Ian Miles Cheong busts Wizards of the Coast for trying to silence a whistleblower on Dangerous.
Magic: The Gathering is mired in a controversy surrounding allegations that some of its high-level tournament “judges” are pedophiles who were not given background checks by Wizards of the Coast, allowing them to mingle with children who play the game.
Jeremy Hambly, better known as the host of The Quartering and Unsleeved Media on YouTube outed several high-profile judges for their pasts, who are serving time for convictions on child pornography charges. Hambly is currently embroiled in what some refer to as the “next GamerGate” for taking the Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast and its surrounding entities to task for failing the gaming community…. Instead of refusing to publicly acknowledge Hambly’s investigations, the company chose instead to address it through one of its vice presidents on Twitter instead of releasing an official statement.
Elaine Chase, the VP of Global Brand Strategy & Marketing for Magic: The Gathering for the Hasbro-owned company, described the investigation as “misinformation circulated on social media regarding Wizards’ policies, event staffing, and Magic Judges.”
“Safety at Magic events is our top priority. We have a zero-tolerance policy for sex offenders. Our standard and long-standing practice is to suspend offenders from the DCI and/or remove stores from the WPN,” she wrote.
“Magic Judges, a fan-run community and separate from WotC, regularly posts anniversary blogs which sometimes include erroneous anniversaries for former judges not currently certified, either because of lapsing certification or active de-certification due to conduct,” she added. “Retailers and TOs are responsible for staffing events they run and are required to comply with all laws. We will continue to work with retailers and TOs to ensure safe and inclusive communities.”
Chase directed users who wished to report judge and retailer or player misconduct to official emails.
The company is now accused of being lax in its failure to conduct background checks on volunteer judges—even those in the United States—who participate in Wizards-sanctioned events.
Hambly, who outed the judges, tells DANGEROUS that he had his The Quartering channel flagged and removed by YouTube within 45 minutes of uploading a video condemning Chase’s statement and defending his investigation.