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Turtle Rock Community Manager Understandably Fired for Donald Sterling Tweets

Posted on Friday, May 2 @ 11:31:51 PST by


Josh Olin, Community Manager for Turtle Rock Studios which is currently developing its debut title Evolve, was promptly fired after making several controversial Tweets about the Donald Sterling debacle.

The owner of the NBA Clippers made more than several bigoted statements, as recorded by his ex-girlfriend in his home, where he accused her for associating with black people in public and posting Instagram photos with black people and Magic Johnson specifically, when she's black and Mexican herself. In response to these comments being made public, the NBA has fined Donald Sterling and has effectively placed a lifetime ban on him from the NBA and its proceedings.​

This also isn't the first time Donald Sterling has been in hot water for racial discrimation. In a property lawsuit in 2009, according to sworn testimony by one of his former employees named Davenport, Sterling said the following: "Is she one of the black people that stink?... Just evict the bitch."

Olin posted several statements on Twitter, one self-described as an unpopular opinion on the situation:

Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim.

The man was illegally wire tapped by an emotionally manipulative love interest.

And has a right to believe what he wants, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else.

Since then, he's been promptly fired from his position as community manager, with Turtle Rock Studios tweeting this two-part statement:

The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio. 

We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views.

Olin responded in turn with several Tweets of his own:

The irony of my Donald Sterling tweet(s) was I was raising an issue with sensational media. Expressly not defending his remarks or actions.

I'll remind you, my remarks were in condemnation of sensational media, and support of one's privacy. Not in support of Sterling's actions.

Final thoughts: I believe in racial equality & do not endorse bigotry in any way. I also believe in free speech and decry sensational media.

As a final response, Olin provided a statement to Game Informer, defending his position while supporting Evolve anyway:

Anyone who follows me knows my tweets were not in support of Sterling’s actions. Rather, they were promoting three core tenets I believe in: 1) The harm sensational media presents to society. 2) The importance and sanctity of your privacy within your own home. And 3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. That last point not to be confused with condoning Sterling’s actions, which I don’t.

That said, it’s disappointing to see that a select few in Turtle Rock and 2K Games management bought into this hysteria without even having a conversation with me – or even thoroughly reviewing the context of the tweets themselves. Ironically, it serves as a great example of why I hold tenet #1 above so close to heart. That said, everyone should totally still buy Evolve. The guys and gals making that game know their ***, and are making it good.

Between free speech and privacy, this entire debacle can go sideways extremely fast. Both Olin and Sterling have the right to say want they want; at the same time, they both must accept the consequences and the reactions to what they say. Free speech does not grant immunity.

If Sterling holds these views against "black people" when he owns a basketball team comprised mainly of those same people, then he's obviously in the wrong place. If 2K and Turtle Rock Studios do not wish Olin to be community manager, which is primarily a position about public relations in the first place, then that's their right as well, especially if they believe that Olin's views would damage sales and their reputation in the public eye.

That said, there is a line between someone's public and private life that should be respected. The question is to what extent, and that's a debate which has gone on and will continue to go on in America for years to come, as technology and social media straddle that line even further.
Related Games:   Evolve
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