mad and complain about one thing relating to them only, thats when they become the hypocrite.

    • he didn’t “go to work for the creators of CAH”, he WAS a creator of CAH.
      It sounds like at some point they hired the wrong people.

  • I don’t see any evidence of them being racist.

    I see them not willing to bend the knee to the perpetually offended.

    • So the people who made the allegations or racist behaviour and sexual assault are lying? just because, from your sofa, you gave the evidence (which you dont have, nor do these articles go into details for) a once over and found nothing?

      • All I see is allegations from former employees who are mad the company wouldn’t bend the knee to the perpetually outraged.

        • An assumption based on a lack of first hand evidence and your own interpretation of what you have read.

          How many did the same about the rumours of Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein?! How many more victims did they have over the years because of people’s inability to take rumours seriously.

          It is not your place to judge, nor mine. Imagine from the point of view of these people why would they personally through themselves out there like this. The polygon article makes it clear how the systems failed them and all the warnings which simply lead no where.

          • ” Harvey weinstein happened, therefore we must unconditionally believe anyone who says they are a victim”

            Sound logic, totally hasn’t been abused

            Or ignored in the case of Tara Reade.

          • They weren’t even rumour’s Wienstien behaviour was well known by just about everyone for almost two decades, Hollywood is debaucherous.

            They need to do more than drain the swamp, they need to pave it over so the swamp creatures have no where to return or breed.

  • I do wonder if Kotaku would post any other Cards Against Humanity related news? Sexual misconduct allegations seem to qualify as automatically newsworthy around here. It borders of voyeurism at times – lets all kick back and revel in this person getting their comeuppance.

    Some articles about videogames would be nice. So many games come and go without getting a single mention on Kotaku.

    • This is the first CAH news on Kotaku in 2 years, but it’s quite possible the only newsworthy thing to happen in 2 years.

    • On the front page I can see at least 15 games stories, even before I scroll. There is a reason why such stories are making headlines (finally) instead of being buried. This type of office culture has been going on for decades unchecked, now for the most part people arent willing to bury their head in the sand anyway. Even if you are. If stories like this help encourage others to come forward and find peace in their work place from dinosaurs, then its worth it.

      If you dont like these stories, dont click the link. Just because you dont see their worth, that doesnt mean everyone feels the same.

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