Crystal Dynamics says Marvel's Avengers design lead Brian Waggoner "will no longer be a studio spokesperson" or speak publicly about its projects after offensive tweets he'd previously posted were brought to light by the community.
Posted over a period of years stretching at least as far back as 2011, the tweets in question were variously racist, ableist, and homophobic: Not egregiously hateful, but plentiful, and most of them reflecting basic right-wing talking points like black-on-black crime (opens in new tab) or US President Barack Obama's citizenship (opens in new tab). Most of the tweets have since been deleted, but in a 2020 tweet that's still posted Waggoner described himself as a "Trump voter (opens in new tab)."
Waggoner apologized for the tweets after they surfaced, and said he takes "full accountability for the hurt they caused to my followers, the community, and those I work with."
"Since that time, I have learned and grown and the content I posted doesn't reflect who I am today," Waggoner tweeted on November 21. "I understand if you cannot accept my apology because of the pain I have caused. I will continue to listen, learn, and work to improve myself."
Waggoner joined Crystal Dynamics in April 2021 to help turn around Marvel's Avengers, which has floundered since its 2020 release. Since then, he's become the game's best-known public representative, in part thanks to a moment of incredible awkwardness (and comedy) when a plan to add She-Hulk to the game was leaked during a livestream that Waggoner was taking part in. Just a few minutes after Waggoner posted his apology, however, Crystal Dynamics said he will no longer be taking that role.
"It's incredibly disappointing to see language and views from employees that don't align with our studio values," Crystal Dynamics tweeted. "We apologize to our community and coworkers who are rightfully upset by the content. Brian will no longer be a studio spokesperson or communicating about studio projects."(opens in new tab)
Though the studio's message above states that Waggoner is no longer a studio spokesperson, Crystal Dynamics left it unclear whether he was still working at the developer. I've reached out to the studio for clarification and will update if I receive a reply.