Apex Legends chief designer fired by Respawn. The Internet never forgets. Apex Legends’ head designer Daniel Z. Klein noticed that now, too. He was fired from Respawn last week after racist and sexist comments he made (some years ago, some new) suddenly surfaced.
Apparently, Communications Associate Mattias Lehmann was also fired, though many facts about him are still unclear. But what we do know is that both were very active on social media and often expressed their opinions about League of Legends publicly. Apparently they were both fired because they violated Respawn’s social media rules.
What did he do wrong?
But what exactly is this all about? It recently came to light that Daniel Klein wrote a blog in 2007. That itsself is nothing special, but unfortunately, the then 27-year-old posted some
comments, which can definitely be described as controversial. Also, Klein had been constantly arguing on social media with angry fans. At one point, he started a heated debate about a seminar just for women and non-binary people that was about to be organised by the company he worked for at that time.
It comes as no surprise, that he triggered fierce reactions with his comments. The ex-Respawn employee has since published a Twitter post where he addresses the situation quite emotionally and he says about himself that he is “heartbroken and depressed”. he also went on to call himself a “Shithead.” “I said racist and sexist things not because I strongly believed in them, but because I knew I could make people react. That doesn’t justify anything I said. The effect of my words was the same no matter what I believed. I agree wholeheartedly that THIS guy should be fired.”
I said racist and sexist things, not because I deeply believed any of them, but because I knew I could get a reaction out of people. That does not excuse anything I said; the impact of my words was the same regardless of what I believed.
— Daniel Zenon Klein (@danielzklein) August 10, 2021
In his opinion, Electronic Arts and Respawn made the right decision and there is nothing to blame them for. The former designer apologized to his colleagues and added that he will look for a new employer as soon as possible. However, whether that will happen so quickly after the scandal remains questionable. Daniel Klein previously worked for Riot Games. There, too, he was apparently “let go.”
Ultimately, the circumstances of his departure remain mysterious. What is known, however, is that he left the company after heated arguments with Twitter fans during the Riot PAX panel. He then joined Respawn in January 2020. In November, he took on the role of chief designer. But Klein also caused controversy at Respawn. Even more recently, he publicly argued with players about game balance issues .
With so much controversy, Respawn’s decision to distance itself from such incidents is somewhat understandable. Respawn has yet to comment on the matter.