Wizards of the Coast has confirmed that the company has ended their working relationship with Terese Nielsen following last year’s backlash towards the veteran Magic: The Gathering artist’s conservative political views.
During the June 18th stream of the “Weekly MTG” show, a weekly Magic: The Gathering update stream hosted by DailyMTG Editor-in-Chief Blake Rasmussen and Wizards of the Coast Communications Manager Steve Sunu, Rasmussen voiced a fan question regarding the appearance of Nielsen’s art in three cards featured in the upcoming supplemental MTG set Jumpstart and asked whether or not players would “see anymore of her art in the future.”
In response, Principal Game Designer on the Worldbuilding Team Doug Beyer revealed that the company stated that Wizards of the Coast ‘heard’ fan concerns over their relationship with Nielsen and revealed that the company had not “commissioned new art from Terese Nielsen in quite a while,” with her last appearance being in this Fall’s Zendikar Rising set.
Magic The Gathering implies they’ve ended their relationship with Terese Nielsen. pic.twitter.com/NoZ7OU9uEf
— John F Trent (@jftrent) June 24, 2020
Rasmussen asked the fan question, “There are three cards in Jumpstart that have Terese Nielsen art in them. Will we see anymore of her art in the future?”
Beyer responded, “Great question. We hear you. We haven’t commissioned new art from Terese Nielsen in quite a while. The last product that will have any reprint art from her is this Fall with Zendikar Rising.”
The three cards featuring her reprint art in Jumpstart are Death’s Approach, Hunter’s Insight, and Rhystic Study.
Beyer’s statement is the first time that Wizards of the Coast has addressed their relationship with Nielsen since the artist was accused in 2019 of being ‘alt-right,’ ‘fascist,’ and a ‘bigot’ by a segment of players after it was discovered that she and her wife liked tweets critical of Antifa, supported President Donald Trump, and followed political commentators ranging from conservatives such as Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec to Alex Jones and Stefan Molyneux.
Later that year, Nielsen was once again publicly criticized for these viewpoints when professional MTG player Autumn Burchett defaced cards featuring Nielsen’s art and attempted to use them in the 2019 Mythic Championship VI tournament. Though Wizards of the Coast initially ruled that Burchett could not use the defaced cards, a compromise was eventually reached which allowed Burchett to use a different set of cards, which did not use Nielsen’s art, featuring the same ‘Trans Rights’ supportive edits.
As of writing, Wizards of the Coast has not commented further on the termination of their relationship with Nielsen. Nielsen’s Twitter has been silent since June 2019, having stopped tweeting almost immediately after the initial backlash towards her assumed political views.