Speaking publicly for the first time since the airing of her now infamous “sexism in gaming” rant, G4 personality and Xplay host Indiana Black has doubled down on her accusatory view of male video game players, even going so far as to accuse one particular critic of being sexist and recommending he “read on some feminist lit to better educate yourself.”
During a recent broadcast of Xplay, after finding herself frustrated with a number of objections to her recent reviews – despite her admission as seen later in this article that she had, in fact, “misspoke on two games” – Black accused her critics of being sexist towards her simply because she was “not as bangable as the [network’s] previous hosts.”
“Adam will read a script, written by the same writer, that I will read the other half of the script for, but I’ll be the one flamed,” she added, before claiming that though “it also happens to Jirard and [Smallwood],” their experiences do not “discount the sexism of how it happens to me when it does.”
“Both things can be true! That there is a general hatred of any change that isn’t Adam, and that I’ll receive special flame just for being a woman,” she exclaimed.
Ultimately, Black declared to viewers, “When you’re in our DMs, or in those YouTube comments, or in Twitch chat right now, those reactionary threads, thinking that I’m somehow ruining your current Xplay experience because you can’t objectify me, how you previously did to Morgan, or that I’m somehow less qualified to speak on something but you can’t quite put your finger on why, even though I’m reading the exact same script as Adam, but you have no problem with his part of it, you’re letting your unconscious biases ruin my day and you’re gatekeeping the gaming space.”
“So maybe, for 2022, we be a bit nicer, a bit more self-reflective, and we enjoy the fact that people are working hard to make free content for you,” she concluded. “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. PEACE.”
In the wake of the episodes airing and the subsequent spread of Black’s rant across social media, one viewer on Reddit, /u/Squigels, took to the /r/G4TV subreddit to post a thread inquiring as to “Why are people hating on the lady hosts ‘especially frosk’?”
“Just saw the video of frosk and it really blows me away, are a lot of these people just her haters from her days in the league?” the user asked. “It blows my mind people are so toxic and i wish there was a way we could send love and support to the cast/crew.”
The user’s question was soon met with a response from Black herself, who informed /u/Squigels, “Apparently it blew up how I’m spreading misinformation because I’ve made mistakes when talking about game releases.”
“Sorry for not always getting it right,” she dismissed her critics. “I work a lot of shows and game news isn’t my strength or passion – playing games and reviewing them is. But if you inherently think women shouldn’t be in your hobby, then making these mistakes become fixations to justify my ineptitude.”
Noting that “league of legends [was] brought up,” Black rounded out her response by accusing the League of Legends European Championship of perpetuating rampant racism and sexism during her time with the organization, taking issue with such occurrences as English-language broadcasts of events being hosted by white people and “key managers in riot esports [saying] incredibly offensive things about diversity and inclusion and [thinking] it is a bad thing.”
“I would have committed suicide if I stayed at the LEC, that is why I left,” she added. “From the bullying from the community and the toxicity from the management and lack of support from the team and peers. I had a full mental breakdown due to the working pressure and treatment from those managers.”
However, despite her attempt to silence her critics by preemptively painting them as blatant sexists, /u/Sean_Finnegan found himself unmoved by her flippant condescension, telling Black directly, “You were out of line.”
“You wagged your finger at the community and you demonstrated incredible unprofessionalism and a lack of judgment that is not only immature but lacks any true self-awareness,” he explained. “You obviously can’t handle criticism and you have huge self-esteem issues. Your rant mentioning previous hosts and making the ‘bangability’ and ‘jack off’ comments were crude, inappropriate, and just vile. You alienated gamers who would have supported you had you approached the issue without being toxic and insulting.”
He continued, “I don’t give a good damn that you are a woman, I am judging you as a person based upon your actions and your words. That’s equality, by the way. I have no confidence that you understand the problem here and that you will only dig yourself into a deeper hole by doubling and tripling down on this mistake. I will not be watching G4 because of your behavior and the toxic behavior of Sessler. You both have destroyed the re-launch of G4. It’s dead.”
Black patronizingly responded, “It was a 3 minute segment where we rant about something in gaming that bothered us in a two hour show. Seems to me you’re letting your biases sway you in what is actually a problem.”
“If you think me asking people to not be sexist is toxic then I don’t think we’re having a discussion in good faith,” she ironically dismissed her critic. “Cheers!”
Refusing to allow himself to be talked down to, /u/Sean_Finnegan explained to Black, “My criticism of you is specific and based upon YOUR words and your actions. You are trying to paint me to be biased and therefore you want to diminish my opinions. Sorry, you don’t get to do that.”
