A number of panelists who took part in a community manager talk during EGX 2023 have been calling on event organizers to increase security at future panels after sexist and derogatory comments were allegedly shouted out while they were speaking.
The panel in question was called ‘What Does A Community Manager Really Do?’, and it took place on the first day of this year’s EGX in London’s ExCel center, on October 12. As TheGamer reports, one of the panelists was Raw Fury’s senior community manager, Gemma Garner, who after the panel, tweeted: “I hope the three middle-aged men who came to our talk at EGX just to make loud comments on whether or not we’re f***able and talk over us about woke culture have the worst weekend ever.
“Security were angels after the fact[,] I just wish they’d been there as it happened.”
Today (October 16), Garner tweeted more about the alleged incident, stating that the individuals had made homophobic and sexist comments, and had commented on the panelists’ clothing and “whether or not we’d expose ourselves”. She alleged, noting that EGX was apparently aware of how “violent” some comments had been: “It’s worth mentioning that following this incident, EGX have done nothing. There was no follow-up, no looking at CCTV, no concern except for an apology when our tweets blew up.”
Speaking to TRG via email, Garner tells us: “The incident wouldn’t have escalated had there been security assigned to the stage. This was almost entirely dealt with by event-goers, and eventually a handful of helpful security.
“It’s mind-blowing that the UK’s largest gaming event wouldn’t protect its speakers, particularly those that are more likely to receive harassment. Not only was nothing done in the moment, I’m disappointed to discover that nothing was done following to ensure that these three perpetrators were identified and banned from the event.”
Another of the panelists was Cassie Hughes, community manager of The Noir Network and the co-founder of Black Twitch UK, who in a video clip can be seen calling out individuals in the audience speaking over the panel. In a thread on Twitter, she alleged that one individual made threats of sexual assault and rape.
Just wanted to do a brief little (long) thread about this.I know in a situation like this everyone panics so to my panelists you did great, it was not expected and we all handled it as professionally as we could. In the video you only see part of what’s happened. They were https://t.co/cWwgzUupKP pic.twitter.com/8Bj5UsoCPsOctober 16, 2023
“I went to security for EGX and security for ExCel[,] neither knew what to do for safeguarding or who to report it to. I was so frustrated I just headed home. I ran into the guys who were making more threats and two other guys with them now and I just felt sick,” Hughes tweeted.
Speaking to TRG via email, Hughes said that at future events, she’d feel more safe if there was security for panels, as well as someone to manage the audience so that panelists like herself don’t need to intervene themselves.
“[EGX] were profusely apologetic and shocked this happened but the follow-up seems poor especially seeing the response time with Just Stop Oil,” she tells us, referencing the environmental activists who got escorted out of the venue and arrested after disrupting a Tekken 7 tournament. “I’m genuinely concerned that I will go to an event and come across these guys again and I won’t know half of the group.”
TRG has reached out to EGX for comment.