Episode 12 of 'Summoning Insight', a League of Legends talk show hosted by Duncan 'Thorin' Shields and Christopher 'MonteCristo' Mykles, featured special guest Adrian 'Candy Panda' Pander, AD Carry of SK Gaming.
OnGamers statement Regarding Summoning Insight Episode 12:
On the most recent episode of Summoning Insight, in a segment discussing TSM’s decision to no longer do interviews with onGamers, Duncan Shields made a comparison between Andy Dinh and the Planet of the Apes character ‘Caesar’. We believe that this joke, and the implicit comparison of Mr. Dinh to an ape, is absolutely inappropriate and completely out of line. We would like to apologize to Mr. Dinh, to TSM and to the community.
We believe that esports should be an inclusive community that is welcoming and tolerant of people regardless of race, gender, creed, appearance or anything else. We believe that the internet age should be helping us separate performance and worth even further from the basic genetics that are immutable. We believe that esports can be more egalitarian and support a broader range of both stars and fans.
We have failed to uphold those values. This show, intended to be a free-speaking environment for lively discussion, too often has crossed the line of friendly banter into toxicity. We believe that there is a line, somewhere between super safe and blatantly inappropriate, which represents something along the lines of good taste. We think the show can be both funny and edgy without being hostile.
We will be taking steps to ensure that the show finds its way to the correct side of that line. There will be no broadcast next week. We may return to doing the show as a straight VoD in the short term to ensure we’re not including anything inappropriate, and we will be working on the show’s tone and content with Mr. Shields as we progress.
We want to work with players, teams, organizations and fans to produce the best esports content possible, content that spans statistical analysis, on-site tournament coverage and interviews, longform historical articles and many different kinds of shows. Our content is produced to inform and entertain our audience, not to insult or belittle anyone, no matter who they are or what they do. We fully understand that last night’s show has damaged relationships and tarnished our reputation. We apologize and will do everything possible to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
I apologise for my off-colour remark regarding Reginald, which carried a perceivable implication that he resembled an animal, in any sense. The remark was intended as a joke, but on reflection, I would agree that it is unprofessional and unnecessary to make fun of an individual on the basis of something they have no control over, such as their appearance. In this respect, I can see that there have been occasions on which I have crossed that line on episodes of Summoning Insight, veering from discussion of individuals's words and actions into making light of factors over which they have no control and which should be off the table.
Humour aside, I don't think such jokes are the right approach for the show. Individuals should only be criticised for their actions and words, things over which they have direct control. After meditating upon this topic, I can see there is a middle ground that can be found between giving honest opinions about the game and its players without including such personal insults, which may be perceived as attacks.
It has never been the intention of the show to be perceived as a vehicle to insult others. The philosophy outlining the show is of open and honest discussion. Humour and a light-hearted approach serve as lubrication to keep the conversation flowing smoothly and transition between topics, simultaneously warming up the hosts and guests. For future episodes I will make a concerted effort to ensure my remarks remain within the context of the game.
This show has become something far beyond anything I had anticipated upon launching the idea, as the increased running times and regular line-up of guests will highlight. Running a loosely formated talk show for three hours is no easy task, so there are going to be times when one makes statements or decisions that they might think better of later. It's important to understand that a hot medium like a live talk show will yield sound bytes that will be judged very differently in the cold medium of transcribed text.
The latter carries an inherent bias, within the reader, that the person who made such statements put specific intention and thought into how he articulated himself, as one would if they were composing a text statement itself. If I thought it was impossible to overcome such issues with perception, then I'd cancel the show outright. As it is, I think it's possible to, with effort and focus, retain the identity of the show while also making all statements within the bounds of reasonable discussion and defensible on their own merits.
Ignoring all other components of the incident which preluded my remarks, I openly admit that my comments were not representative of the philosophy guiding and informing the show. When I reflect back on what was said, it's not the content, theme or approach that I'd like to represent the show. I apologise for my remarks regarding Reginald and acknowledge that they are not defensible as appropriate behaviour.