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Alexis Kennedy hit w/ multiple #MeToo allegations Messages in this topic - RSS

Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2619

9/16/2019
Diptych wrote:
I've noticed in the past that, when criticised, Alexis will portray himself as a lovable duffer who could never knowingly do wrong, while exaggerating the criticisms until they're made ridiculous and churlish, and he seems beneficent for even hearing them out.


But on the other hand, Alexis has not been accused by anyone of rape. The allegations of his misbehavior are of an entirely different kind. And Lottie makes a point toward the end of her post that I think needs to be discussed, not just here, but in general by anyone who wants "me too" to make lasting and useful changes in our culture:

"Does it want abusive men to just disappear? If so, where do they go once they’re outed? It doesn’t feel terribly feminist to say we’re cool with abusive people leaving games and going to work in other industries, preying on the women there. So does call-out culture want men to never work again? In which case, are we cool with that economic shock affecting their spouses and children? Do we want them to starve? Do we want them to live on the street? Do we want them to actually die? For all the noise it makes at the start, call-out culture is strangely silent at the end."

--
Cathy Raymond
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
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phryne
phryne
Posts: 1414

9/16/2019
(Really just ordering my thoughts here while writing this down...)

Of course whisper networks aren't a very viable way of protection for everyone. They do work for some people, but their usefulness is always limited. I don't think that's a very important point. There are many others, in both posts.

And of course this was never about rape. Cathyr19355 pointed out on the first page of this thread that the term "predator" was at least a tad too strong. All the accusations leveled at AK basically came down to this: A) that he is a "creep" who regularly makes women around him feel extremely uncomfortable. The most serious accusation B) was that he was not only fully aware of this, but actively working to silence people about this issue.

It would certainly be interesting to learn who ran the original "IndustryAbuse" twitter account who started spreading the accusations about AK and others, but I guess there's not much hope here. In any way, it was these tweets that sparked Meg Jayanth's tweets, which in turn were, almost immediately, backed up by a number of people, culminating even in an official FB statement that these accusations were quite credible.

I still find these accusations A) very credible. Do not forget that it was a games journalist, Leigh Alexander, who was among the first to make the "open secret everyone knew about for years" statement. As a journalist, she has to be really, really careful with statements like that. If her claim was proven to be false, it could be her career in tatters. And FB, too, are putting their company's name on the line by making such a clear statement. They could've been a lot foggier in their wording. When I look at the motivations of all these people who made these very clear statements, I can't see them backing up unfounded claims simply out of revenge, the heat of the moment, or whatever. All of them have too much to lose themselves.

I was never sure about part B) and must say that AK's defense about that part sounds credible, too. Otherwise, we would have to imagine him as a James-Bond-villain-like devilish mastermind - rather unlikely.

In the end, it boils (and always boiled) down to this: AK acted "creepy" towards an undefined number of women. Whether he did this "habitually" we do not know. He himself is probably in complete denial about it. (I don't think I need to point out how totally, depressingly common this sort of thing is.)

Is that a problem? Sure.

Should that ruin his career? Probably not. His life? Definitely not.

Is it understandable that the emotions of the accusers boiled over when it seemed that something which they had suppressed for so long was finally being talked about? Absolutely.

Does that mean that online call-outs are generally great and totally unproblematic? Absolutely not.

Do you have a better idea? Tell me about it.


The baseline is that both Lottie's and AK's statements contain a lot of important truths, without actually refuting the accusations A) (even though they probably believe they do). As is not unusual, everyone is speaking the truth on some level. Undoubtedly, this whole thing is incredibly hurtful to everyone involved. Undoubtedly, we - bystanders and third parties - should all back up a step. Unless more, especially more dreadful, things come to light, I consider this file closed.

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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/16/2019
This was a great read, Phryne.

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Diptych
Diptych
Administrator
Posts: 3631

9/16/2019
Personally, I found Lottie's post rather offensive - including the suggestion that Alec Holowka's victims bore moral responsibility for his death, particularly after it was revealed that he had used the threat of suicide to further isolate and traumatise them.


Catherine Raymond wrote:
Do we want them to starve? Do we want them to live on the street? Do we want them to actually die? For all the noise it makes at the start, call-out culture is strangely silent at the end."



There is middle ground between being an acclaimed indie CEO and dying in poverty. For instance, he could continue to work, but not in a position in which he can use his power and status to abuse others.

