Petition Calling for Bioware to Publicly Support Jennifer Hepler

As Alex mentioned yesterday, over the last week or so BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler has been subject to some pretty vile abuse based on her weight, gender, and for her feelings about promoting inclusivity for women and gay characters (and players) in the gaming industry.

As a fat, female gamer (not to mention one who gets a lot of flack for playing games on ‘Easy’ so I can just enjoy the stories), I can honestly say that I haven’t dared to look at any of the comments that were made about her. In short, I’m not sure I could cope with how angry, impotent and upset it would make me feel. I genuinely cannot imagine what it must be like to have torrents of that kind of abuse targeted directly at you. And so instead I started thinking about what I could do to show her that she is not alone, and that she doesn’t have to feel as though the whole world thinks that she should kill herself just for being who she is, and for standing up for what she believes in.

I didn’t know much about Hepler before I got up this morning and saw Alex’s article, but from what I’ve read since, it look as though she’s had a hand some of the things about the Dragon Age games that genuinely gives me back a little bit of my faith in humanity.

Although I’ve written before about how BioWare can make mistakes, I still pretty much consider them to be ‘one of the good guys’. So, I figured I would start a petition calling on them to release a public statement supporting Jennifer, and condemning the putrid, disgusting sexism and homophobia that’s been directed at her by some of their so-called ‘fans’.

I’d ask you all to consider signing it, and passing it on through places Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. If enough of their consumer base starts shouting about it, hopefully BioWare will start thinking seriously about taking a public stand against this kind of prejudice and discrimination.

Sign the Petition

About Allegra

Allegra Hawksmoor is a white, (broadly) cis-gendered, polysexual and polyamorous writer, anarchist and activist. For the past ten years, she has lived in North Wales with her partner, who suffers from clinical depression. She is a fiction editor for SteamPunk Magazine, edits and manages small-press printers Vagrants Among Ruins, occasionally maintains a blog, and generally has her fingers in more pies than she has time for.
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26 Responses to Petition Calling for Bioware to Publicly Support Jennifer Hepler

  1. Llamaentity says:

    Thanks for getting this setup. Signed!

  2. Just finished drafting an article about all of this, including links to the Borderhouse piece.

    VERY much behind this and signed.

    Thank you for getting this organised.

  3. Corbiu Geisha says:

    Signed.

  4. Zaewen says:

    Signed and tweeted! Thanks for starting the petition.

  5. Matt Warren says:

    Some words: Facepalm. Rage. Signed the petition. Feel empathy for those who fall under the crosshairs of online sociopaths.

  6. satan says:

    Signed, people should criticize her for being a bad writer, not a woman.

  7. Brooke says:

    SIGNED! Will be distributing this everywhere that I post. :)

  8. GLaDOS says:

    Signed. Thank you for putting it together :)

  9. Allegra says:

    Thanks, folks! You rock!

  10. Austin says:

    Signed. I hope it exceeds 1,000 in a matter of hours

  11. Matthew says:

    Fantastic cause! Signed and promoted. :)

  12. cypheroftyr says:

    Signed, tweeted and tumblr’d!

  13. Brooke says:

    I just got an email from BioWare’s Chris Priestly with this link attached:

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/260/index/9381043/1#9381043

  14. Denis Farr says:

    BioWare has made an official declaration of their support for Hepler (and I saw it via Twitter, from numerous employees and their official feed): http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/260/index/9381043/1#9381043

  15. SleekitSicarian says:

    I’m happy to see that Bioware has, actually, made a statement, as linked to from their twitter. I apologize for the long link but I’m leery of messing up with my html :C

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/260/index/9381043#9381043

  16. Pingback: Update: Still disgusted. [ 6D ]

  17. Allegra says:

    Oh, but that’s excellent news! Honestly, BioWare have yet again filled me with a warm joy at being alive. We had a really fantastic response, and I’m so happy to see BioWare taking a stand on the issue.

    In fact, going further than that and donating $1000 to Bullying Canada on Jennifer Hepler’s behalf.

    A bajillion thanks to everyone that signed and helped promote the petition. If you folks think it’s a good idea, then I’ll write a quick update for the blog tomorrow putting the matter to bed.

    Hopefully these assholes will think twice in future, when the company that they’re so invested in takes such a strong stand on the matter!

    • Korva says:

      I hope so, too. I was very glad to read this statement just now and added a comment stating as much — I’d just recommend against actually reading the thread because many replies there are just more hate and denial.

      • Allegra says:

        Urgh, yeah I’ll second the warnings about the comments under the statement. I got a little carried away in my glowing faith in other human beings and kept reading.

        That was my first and last mistake. I’m now thoroughly back on the path to cynical rage. I guess that’ll teach me!

        • Alex says:

          Aw, that’s a shame, I started reading the thread and the first few comments are very nice. Guess I stopped before they got bad =(

          • GLaDOS says:

            Same here! I was actually impressed at how supportive the comments on the first page were. I won’t be going back into the thread. I don’t think I have the patience for it right now :(

            • Allegra says:

              Yeah… Stick to the comments on the first page. There are obviously some awesome people on the BioWare forums.

              …There just also happen to be your standard percentage of privileged asshats, too!

  18. Samia says:

    Very cool, thanks for this!

  19. chris w says:

    Signed :)

  20. Adam says:

    Alegra thank you for starting this petition for being amazing!!! I LOVE playing games on easy to get to the story =) thanks for this!!!

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