During the AT broadcast on the 20th, CCP played an excerpt from a third party pod-cast on the Alliance Tournament twitch.tv stream. The pod-cast included an excerpt from a song whose lyrics and song title are simultaneously misogynistic and racist in tone. I'm not familiar with the song and I'm not going to pretend I am, but it was in retrospect a wince-inducing moment. Was CCP directly responsible for the song? No! But they erred in not fully researching something that they broadcast to thousands of EVE players and potential EVE players before broadcasting it. You'll notice some AT ads (including Rote Kapelle's) include the titles and locations of their source music for this reason. It's partially a "fair use" copyright concern, partially a concern about hidden messages in that music.
Arydanika, a noted pod-caster (Voices from the Void) and EVE personality -- who was already upset by two previous concerns with CCP, and we'll get to those in a moment -- took offense to the song being played on the AT11 stream. "Dani", as she is known, is both a woman and black. While she seems to acknowledge that the song was not played deliberately by CCP, she felt it was the "last straw" driving her away from the community.
Now I've crossed paths with Dani a number of times during her time in New Eden. I'm pretty sure I first encountered her in the incursion community two years ago (though she wouldn't have known who I was, since I kept my identity in incursion fleets a secret). And over the last year, I've made a concerted effort to listen to more pod-casts, including Voices. However, my first opportunity to work with her directly was as a Syndicate Competitive League commentator a few months ago. In that, I found her an absolutely fantastic resource to the EVE community: professional, charming, quick-witted, and funny. During SCL, she was an absolute sweetheart and a joy to work with. She's done a tremendous amount of work to benefit the community, including one resource I take advantage of myself on a daily basis, a Skype channel used by EVE pod-casters and visitors like myself. You'll gather I'm a huge fan of Dani's.
Arthur: God uses people like you, Lancelot. Because your heart is open. You hold nothing back. You give all of yourself.But let me also be frank. Dani is my opposite in two respects. I am incredibly thick-skinned. Dani is... ummmm... not. And my favorite aphorism about competition is to beat your competition by being better. Dani's philosophy is... ummmm... different from that.
Lancelot: If you knew me better, you would not say such things.
Arthur: I take the good with the bad, together. I can't love people in slices.
I've encountered these aspects of her personality from time to time over the years as well. That Skype channel I mentioned? Its history is checkered to say the least. Dani's reaction to CCP Mintchip being hired has ridden "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" line pretty hard. And Dani generally responds very poorly to any perceived slights on her gender or race, which is kind of ironic considering that she's a former Goon (yes, I've gently teased her about this once). It's probably fair to say that when Dani's site wasn't picked up by CCP for the new year as a Community Fansite, she was kind of looking for the exit.
EDIT (24/Jul/2013): I've received a clarification from CCP that many -- perhaps most! -- of the EVE Community Fansites received e-mail notifications in error that they were being removed from the program, including Dani. Chalk it up to unfortunate timing.
Now like Arthur in First Knight, I'm realistic about people. I have my flaws -- more than the average person, I assure you -- and so does everyone... including all of my favorite people in EVE Online. Like Arthur, I can't love people in slices. I take the good with the bad, and as I said, I'm a big fan of Dani's... ultimately despite these aspects of her personality. We're all human. We have our good and bad points.
Anyway, when this last straw happened, Dani took the opportunity to shut down her EVE Online accounts and announce on Twitter that she was shutting down her pod-cast as well, a more or less classic rage-quit. OK, it's understandable, and we've all lost faith with EVE Online from time to time. If you haven't, you just haven't been playing this game long enough yet. And losing a voice in the community obviously hurts, and I mourn them every time this happens. But then the next day, Dani wrote a longer announcement of her departure on the blog associated with Voices. Go give it a read. I'll wait.
Um. Ouch! Yeah, that's pretty harsh.
Meanwhile, CCP employees that heard about Dani's departure were upset about it, and upset with the conditions that caused it. CCP Rise almost immediately sought Dani out and apologized to her, and now according to Dani's blog CCP Manifest has as well.(1) Manifest is pretty high up the food chain in CCP (he's ultimately in charge of both Public and Press Relations as well as social media), so him getting involved in this situation shows clearly that CCP was and is taking the issue seriously. But by that time, Dani had already ripped into Mintchip pretty hard. That caused Manifest to withdraw what was obviously an extended olive branch. It's a doubly sad situation because the proverbial straw here wasn't something CCP did on purpose.
And that's where we are today. Dani's official quit date is apparently August 7, and in the meantime, this situation is being discussed on the other pod-casts and on EVE Radio. So now you're caught up. Again, if I don't have my facts straight in some respect, someone please feel free to correct them in comments.
(1) Another person who I am a big fan of but who also has his faults, mostly the fact that he apparently can't resist trolling me... which given how gosh-darned earnest he looks in real life makes it hard to tell when he's trolling me... ;-)