Who’s Sorry This Week? RuPaul, a professional gamer and other public apologies
Another week, another deluge of apologies.
In “Who’s Sorry This Week?” Mic tracks down the most prominent mea culpas from celebrities, companies and other public entities trying to make amends for their public screwups.
This week had no shortage of apologies, so let’s get right to it.
RuPaul is sorry for saying a post-op trans woman wouldn’t be welcome on RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul Charles, drag legend and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, set the internet aflame on Saturday, when the Guardian released an interview in which RuPaul said a trans woman who had medically altered her body — through taking hormones or having breast implants, for example — would “probably not” be eligible to compete on Drag Race.
Despite vehemently defending his use of the slur “tranny” in the past, RuPaul’s comments made him appear willfully ignorant of the rich history of trans women in drag. The term “drag” does not simply describe the act of a cisgender man dressing as a woman. It is a more all-encompassing term that describes a performance in which playing with, heightening or critiquing the constructs of gender are central elements.
Transgender women have been a part of the drag world for as long as drag has existed. Many trans women, including Peppermint, Monica Beverly Hillz and Carmen Carrera, have already appeared on previous seasons of Drag Race. Critics (including myself) noted there was hypocrisy in suggesting prosthetic enhancements for a cisgender male — like season nine’s Trinity Taylor, who has been open about having botox injections and enhancements to her buttocks — were permissible, yet prosthetics in a trans woman were not.
Despite overwhelming criticism of Ru’s comments, he doubled down in a tweet posted Monday, implying that a trans woman who had surgeries or who was taking hormones was akin to an athlete taking performance-enhancing drugs.
That, of course, only made the backlash worse, and Ru eventually tweeted an apology later that evening.
Overwatch pro Timo “Taimou” Kettunen is sorry for calling another player a “fucking faggot kid”
Sunday, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, a professional gamer who plays Blizzard’s competitive multiplayer shooter Overwatch for the Dallas Fuel, came under fire for calling another player a “fucking faggot kid” in a livestreamed Twitch broadcast in January.
On Thursday, Taimou posted an apology online.
“I am sorry to the fans and supporters I let down and offended recently,” Taimou said. “I listen and read all the comments and I am utmost disappointed in myself that I said those things and all I can do is apologize and move forward. My goal has always been to be the best Overwatch player I can to help my team, and I will only get better as a player and a public figure. Thank you to the fans, you all truly make us better.”
Unfortunately, this is the second recent example of a Dallas Fuel player wielding anti-gay slurs. In January, Taimou’s teammate, Félix “xQc” Lengyel, was widely criticized for telling Austin “Muma” Wilmot — another Overwatch pro who is out as gay — to “suck a fat cock,” according to Kotaku. xQc later apologized on Twitter.
Harassment and bigotry, especially over voice chat, continue to be problems that pervade gaming culture at large.
Oxford University is sorry for making a woman clean up a “Happy International Women’s Day” message on International Women’s Day
Thursday was International Women’s Day, but Oxford University didn’t seem too keen on observing it, according to CNBC. Sophie Smith, whose Twitter identifies her as an associate professor at Oxford, posted the following tweet in which a woman appears to be scrubbing away a chalk message that said “Happy International Women’s Day.”
In the background, a group of men are standing around and chatting.
Oxford soon tweeted an apology back at Smith for the “offense caused.” Smith thanked Oxford for the apology, but also asked that the woman in the picture “receives a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.” Oxford did not respond.