There's an old adage that says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Not everyone takes that to heart.
Early this weekend, Ryan Perez –a blogger who was a contributor to gaming hub Destructoid - decided to pick a bone with geek culture icon Felicia Day via Twitter. He questioned whether or not Day made any contribution to the gaming industry other than cultivating a geeky persona. He suggested she was a glorified "booth babe."
That was a mistake.
Aside from being a successful web content producer, a Forbes-recognized entrepreneur (they called her a mogul in the making) and an actress with a resume steeped in Joss Whedon productions, Day has some pretty influential buddies. Gaming podcaster Veronica Belmont saw Perez's tweet and quickly came to her friend's defense. Nerd celebrity, Day's costar on "The Guild" and "Eureka" and Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton also weighed in. The Twitterverse got fairly heated in response to Perez's posts.
Within a few hours of his tweets, Destructoid publicly cut ties with Perez. Perez apologized to Day, who accepted.
But that's hardly settled anything. Clearly, this young journalist's callous online spouting hit some nerves, especially in a time when there is great gender inequity in gaming relations. The loudest outcry from those following the dramatic exchange regarded Perez's attitude toward women. As someone who had "I love the smell of busty women" in his twitter bio at one point - he's updated it since the Tweetsplosion - Perez's motive for the tirade against Day earned questions of misogyny.
Others wondered why Perez should be fired for expressing his views on his personal Twitter account and where the line should be drawn between a media company protecting its reputation and an individual's right to say whatever they want on their own time and in their own space.
By most accounts, Perez conducted his tweets in a less-than-gentlemanly manner. He defended his comments by explaining he was drunk at the time. His jabs were a rare attack on a woman who has earned accolades from the millions of people who watch "The Guild" and "Geek & Sundry."
What we're left wondering is this: do Perez's tweets indicate that today's male nerd can't treat women as people? Will the boy's club of the gaming landscape ever not grumble when a girl takes the controller?
And also, has Felicia Day become so powerful that no one should dare question her relevance? Destructoid certainly wasn't willing to take that risk. And yet, they gave their platform to Perez in the first place.
What do you think? Give us your take in the comments below.
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