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Brown, Black and White: differing media treatment of Domestic Abusers

Brown, Black and White: differing media treatment of Domestic Abusers »

Since the domestic assault in 2009, Chris Brown has garnered much media scrutiny related to his every action. The media’s discussion about Brown has continually focused on publicly condemning him and creating a “culturally resonant villain” in the fight against domestic abuse. Many will disagree, but Brown’s case must be analyzed through a racial lens. - Read more...

Act Two of the Unpaid Internship Saga: Human Rights Protections

Act Two of the Unpaid Internship Saga: Human Rights Protections »

For the last year, the spotlight has been on Hollywood’s unpaid interns demanding payment for their work. Although the issue has existed for years, a lawsuit brought by a pair of unpaid interns against Fox Searchlight sparked subsequent lawsuits against industry giants like NBCUniversal, Marvel, and Warner Music Group. This explosion of lawsuits has set the stage for public inquiry into why unpaid interns are denied so many legal protections, including legal recourse for sexual harassment. The case of Lihuan Wang has provided a close-up of this issue, inspiring recent changes in legislation that will hopefully edit sexual harassment from the script of Hollywood internships. - Read more...

Game Critics and Commercial Bribery: the Original #gamergate Controversy

Game Critics and Commercial Bribery: the Original #gamergate Controversy »

Griggs, Behind the Furor Over #Gamergate, CNN.com, , Oct. 19, 2014). The controversy and the hastag #gamergate started when game designer Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend posted an article accusing her of sleeping with a Kotaku.com journalist for positive reviews. This was quickly picked up by many gamers who felt gaming critics lacked integrity either being bought off by publishers or simply rating games based off their own preferences. However, like many things on the internet, it wasn’t long before the movement was overtaken by trolls lashing out at women in the gaming industry in general. Specifically, they targeted women, like Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke out against the current default portrayal of women in videogames as stereotypes. The attacks have included everything from defamation to death threats. Brianna Wu, a female game developer, was forced to leave her home after receiving death threats that included her home address. (Beth Teitell & Callum Borchers, GamerGate anger at women all too real for gamemaker, BostonGlobe.com, Nov. 1, 2014). The Gamergate controversy has become synonymous with arguments about women’s place in videogames. - Read more...

A Potential Contract Sweetener: Rewarding Good Behavior

A Potential Contract Sweetener: Rewarding Good Behavior »

The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones breathed a collective sigh of relief this past week when a state judge ruled that a lawsuit brought against Jones by Jana Weckerly, a former stripper, was barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Weckerly brought the suit against Jones in September, alleging that Jones had sexually assaulted her in 2009 and seeking over $1M in damages. She later made an amendment claiming that Jones and his attorneys had paid her over the past four years for her to keep her silence. In addition to arguing that the statute of limitations barred the suit, counsel for Jones and the Cowboys denied Ms. Weckerly’s allegations and described the suit as an attempt to extort Jones. Counsel also moved for sanctions against Ms. Weckerly for filing what they described as a “frivolous pleading for the purpose of harassment.” Sexual misconduct charges are not uncommon in professional sports. The dismissal of the Jerry Jones lawsuit conjures memories of similar suits against Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, and more recently, Colin Kaepernick. Charges against Bryant, Roethlisberger, and Kaepernick were ultimately dropped, but the accusations left dark shadows on otherwise illustrious careers. - Read more...

Feminism, the First Amendment, and #Gamergate

Feminism, the First Amendment, and #Gamergate »

This past August, the Internet erupted when Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic, was threatened with mutilation, rape, and other physical harm in response to her video web series criticizing the sexist implications of the way in which women are portrayed in video games. See Julie Bort, After Exposing Sexism in the Video Game Industry, This Woman Received Rape Threats on Twitter, Businessinsider.com, Aug. 27, 2014. Similarly, in 2013 Carolyn Petit, a video game reviewer for GameSpot, came under attack after giving Grand Theft Auto V a "superb" score of 9/10. Despite the high score, Petit wrote, “GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humorless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.” Carolyn Petit, Grand Theft Auto V Review, Gamespot.com, Sept. 17, 2013. Gamers circulated a petition asking for her to be fired for her criticism. Sadly, it is not uncommon for critics to be attacked in real life in response to criticizing women’s portrayals in video games and suggesting those portrayals may have a negative effect on male game players. - Read more...