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Microsoft Sued Over Homophobia Claims [Resolved]

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According to a former employee of Lionhead Studios, being openly gay at a Microsoft-owned development studio can be just as bad as having an openly gay Xbox Live gamertag.

Gay video game designer Jamie Durrant is suing Microsoft for ?45,000 in 'hurt feelings' and lost pay, claiming discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Durrant claims that following Microsoft's buyout of Lionhead, where he has worked for the past 11 years, the atmosphere began to grow uneasy. Around January of last year, Jamie says he began receiving abusive emails with subjects that read "I'm Jim and I'm Gay" and "Me and my Favourite Men", and that he was given the nickname "*** Boy Jim".

Durrant's complaints to the human resources department resulted in nothing more than a promise to send round a memo on how to behave in a diverse workplace once the firm updated their official policies, which never happened. Durrant also claims he was offered counciling, to which his response was

"They're making out that I'm the one with the problem."

As of right now, Jamie has been off work for depression for seven months, and now he is seeking damages. If his claims are legitimate, I'd say he's aiming far too low money-wise, especially considering he's dealing with a company once lauded by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees.

Perhaps Lionhead simply didn't get the memo.

Source: http://kotaku.com/5182524/microsoft-sued-over-gay-bashing

Edited by Audioboxer

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If what he claims is true that is disgusting if someone sent memos/emails round ridiculing a black person in the office they would be instantly dismissed (please note im not trying to put sexual orientation and racial issues together im just sick of the double standards).

But this being Neowin i dont expect this thread will end well.

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Speaking of sensationalist headlines...

Not condoning what they said of course, but the title is just asking for flame bait.

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People need to learn to get on with their lives and stop trying to make the world revolve around them.

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Speaking of sensationalist headlines...

Not condoning what they said of course, but the title is just asking for flame bait.

Could change it to

"Xbox designer sues Microsoft over '*** Boy' jibes at work" from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...jibes-work.html

But I think NW censors the word beginning with f and ending in g, otherwise known as a cigarette here :p

It will cause a stir and is screaming for attention, check Kotaku comments....

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People need to learn to get on with their lives and stop trying to make the world revolve around them.

What so he should just sit there and put up with 11 years of sexual discrimination just because you are straight and think that hes just attention seeking?

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I think they`ll probably just end up paying him considering the amount of money.

What so he should just sit there and put up with 11 years of sexual discrimination just because you are straight and think that hes just attention seeking?

I think Microsoft acquired lionhead back in 06.

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What so he should just sit there and put up with 11 years of sexual discrimination just because you are straight and think that hes just attention seeking?

That is exactly what he should do.

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I agree its wrong, but is he seriously suing for "hurt feelings"?

Here comes a flood of lawsuits against former bullies etc...

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I think Microsoft acquired lionhead back in 06.

Yeah sorry i misread the post, hes worked for them for 7 years but a year ago started getting abuse, still doesnt change the fact that no one should sit there and accept sexual discrimination from a bunch of childish adults.

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I think they`ll probably just end up paying him considering the amount of money.

I think Microsoft acquired lionhead back in 06.

To set a precedent of paying anybody who files a complaint whether it is legitimate or not?

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What's wrong with an email full of favourite men?

I think he's reading into it too much. :p

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That is exactly what he should do.

Why is it EXACTLY what he should do?

If it were racial discrimination or sexual discrimination against a woman everyone would be up in arms about it, its a shame everyone has a meh who cares attitude about gay people, its disgusting.

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Could change it to

"Xbox designer sues Microsoft over '*** Boy' jibes at work" from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...jibes-work.html

But I think NW censors the word beginning with f and ending in g, otherwise known as a cigarette here :p

It will cause a stir and is screaming for attention, check Kotaku comments....

Or you could change it to something better than both sources, since you are number one activist against "sensationalist" headlines these days. Just a little hypocritical on your part is all I'm saying :p

Too late now, the topic is already on a downward spiral, congrats (N)

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Why is it EXACTLY what he should do?

If it were racial discrimination or sexual discrimination against a woman everyone would be up in arms about it, its a shame everyone has a meh who cares attitude about gay people, its disgusting.

Well, when I look at a black man, I can tell they are black. When I look at a woman, I can tell they are a woman. Usually. Chances are, the only way anyone would know this guy was gay, is if he acted gay, or felt the need to blather on about it, like many are prone to do. More often than not, harassment starts, right or wrong, when the gay person acts like an annoying fruit and wants to flutter around like some sort of queen, drawing attention to his sexuality by bringing it up at every oppurtunity. Does that justify the harassment? No. I'm just being honest here when I say this. I'm not a homophobe, I have gay friends, and I realize not all of them choose to act like this. But the ones that act like their life is a gay rights parade get obnoxious after awhile.

