Instead of standing by an employee dealing with death threats since she was hired, Xbox Brazil has fired a host because she received too much harassment.
Isadora Basile, who was hired only in September, tweeted on Oct. 16, “I’m no longer an Xbox Brasil host.”
“At the beginning of September, when I announced my new job at Xbox Brasil, I suffered harassment of all kinds, from people saying that I didn’t play x or y and that I wasn’t ‘worthy’ of my job, to rape/death threats and aggression for exposing tense situations,” writes Basile. “Thanks to the help of my family, boyfriend and friends, I learned well on how to deal with this, but it didn’t mean that it was not happening anymore. And thanks to all these harassments, Microsoft decided that it was for the best to sever ties with me as a host so I wouldn’t be more exposed to situations like these that happened.”
She ends the note with, “I respect the decision made by Microsoft. My love for them will be the same as always. Thank you.”
In an interview with Brazillian games publication The Enemy, Basile says Xbox Brazil, “always talked with me to help with the situation and remain calm.” While she feels she “toughened up from reading some stuff, especially on Twitter,” she would send the worst threats to Xbox Brazil. She says her firing occurred because of “guidance from the global Xbox team,” which felt anyone facing so much harassment shouldn’t be the face of the brand in Brazil.
“It’s a feeling of impotency, right? I opened to the brand with my heart, did more than necessary and I loved my job,” says Basile. “I lost my job because people don’t know how to respect each other.”
Three hours after her tweet, Xbox Brazil addressed the situation with a non-answer on Twitter.
“We did some changes in our strategy regarding content that came originally from Brazil, resulting in fewer channels (of communication),” reads the image attached to the tweet. “We thank Isadora Basile and the talented agency crew for their creativity and contribution to Xbox News. The Xbox Wire portal will be our only news channel from now on. The XboxBR channel will continue to experiment with new ways to entertain Brazilian gamers.”
(Thank you to Twitter user marossi_lucas, who is ResetEra user Haee, for all the translations.)
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It isn’t the first major controversy Xbox Brazil has had in the last few months.
Back in June, Xbox Brazil received plenty of backlash for having had a working relationship with Xbox Mil Grau, a YouTube channel for Xbox fans with an extensive history of spewing racism, sexism, transphobia, and general bigotry, as well as harassing minorities within the gaming industry, for several years. The channel focused on putting out content like this abhorrent collection of clips. (Trigger warning for major racism, antisemitism, transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny).
Despite years of Brazillian gamers speaking out about the channel, it took Xbox Brazil until June 3 of this year — right after the Black Lives Matter movement received global momentum after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — to publicly condemn it on social media.
“The content of the Mil Grau account does not reflect our fundamental values of respect, diversity and inclusion. We already demand the immediate removal of our brand from your channels, through social media companies,” reads the tweet.
One has to wonder why those “fundamental values of respect, diversity and inclusion” don’t seem to have been extended to Basile. Various women working at Microsoft expressed to Vox in 2019 that the company has a major sexism problem. Many of them conveyed the same to The Seattle Times back in 2018, citing a failure on Microsoft’s behalf to effectively protect them from harassment and discrimination.
By firing Basile, Xbox Brazil has appealed to the worst kind of crowd in the gaming community. After several months during which the company could have publicly supported her, it ultimately decided to fire her and blame her for the harassment she received.