This weekend’s RuneFest made a lot of news, but not all of it was good. One of the more disturbing stories coming from the event was the allegations that streamer Ali “Gross Gore” Larson at locations outside the convention proper over the weekend. As Polygon reports, Larson “attempted to kiss [a woman] against her will” and, several times throughout the convention, commented to women about their breasts.
Larson’s actions were corroborated by another streamer, Skiddler, who got into a physical altercation after Larson repeatedly made comments about a friend’s breasts. According to Skiddler (full account on Twitter), he later tried to talk to Larson in a calm manner and, when Larson got physical with a friend of Skiddler’s, he intervened. That culminated in Skiddler’s being attacked from behind and “thrown into the side of a moving car” and “being held down” by Larson’s friends while being kicked repeatedly.
Larson attempted to apologize for the incident, but in doing so compared women to cars — “But people have to understand that if you’re going to wear something so revealing, people will comment on it. That’s life. If I drove around in a Ferrari, then people would comment on the Ferrari.” — which served only to further infuriate people.
While Larson’s activities didn’t occur at the site of the convention, Jagex still felt the need to take a stand against his behavior. In a statement issued today, the RuneScape developer had this to say:
With almost 2,000 people attending RuneFest this year, we thank everyone for making it a very special event in the RuneScape calendar. However, after RuneFest had finished, we were made aware of allegations concerning a small number of content creators.
While the alleged incidents did not take place at the RuneFest venue or within its opening hours, the safety and wellbeing of those in and around our events is of paramount importance to us.
Having reviewed the allegations we have found that the content creators concerned did breach our code of conduct. We do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behaviour in any way and, while we had a limited working relationship with some of the individuals, we will not be working with them, or allowing them to attend future Jagex events, going forward.
As we look towards 2019, we will strive to keep future RuneFests, and all Jagex events, safe spaces where attendees can continue to enjoy the inclusiveness and positivity that comes from being part of the RuneScape community.