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Or you could change it to something better than both sources, since you are number one activist against "sensationalist" headlines these days. Just a little hypocritical on your part is all I'm saying :p

Too late now, the topic is already on a downward spiral, congrats (N)

You suggest what I change it to then? There's only so many ways you can explain a lawsuit involving gay jokes and MS/Lionhead.

All I do is complain when titles are going for the sensationalist route [complain at the journalists, not topic creator], I don't demand people change them.

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Well, when I look at a black man, I can tell they are black. When I look at a woman, I can tell they are a woman. Usually. Chances are, the only way anyone would know this guy was gay, is if he acted gay, or felt the need to blather on about it, like many are prone to do. More often than not, harassment starts, right or wrong, when the gay person acts like an annoying fruit and wants to flutter around like some sort of queen, drawing attention to his sexuality by bringing it up at every oppurtunity. Does that justify the harassment? No. I'm just being honest here when I say this. I'm not a homophobe, I have gay friends, and I realize not all of them choose to act like this. But the ones that act like their life is a gay rights parade get obnoxious after awhile.

How do you "act" gay?

Harassment doesnt start when a gay person acts gay, it starts from when people find out you are gay, its happened to me no one knows i am gay till they make passing comments about why i dont have a girlfriend etc.. and i say nothing till they keep pushing it then i tell whoever it is i dont like women then the digs and abuse starts its ridiculous.

This guy probably did nothing wrong, do you really think he would choose to be harassed and continue to mince about the place, he might have a gay vibe about him it annoys me when people just automatically jump to the gay stereotype of a mincing queen with the voice, it also annoys me how people automatically assume that gays bring up sexuality at every opportunity.

Irrespective of wether he minced about or not no one deserves to be put into depression just because some immature t**ts think its funny to spread sexually discriminating emails.

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The title is fine people. It's a direct copy and paste from the actual article, it's also what has happened. There isn't any nice way to say someone had to quit or be fired from their job due to their sex, race, religion, sexual preference or age.

Stay on topic guys, don't insult each other, and follow the rules. I know you are all capable of discussing this without resorting to attacking one another.

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If this is true, someone should be punished. Until it is proven true, I will withhold judgement. We've only heard his side of the story so far.

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If what he claims is true that is disgusting if someone sent memos/emails round ridiculing a black person in the office they would be instantly dismissed (please note im not trying to put sexual orientation and racial issues together im just sick of the double standards).

But this being Neowin i dont expect this thread will end well.

very well said. 10/10.

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Was he not being harassed before Microsoft acquired Lionhead? Assuming that the staff hadn't changed during the acquisition (since he was still employed) did their attitudes change when their employer change or has he always been harassed?

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Well, when I look at a black man, I can tell they are black. When I look at a woman, I can tell they are a woman. Usually. Chances are, the only way anyone would know this guy was gay, is if he acted gay, or felt the need to blather on about it, like many are prone to do. More often than not, harassment starts, right or wrong, when the gay person acts like an annoying fruit and wants to flutter around like some sort of queen, drawing attention to his sexuality by bringing it up at every oppurtunity. Does that justify the harassment? No. I'm just being honest here when I say this. I'm not a homophobe, I have gay friends, and I realize not all of them choose to act like this. But the ones that act like their life is a gay rights parade get obnoxious after awhile.

u make a big mistake here. u, rightly claim that there r gays who u cant recognize by just watching them.

but there are incredible annoying straights too, full with character flaws and they usually get way more annoying than the most gay-right parade propagandist ever could.

so whats with them then? blind on that eye?

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Commenting on this story is difficult when you have only heard one side of it. However it suffices to say that discrimination and bullying on the workfloor are absolutely despicable and rightly grounds for suing.

There was however no need for the sensational title, tone it down ;). I hope we'll get to hear the outcome of this case and the whole story.

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hmm i choose to stay out this argument or i'll be up all night, harassment is harassment, there should be consequences

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If these were PUBLIC memos, or if he complained about it (and has proof of said complaints) then the target (microsoft) is legitmate. Otherwise, it's him suing for something Somone/some people specific were doing. He presents no proof that there was any disrespect from Microsoft itself, but instead one of it's employees, and until there is clear evidence that the harassment came from or was ignored by someone superior there is no case.

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