The gaming industry doesn't exactly have the best track record as far as women are concerned. Historically, there have been countless hyper-sexualized depictions of female characters, and the last few years have seen mass harassment of female developers. But a South Korean company has taken this sexism to the next level, firing a voice actress just for standing up for women.
On Monday, Jayeon Kim, a voice actress who worked for PC game company Nexon, posted a selfie on Twitter wearing a pretty dope shirt that reads, “Girls Do Not Need A Prince.” Because facts.
The shirt is part of a fundraising campaign for a spin-off site of the Korean online feminist network Megalian. Megalian is an anonymous forum—like 4chan but fun and feminist and not chock-full of the horrifying depths of evil—for women to discuss misogyny and feminism.
According to RealKoreans.com, Megalian, which launched in 2015, is best known for “mirroring,” that is, taking the misogynistic comments men hurl at women over the internet, swapping the gender, and sending them right on back to the men. This is genius, but also apparently controversial, because how dare women repeat the horrible insults that get launched at them all the goddamn time.
Kim's T-shirt—which is accurate in both a feminist sense and also a statistical sense, since there are like eight princes left in the world and billions of women who are just fine without them—was seemingly provocative enough for Nexon to recast her role on a game called Closers. Kim will also be replaced on Hero Warz, another MMORPG, that wrote on its website that replacing Kim’s voice work was a response to feedback from their players. This means that a bunch of assholes reported the actress for her innocuous tweet, and the spineless game company actually listened.
In a post on her personal blog, Kim doubled down, saying that she wore the shirt to protest gender discrimination. On Twitter, she said that if she had actually made a mistake, she'd gladly accept the responsibility.
People took to Twitter using the hashtag #넥슨_보이콧 (“boycott Nexon”) to protest the firing.
— cereal killer (@nulbo_ethanol) July 19, 2016
So here we are. A woman is being punished just for standing up for gender equality and the right for a safe space for feminism to simply exist in a deeply sexist society. It seems like a sick joke, but I guess it’s just another day in the gaming industry. You can find more information on the “Girls Do Not Need a Prince” shirt and how to get it here, but it’s in Korean, so keep that translator handy.