Jade Raymond is a video games producer and was a host on G4’s program The Electric Playground along with Tommy Tallarico, Victor Lucas, Julie Stoffer and Geoff Keighley. Which is due to return to G4 later this year. Jade has a computer science degree from McGill University and her first job was programming games for Sony. A few years later, she moved into a producer role at EA, and she has since been producing games. Currently, Jade Raymond is the producer of Ubisoft’s action-adventure game Assassin’s Creed. (Wikipedia)
Humor, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A controversy has sprung up and at it’s core is a debate about what is funny, and what is defamation and pornography. A webcomic artist named Dave Cheung posted a comic he drew on his website, chugworth.com This depraved comic depicts Jade Raymond, fellating three guys, among other things. Not only is the image horrible, but what it implies is insulting and sexist. Someone posted a link to the comic on a forum called ‘Something Awful’. Ubi-Soft’s legal department heard about the link to the comic and sent a cease and desist letter to the owners of the forum. The responses from the posters and from the artist himself divulge just what marginally human creatures these boys are. Read more for full details on the controversy, quotes from the beasts involved, and quotes from the actual cease and desist letter from Ubisoft. MORE…From Somethingaweful.com:
“Basically Ubisoft is threatening to sue me because somebody here posted an offsite link to a comic somebody else drew, and the comic featured a cartoon version of somebody sucking many *****. I don’t know where this image is located, I do not know who drew it, and the only vague connection to this site is because somebody posted a link to it on these forums.”
Q: What statement are you trying to make with the Jade Comic?
Dave Cheung : If you would take some time to read the links I originally posted along with the comic, you see that the primary reason for it’s existence is the “Jade Hype” on video-game forums, blogs and “news” sites like Kotaku (lolz). Although Ubi-Soft UNDOUBTEDLY whored Jade out to an extent, it really wasn’t any more than how say, Cliffy B whore’s HIMSELF out. The difference is, forum nerds, bloggers and Kotaku (lolz) got rather more hot and bothered for Jade than they would for old Cliffy.
So, I suppose Jade could be classed as “Collateral Damage”, which may not be very fair, but honestly, if you really care about something as trivial as a comic, you’re a collossal faggot (that goes for you ladies too). A joke is a joke, and is only as harmful to you as you let it be. When someone makes a joke about you, it is YOU who chooses whether or not it becomes EPIC BUTTHURT, not the other way around.
Q: What if Ubi-Soft sues you?
Dave Cheung : They won’t, because they don’t have a case. As obviously tastless and unsubtle as the comic may be, it is no different to (for example) Dave Chappele dressing up as R.Kelly and pretending to pee in someone’s mouth or cartoons in newspapers showing George Bush as the devil. It is merely bullying tactics, and would reflect more badly on them than anyone else.
Ubisoft Letter via 1Up.com
“Furthermore, the Image’s blatant, vile, and unauthorized misappropriation of Ms. Raymond’s name and likeness, and your conduct in using the Image on your Site, have caused immeasurable harm to Ms. Raymond’s reputation and career, and constitute an egregious infringement of Ms. Raymond’s personal rights and privacy rights…
Any person who knowingly uses another’s name, photograph, or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof.”
A cease and desist letter is used to prevent legal action from progressing usually. It seems that according to unconfirmed reports Ubisoft has gone ahead and started some legal process. In it they will have to prove that the comic did cause harm to Raymond’s reputation and/or career. And that doing so was for the purpose of selling something on SomethingAwful. On a Web site like that one, advertising revenue is the capital earner, so any stunt that garners increased hits could count. For what it’s worth, Kyanka seems to have removed instances of the picture.
But fanboys being boys, the copies of the comic have now multiplied out of control and are posted all over the place, which might make it hard for Ubisoft to stop the proliferation of the debacle. Here’s a young woman who has never done porn, or even a revealing photo. She often goes without makeup and has a very ‘one of the guys’ image as a programmer geek. The way that her image has been distorted is illegal. Technically you own the copyrights to your face. Anytime someone takes a picture of you they are supposed to have your permission to do so. If a picture is taken of a celebrity, a talent fee has to be agreed on. Sure there are lots of illegal pictures taken of celebs, but since Jade is basically in the software industry not Hollywood, the use of her image in a defamatory fashion is illegal and actionable.
Jade is lucky to have such a fabulous ally in her employers. However, the fact that her reputation and career have been damaged now is irrefutable. There is no way to take anything back once it is on the internet. No one is going to forget this and it is going to effect her ability to get jobs in the future. Men hate it when women succeed. If you think that is a sweeping generalization, just read the comments on the stories that are out there. Most of them attack Jade’s abilities as a programmer and producer based on her gender. Even though it is very common throughout the industry for game producers to present their games Jade was singled out in a way that other male producers have not been. Cliffy B has been mentioned as an example in many places, it is doubtful that there are comics of him blowing anyone to get a job online. The webcomic implies that she ‘blew her way’ into getting a job, which is hardly the case. It’s bullshit like this that makes it impossible for women to get past a glass ceiling in the technology industry. Even though G4 has issued a story titled “In Defense of Jade Raymond”, G4′s defense is too little and too late, they are more guilty than any other entity for reinforcing the stereotypes that exclude women from gaming jobs by continually choosing to air sexist programming, like Street Fury, and The Man Show while pandering to an increasingly chauvinistic male audience.