Riot Games Executive Resigns After Sharing Controversial George Floyd Image [UPDATE]
The Santa Monica-based studio found itself in hot water again--here's the latest.
A senior executive at Riot Games has been put on leave after sharing an image on Facebook that downplayed the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Riot Games is launching an internal investigation into the incident, although the company declined to share any further information about what that means. [Update: Ron Johnson has now resigned from Riot Games]
Vice Games originally found the post that Ron Johnson, global head of consumer products at Riot Games, shared on Facebook. The image is titled "The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr, but who was he really?" and includes details about Floyd's criminal record.
"This is no reason to condone his killing by the officer at all, which still needs to be investigated as a potential crime," Johnson wrote on Facebook. "It is a learning opportunity to teach that this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you."
The Valorant and League of Legends developer called the image that was shared "abhorrent, against our values, and directly counter to our belief that addressing systemic racism requires immediate societal change" in a response to Vice Games. The company also mentioned the monetary donations and scholarship funding it announced last week in the wake of widespread protests in response to Floyd's killing.
"The murder of yet another unarmed black man has ignited a national outcry for justice, not only for George Floyd, but countless others in the black community who are dying at the hands of a system that they are supposed to be able to trust," said Riot Games President Dylan Jadeja in that June 5 statement.
Johnson, who only started at Riot Games in December according to his LinkedIn page, joined the company after a controversial couple of years for the studio. The company was accused of having an intense culture of sexism in a Kotaku expose in 2018 and eventually had to pay $10 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit.
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