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/17/2019
Just an aside: I doubt that not warning someone else should be held against you, or should be used to belittle your claim. People who have been abused do not rush to disclose it, they even rationalize it away sometimes. And yes, they often feel guilt about that - so I didn't like the insinuation that the claimants were either liars or bad victims for not warning another.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 402

9/17/2019
Sorry for my english.
I am mostly worried that general public do not care about proofs. At all. There are many accusations. And zero proofs. And it not like Victorian Era, today some of our actions leave digital trail, every conversation can be easily recorded with minimal preparations from "victim's" side.
It seems that some people think that numbers can decide what is true. Yes, many people added their voice. Yes, FBG's statement is quite clear. But what proofs they have revealed? It's not the democratic procedure, where majority should decide what is right, we are talking about facts and i dont see solid evidence from accusors. And how can you clear your name? You cant disproof what is not proven. And should not (presumption of innocence)

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Diptych
Diptych
Administrator
Posts: 3631

9/17/2019
If the general public were a court, with the power to pass sentence, it would be necessary for them to see all the evidence. But, they are not. Some details of the events described might be private, and remain private, and you'll just have to be OK with that, because no-one has any responsibility to share them with you.

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2619

9/17/2019
Diptych wrote:


There is middle ground between being an acclaimed indie CEO and dying in poverty. For instance, he could continue to work, but not in a position in which he can use his power and status to abuse others.


Agreed. It's the middle ground that we all, as a civil society, need to find. I'm glad to see that need being acknowledged in this thread.

--
Cathy Raymond
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 402

9/17/2019
@Diptych general public have enough power to ruin reputation, career and business. That power should not be used on "i belive even without proofs" basis.

As far as i know some members of Weather Factory left, some volunteers left, kickstarter campaign for new game is stopped (and probably would be stillborn if started).
edited by Waterpls on 9/17/2019

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Diptych
Diptych
Administrator
Posts: 3631

9/17/2019
That's not "the general public" acting as a single unit - that's several individual people becoming aware of information and choosing to act on that information according to their own interests and inclinations. I'm not saying it's a perfect system, but that's more or less how business has operated since time immemorial.

What's the alternative? Either we punish victims for speaking out even more than we already do (and the UK has some of the most punitive libel laws in the world), which would give abusers even greater license to abuse, or we forbid businesses from choosing who they want to work with and consumers from choosing what they want to purchase, which sounds, well, costly to enforce, at the very least.
edited by Diptych on 9/17/2019

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 402

9/17/2019
>>>What's the alternative?

Of course, i am not a specialist, but i see two ways. Court and / or private investigation within the company. Both are practiced for a long time with various rate of success.

>>>that's several individual people becoming aware of information and choosing to act on that information according to their own interests and inclinations

Good point. If so, its totally compatible with two proposed ways.

Social networks should not be used in such cases at all, or at least until court / investigators have final decision.

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Diptych
Diptych
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Posts: 3631

9/17/2019
Court is only an option if the misdeeds involved are specifically criminal as well as unprofessional and unethical, which isn't always the case. An internal investigation relies on the perpetrator and their victim/s all working within the same company, and B: the company putting the needs of the victim/s and the public good ahead of their own commercial interests. After all, whatever their findings, it's often the most economical option to keep the facts secret.

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 402

9/17/2019
Yes, but this is still better than online shaming, where most do not have access to the facts and proofs and act mostly on emotion, fashion of the season, or some sort of solidarity. What about Blackstone's ratio? It's hard to belive for me that twitter people concerned about false positives as much as they should.
edited by Waterpls on 9/17/2019

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Diptych
Diptych
Administrator
Posts: 3631

9/17/2019
Again, that's a principle relating to a court of law, that cannot be practically applied here. (I have other objections to it - that it only measures the suffering caused by wrongful convictions, allowing the powerful to wash their hands of the social ills caused indirectly by their laws and policies, but that's neither here nor there.)

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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Hannah Flynn
Hannah Flynn
Administrator
Posts: 508

9/17/2019
We retired this thread temporarily pending consideration of what to do with it, as we don't feel it's fair or reasonable under the circumstances to ask Diptych to moderate it, and we can't provide full moderation cover ourselves. However, we recognise the community's need to talk about the situation, and we don't want to push that discussion elsewhere.


We've decided to reinstate the thread, locking it when we can't adequately cover moderation duties: over the weekends, and outside of 0900 - 1800 BST.

Please keep all discussion of the matter to this thread, and please, remember that this matter is of considerable importance, impact and sensitivity to several of our staff.


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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/17/2019
Thank you, Failbetter, for doing that. It must be hard.

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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

9/17/2019
By the way, it's ridiculous to ask people not to come forward with accusations, to keep silent unless there is some tangible proof. I felt stunned by AK's post, so I am not saying this lightly: there is no easy solution to this. Telling men and women who have been abused/harassed or worse that they need to have -what, photohraphic evidence? At least three witnesses? A note that says "I did the deed? is essentially asking us to keep silent, when speaking out is often the only recourse we have. I understand worrying about the possibility of innocents being wrongly accused, but by focusing only on these ocassions, we are ignoring the innumerable cases where people are abused and have no way to get a tiny bit of justice, or warn others.

