Genshin Impact voice actor Elliot Gindi, who provides the English voice of Tighnari in the game, has admitted to and apologized for sexual misconduct involving fans, although he denies preying on underage members of the community.
The allegations first came to light in a multi-page Google doc posted earlier this week, which was then shared on Twitter by FretCore, a former moderator of Gindi's Discord, who accused Gindi of being a "groomer" who "has sexual relations with teen fans," and who commits "emotional blackmail" and threatens suicide in order to pressure people to get what he wants. The document contains multiple screenshots of sometimes explicit messages involving Gindi and users of his Discord, as well as interactions with Discord moderators.
The document was backed up by another former Discord moderator, phiotan, who posted separate direct messages in which Gindi said he'd had "personal relationships with three of the girls in the server." He also said that one of them was "bipolar or something" and claimed she was only 17 years old, although she later apologized and "was always 18."
Some time later, Gindi went public with a lengthy statement on Twitlonger, in which he said he never intended to cause any harm and "thought everything was consensual and safe." He also acknowledged that the content of the Google document are legitimate.
"What is true: All of the screenshots of the chat logs," Gindi wrote. "Yes, all of the cringy sex talk. Yes, I did threaten suicide if it got out. I didn't think through the severity of that. I'm sorry."
He denied "knowingly" having sexual interactions with any underage fans, however, or that he was "'waiting' for someone 15 to turn 18." He also said he did not engage in inappropriate behavior with anyone other than the three he admitted to in his conversation with phiotan.
"I understand what I did was wrong and inappropriate, and to the best of my ability tried to confess as much to those I contacted," Gindi wrote. "I reacted inappropriately to situations where I felt desired, and caused harm to so many people in the process. I understand that my actions have consequences, and am committing myself to accepting my responsibility while making the effort to get—and do—better."
Gindi's apology did not wash with other Genshin Impact voice actors. Brianne Knickerbocker, the English voice of Hu Tao, tweeted that she is "furious" and that "there needs to be consequences for his actions," while Jackie Lastra, who voices Xiangling, said she is "appalled at everything that’s come to light." Jean Gunnhildr actor Stephanie Southerland said she was "disgusted and upset to say the least." Numerous others have shared similar sentiments.
"Disappointed and angry," Zach Aguilar, who voices male player character Aether, said on Twitter. "I have removed the stream with Elliot and will no longer be associating with him. I refuse to give someone like this a platform in any way. To use your power this way over fans is disgusting and shameful. My heart goes out for the victims of this situation."
"My heart goes out to all the victims affected by the situation with Elliot," Xiao actor Laila Berzins tweeted. "Taking advantage of fans or ANYONE like this is atrocious and disgusting. Sending love and support to all affected."
Unsurprisingly, there are many calls for Gindi to be removed from the role, and it sounds likely that he will be.
"We deeply regret the harm and damage that happened to our fans, gamers, community and anyone affected," Genshin Impact developer HoYoVerse said in a statement sent to GamesRadar. "Both our internal teams and external partners including our voice acting studio have been working together on an urgent solution. And we will keep you posted on the progress."
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.