IGN fires editor-in-chief Steve Butts, citing 'alleged misconduct'
Amid ongoing concerns regarding workplace discrimination and sexual harassment targeting women in the gaming industry, IGN has fired its editor-in-chief after an investigation into "alleged misconduct" in the workplace, Kotaku reports.
The firing comes several months after GameSpot Associate Editor Kallie Plagge alleged IGN editor Vince Ingenito sexually harassed her and another woman while working at the company. Plagge said Ingenito would make manipulative, abusive, and sexual comments toward her, and that HR did little to protect her from his behavior. She also said that her boss told her not to be "uptight" about the harassment that she experienced, and that he wanted the "unpleasantness to be over." Plagge confirmed with Kotaku that her boss was Butts.
After Plagge accused Ingenito of harassment, IGN's editorial staff held meetings, with one unnamed employee claiming Butts had sexually harassed her. That led to an internal investigation from IGN, which culminated in Butts' firing today.
"IGN initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Steve Butts," IGN's general manager, Mitch Galbraith, said to Kotaku in an official statement. "As a result of the investigation, the Company has appropriately determined to part ways with Mr. Butts."
Sexual misconduct certainly remains prevalent in gaming. Last fall, gaming forum NeoGAF's owner Tyler Malka was accused of sexual harassment, prompting users to flee to a new forum called ResetEra. As larger conversations continue on sexual misconduct in the workplace, gaming will have its own issues to work through in 2018.