So no, call-out culture is not a solution. It is simply the only solution that might, maybe, perhaps has a chance to work. And this is awful, and it tears us apart, making the discussion a shouting match. We know. But neither "believe everything" nor "believe nobody unless they have video and there is three of them" is a solution.


So I am going to ask this: for those who oppose call-outs, do you care equally for the innocents who get besmirched and the millions who get abused and never get any justice? And if yes, what is a better idea? This is what we need to ask.
edited by Jolanda Swan on 9/17/2019

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Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 402

9/17/2019
Justice is too broad term. Better to talk about crime prevention. Thare are two known ways.
1. Make punishment harsher. It works, but not very effective, that's why in modern societies we no longer have public tortures, executions, humiliations, etc.
2. Make punishment more certain. If its highly likely that you will be punished for you crime, then you will think twice before committing to it. Its effective. But not ideal, most criminals are not smart, educated or even have alternatives.

I do not see how call-outs can help "the millions who get abused and never get any justice". Because its weak in both ways. Hard punishment is reserved for courts (and its great). And public shaming is very unreliable. Today twitter crowd cares about women abuse at work, tomorrow it might be family violence, ecology, pedophilia, animal rights or Mr. Eaten knows what. And even if your case accidentally the same as the fashion of the season you have to be lucky or known in broad circles (or your abuser).

I believe that only institutional changes can provide good long-term solutions. So yeah, court practices and ethical committees for large enough companies / organizations.
edited by Waterpls on 9/17/2019

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Long grinds: Heptagoat 6/8; Cider Done.
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menaulon
menaulon
Posts: 115

9/24/2019
A very important read. The statement has a good summation of the situation and adds specific examples of Alexis's behavior, both elaborating on what has been revealed and a few new details. Provides specific evidence for people who are saying there wasn't any before. "Why talk about this?" section is especially good at explaining what is the goal of making information public and holding Alexis accountable for his actions, so it's a good counterpoint to Lottie's article.

Adam makes it very clear that Alexis lied in his PCGamesN article and still lying now about stepping down as Lottie's direct manager and about informing the whole firm (Failbetter had already stated most of this to RPShotgun here: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/09/04/alexis-kennedy-denies-allegations-of-abusive-or-coercive-behaviour/).

Alexis wrote:
I've booked in a meeting for us this afternoon, for an hour. Call it an enhanced 1-on-1.
We need to have a candid conversation about a cluster of related issues, including but very much not limited to the issue you raised with Paul before you went on holiday.

This was how Alexis responded the concerns about his relationship with Lottie (full quote in the article). To me, this is very much a "not a threat, but …" statement and a example of pressure and intimidation towards a subordinate. This fits the pattern of behavior described in the accusations and does not at all fit Alexis's claims that he is a harmless bumbler in over his head and a victim of unfounded rumors. This increases my doubt that Lottie was completely unaware of any allegations towards Alexis, since she would know that he was lying about stepping down as her manager immediately.

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Menaulon
Open to social actions, but would prefer to be betrayed in the search for Photographer.
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phryne
phryne
Posts: 1414

9/24/2019
Desirée wrote:
Failbetter CEO about the situation; his personal stance, not FB-s: https://medium.com/@wastebooks/alexis-kennedy-71044efc0ecf

Thanks for sharing. This is a shocking read. Contrasting it with AK's response blog post from last week, two things are becoming more and more obvious: that AK really is a notorious liar and that he really goes around habitually threatening people (and, as a third point, he seems to be really good at both).

I mean, just look at this:

  • I know several people who experience fear and anxiety when they attend industry events because of the possibility they’ll encounter him.
  • I know multiple people who ask friends or colleagues to go to their conference talks to support them in the event he attends.
  • Multiple people who’d had little direct contact with him in years have broken out in tears while telling me about his role in their lives.

I didn't really think AK could be painted in a worse light than in the original accusations, but this is a different league. I hoped that he had "only" occasionally misbehaved and was too stubborn to believe it (not an excuse, just so we understand each other) but this is the very definition of the kind of creep you never want to meet.

Also, remember how he (and Lottie) harped on about how he nearly killed himself after everything that happened? Well, this seems like another old trick of his:

We had the meeting. I told him my concerns. He told me it was none of my business, and that I’d damaged his mental health (he used the words ‘nervous breakdown’).

"Don't criticize me, it's bad for my mental health. Do it again and hey, I might kill myself! Do you want that?"


Seriously, AK: go **** yourself.
edited by phryne on 9/24/2019

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Exceptional Stories, sorted by season and by writerDestiny Guide
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