The lead designer of Apex LegendsDaniel Z Klein, left Respawn Entertainment following the discovery of abusive blog posts published in 2007. The testimonies were leaked on Twitter late last month and contain negative comments about women and Africans.
Klein, who was already aware of these comments out of the closet, had already declared last July 28 that he was very sorry for the way he behaved almost fifteen years ago, taking responsibility for his actions.
Recently I was confronted with some terrible statements I made on a blog I wrote in 2007. I take full ownership of the things I have said, and am embarrassed, sad and angry at myself younger for saying these things. I hope it goes without saying that I no longer believe in these things.
Klein’s colleague Ryan K Rigney, communications director at Respawn, spoke in support of Klein at the time. “Regarding comments: I don’t think anything from 2007 reflects on a person in 2021” Kigney said. “People grow up. And accusing him of ‘possible sexual assaults’ is exaggerated, you should never say things like that without proof “.
Klein’s public apology was not enough: the lead designer of Apex Legends announced a few hours ago that he has abandoned Respawn Entertainment since last Friday due to the wave of controversy that has come towards him.
As of last Friday, I am no longer working at Respawn. I want to be very open here and say that I’m heartbroken and depressed. It’s been a very dark few days.
– Daniel Zenon Klein (@danielzklein) August 10, 2021
“You may or may not have seen the horrible and bigoted things I said in 2007” continues Klein.“I agree wholeheartedly that THAT guy should have been fired. I have since put so much energy into becoming a better person, and right now I’m just very depressed because I feel like I’ll never be able to regain who I was. I said racist and sexist things, not because I deeply believed in it, but because I knew I could get a reaction from people. This does not justify anything I have said; the impact of my words was the same regardless of what I said. I am mentioning this because with the help of many people who have loved me despite the shit head I have sometimes been able to make progress on the journey of becoming a better person. If my story can help someone out there in a similar position to see that there is a way to become better, it would at least serve a purpose. “
It must be said that EA had already distanced itself from Klein’s past comments, stating in an interview that “The comments are disturbing and we certainly do not tolerate the point of view expressed.”
This is a very similar story to the one that struck James Gunn in 2018, when due to some of his tweets in the past he was fired from Marvel Studios. The director of Guardians of the Galaxy And The Suicide Squad he still managed to get a second chance from the studio, and a few months later was hired to direct the third film in the cosmic saga of the Guardians.
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