“You didn’t really ask, you ranted, you lectured, you accused,” he said. “You used a shotgun when you should have used a scalpel. You were making emotional scree and were misguided and from your response here you still ignore your responsibilities and your role. You are obviously of low self-esteem to compare yourself to previous hosts. They have and had NOTHING to do with what you were venting about.”
/u/Sean_Finnegan then summarized, “You were criticized for your lack of gaming knowledge and you got butthurt and lashed out. You were toxic in the way you lashed out at EVERYONE watching, at all the people on the DM, and against male gamers in general.”
“We (gamers, not just men) see you,” he informed Black. “You are correct, we are not going to have a good-faith discussion because you lack the maturity and responsibility to be accountable for your actions. You own all of this. Maybe you should just attempt to be more self-aware of what you did and offer a sincere apology to those of us in the audience who didn’t deserve the emotionally charged blast you released. Own it and apologize. I suspect it is far too late, however.”
“I didn’t get ‘butthurt’ for not knowing something – no one is perfect and I make mistakes all time,” replied Black. “I didn’t even know people were up on arms about whatever – that speech was due to seeing years worth of sexist behavior at and to me. And you are proving my point with this post.”
Again refusing to play into Black’s attempt to paint him as a bigot, /u/Sean_Finnegan told the G4 host once more, “I am holding you to standards that are genderless. As I stated, I don’t care about your gender at all. I judge you on your words and actions alone.”
“You claim you ‘didn’t even know’, well, you SHOULD have known that the information you provided was INCORRECT and that your statements demonstrated that you don’t know the material that you are PAID to know about,” he continued. “You failed. Then you make excuses about it! No real personal responsibility.”
He added, “So, you have this build-up of years of sexist behavior and you decide to lash out at the audience on your new gig at G4. Poor judgment! Now you are attempting to label me as sexist because I have a problem with how you acted and what you stated.
“Again, please, go into specifics on how I am proving your point,” he further pressed Black. “Exact details, please. You won’t because you can’t. You need to own what you did and accept that you were out of line in your broad accusations and your inappropriate comments.”
“You should have addressed the individuals who made sexist comments directly,” he concluded. “Instead, you lost your temper and your judgment. You fed trolls by showing you are thin-skinned and are easily triggered. You used a broad brush. You seem to be avoiding this obvious fact.”
At this point, Black finally offered up more than just brief flashes of deflective snark, writing to /u/Sean_Finnegan, “I did address the individuals specifically. I didn’t lose any temper of judgement – I was very controlled and delivered during a segment for exactly what that segment was for.”
“You’re showing your bias in the language you use to describe what was a 3 minute section for exactly that: things that were BS in gaming,” she said. “Jirard was actually going to make the same point but didn’t need to after I did. And then we moved on and gave away an Xbox and continued with content in a two hour stream. Because that’s what we do.”
She then accused her critic of being “part of bad faith actors that assume asking for people to stop being sexist to women in the industry that is rife with gender discrimination and toxicity towards women/non-binary is somehow bad.”
“If you’re not part of the problem, then you weren’t who I was talking to – so you can move on, cheers,” she sarcastically waved him away. “But it’s very clear that you are part of the problem as shown by your discourse here.”
Moving to once again position her opponent as hateful in an attempt to cushion herself from accepting that her rant, no matter how righteously fueled, may not have been the most fair or effective in communicating her message, Black inferred that /u/Sean_Finnegan was unjustly and without reason “attacking my character.”
“I misspoke on two games but it’s been blown up as a means to try and attack me because the community is sexist – people make mistakes all the time and they are not held to the same standards as women or other marginalized voices in the industry,” wrote Black.
It should be noted that, despite her attempt to gaslight readers, male video game reviewers and critics are held to task for failing to understand the subjects they’re covering, as evidenced by the pushback to such events as VentureBeat reporter Dean Takahashi failing to pass the tutorial for Cuphead, Bloomberg tech journalist Tae Kim’s assertions that most video games outside of Horizon Zero Dawn were still sexist, and Kotaku reporter Ian Walker’s insulting dismissal of the research work done for Call of Duty titles.
In conclusion to her exchange with /u/Sean_Finnegan, Black informed the user, “And that’s all I have to say – you can continue to respond but I won’t. You should read on some feminist lit to better educate yourself on these topics, I really recommend Eloquent Rage by Britney Cooper or Ain’t I Woman? By Bell Hooks.”
What do you make of Black’s elaboration on her “sexism in gaming” rant? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!