G4 TV Senior Vice President Blair Herter, who was previously a host on the network’s Attack of the Show! and X-Play programs, told gamers to not watch G4 following Frosk’s now infamous rant about sexism in gaming.
In the middle of January, during X-Play’s “The Airing of Gaming Grievances” segment, Frosk stated, “In joining G4 I was ecstatic to be part of something I grew up watching as a child, but every time G4 is brought up in various channels, even in this YouTube channel, we have the chat in front of us, I can see you, without a doubt, there will be backlash because I am not as bangable as the previous hosts.”
“It has somehow been expected that you can talk about how much you jerked off to women as a compliment,” she continued. “It’s not a compliment. It’s dehumanizing, and it’s weird. Women do not exist to be nice on the eyes for you. Morgan Webb, Olivia Munn, did not exist to be nice on the eyes for you.”
Frosk then stated, “And that’s just obvious sexism. You don’t need to explicitly objectify women or declare that you hate women to be sexist. Just go check out Thorin’s latest meltdown on Twitter for some Spark Notes.”
“Now, here at X-play, our reviews are written and produced by a team of people. There are too many games for one person to shoulder the burden, so we divide and conquer,” she went on.
“So when we use language like ‘we’ or ‘I’, that’s the reviewer, that’s coming from the mouth and experience of the reviewer reading that review,” she asserted. “And that’s not to say that Jirard, TBH, Adam, or myself don’t contribute to the reviews. We absolutely do. But it will always be in varying degrees and take a whole team behind us. That’s why we are X-Play and not Adam-Play.”
“We have done the experiment and controlled for the variables,” Frosk claimed. “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 then admitted, “And, yeah, it also happens to Jirard and TBH, but that doesn’t 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. And I wish I could turn the camera around so that you could see the incredible team that make X-Play. Half of our producers and writers are women. Emily, Abby, Megan, Joe, Jake, Zipper, Gabby. It goes on and on and on. Former writers that are now on AOTS like Vanessa.”
“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 X-Play 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 response to this rant, Herter, who according to his LinkedIn oversees “the Brand division of G4, which houses the Marketing, PR, Social Community, and Branded Content teams,” tweeted, “Grateful to spend my life with a woman who smashed glass ceilings, honored to work with the women of G4 TV’s past and humans like Frosk today, proud to work at a place that makes stuff like this.”
He then added, “If you don’t HEAR the below unfollow me and don’t watch us. We’re not for you.”
Comments like this from Herter shouldn’t be unexpected given Herter described President Donald Trump rallies as “Nazi rallies” back in November 2019.
He wrote on Twitter, “The World Series. #UFC244. Public appearances outside of your own carefully Nazi rallies are bigly hard, yeah, Donald Trump?”
Comments like this usually end in disaster. Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick infamously said “If you don’t like my politics, don’t buy my book” in an interview in October 2017.
She would add, “I’m going to make the book that I’m going to make and if you don’t want to read them; don’t read them.”
Two years later, DeConnick was lamenting the state of the comic book industry saying, “Boy, that’s hard because from our perspective the industry has contracted and we’re very worried about comics right now. So, it’s always interesting to me that the outside perspective is always, ‘Comics are booming.'”
Later in the interview she would add, “I think I tend to be pretty optimistic, but in this one I’m worried. I’m straight worried. Because stores are closing at a phenomenal rate. Independent comic sales are down. Mainstream comic sales are down except the top three or five books are up. Everything in the mid list is way down.”
“Numbers that used to be numbers that would get you cancelled are now like, ‘No, that’s a hit.’ Independent books making back the cost of doing floppies is– like names that should be able to do it no sweat are going into the red on singles and not coming out until the trades. And it worries me,” she elaborated.
Electronic Arts (EA) did the same thing in regards to Battlefield V when their then Chief Creative Officer Patrick Soderlund told fans not to buy the game.
He stated, “And we don’t take any flak. We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or. It’s just not ok.”
Soderlund then insulted gamers describing them “as uneducated.” He said, “These are people who are uneducated—they don’t understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen: this is a game. And today gaming is gender-diverse, like it hasn’t been before. There are a lot of female people who want to play, and male players who want to play as a badass [woman].”
EA CEO Andrew Wilson would admit during the company’s 2019 Q3 financial call that the game’s sales were poor, “If I think about ‘Battlefield 5’ more holistically, I think we did not do a great job of building momentum early in the project. And I think about this not just in the context of development but I think about this in the context about broader execution against the entire campaign. Our launch didn’t resonate strongly as we would have liked it to with players and we were never truly able to catch-up and as our competitors continued to build momentum whether that was ‘Fortnite’ or ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ or ‘Call of Duty.”
“A combination of a poor start in our marketing campaign together with what I think was a longer development cycle that put us into a more competitive window and the amplification that competitive window against some of those underperformance factors is how we resulted in ‘Battlefield,'” he added.
This trend appears to be continuing with G4 as Social Blade notes their YouTube channel has lost over 7,000 subscribers since Frosk’s rant and G4 TV’s doubling down on it.
What do you make of Herter’s comments?