Blizzard Chose Tyranny (The Jimquisition)
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Blizzard Chose Tyranny (The Jimquisition)

(steam hissing) (monster groans) (flame roars) ♪ We’re born different ♪ ♪ We’re born innocent ♪ ♪ We’re born perfect ♪ – I thought tyranny
would be more snappier, but that was after
Justin did these credits and he’s asleep now, so. (pops mouth) There we go. Because we’re talking about
the Hong Kong protests and the Blitzchung this week, I thought I’d wear a
mask like the protests and like Blitzchung did. But I didn’t think ahead
and get a proper one, so I’m wearing a “Halloween
III: Season of the Witch” mask. Big up democracy. Suppression of speech,
censor of the media, harassment of the journalists
and political activists. Secret arrests and closed door trials. Police brutality, torture. These are just some of
the human rights abuses attributed to China’s
totalitarian government, under the fist of the
President Xi Jinping. A tyrant whose confidence and boldness has only grown alongside his nations rise in global influence. And companies like Activision Blizzard not only ignore the terrorism
and abuse going on the nation, they actively support
and silently condone it in there desperation, their
sick and pathetic desperation, to make money from the country’s
massive consumer market. The Chinese market is a
big, fat, juicy commodity to entertainment and sports
corporation across America. More and more, movie studios
incorporate Chinese locations into their productions and
outright tailor their films to appeal to the Chinese viewers because of the sheer
amount of money to made in becoming a hit there. “Venom”, for example, made headlines, not for being a critically acclaimed or particularly successful movie here, but for breaking records
in the Chinese box office. The message has been
clear for a while now, China’s market is so vast, so influential, that you needn’t be a hit anywhere else. You crack China and you’ve just been given the key to sequel city. Now on its own, this isn’t
necessarily a terrible thing. Western audiences are not the authority on what’s good entertainment, but the success these
companies are enjoying is not happening in a bubble. It’s not devoid of context. China’s market is making
billion dollar companies even more billions of dollars on top of the billions of dollars they already roll around in. But it’s also turned the majority of them into groveling, sycophantic cowards who can’t do something
as simple as, you know, condemn human rights abuses or even allow their
audiences to do the same. The NBA recently came under
fire for pandering to China, after Houston Rockets
General Manager, Daryl Morey, shared a now deleted tweet in support of Hong Kong’s protests against China’s authoritarian government. The NBA, which has
invested millions in China and credits 10% of revenue to the country tripped over itself to
appease the despotic regime, criticizing Morey for,
“Regrettably offending people!” They would walk that back
somewhat, a day later, reaffirming a commitment to free speech, but the damage had been
done on both fronts. The NBA sparked outrage in America for it’s initial response, and it has seen every Chinese sponsor suspend ties in the overall fall out. Of particular note and interest, Tencent Sports joined in on
the threats and punishment over a single tweet support democracy, suspending live streaming
and reporting on NBA games. And yes, for the video
game savvy viewers at home, the name of that company was Tencent. Tencent. Hong Kong is a bit of a sore
spot for China right now, almost as sore as it is for
President Jinping to be compared to Winnie the Pooh. Which he famously hates to the point of banning the friendly yellow
bears image in the country, like a mature and secure person would do. Hong Kong has been in the
midst of protests for months over a proposed bill
that allow extradition of criminal suspects
from Hong Kong to China, something main saw as Chinese overreach in a country that enjoys
a level of autonomy from Beijing’s regime. While the bill has been
withdrawn the protests continue with further demands. Chiefly the release and
exoneration of arrested protestors, an unbiased investigation into allegations of police brutality, a rescinding of the classification
of protesters rioters and the resignation of the
Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam. The protests are seen by many
as a fight for democracy, fought by people who rightly
fear the increased authority of a violent and tyrannical government. Activision Blizzard, by the
way, does not support democracy. That might sound harsh but
that was the ultimate message, whether they intended it or not, of Activision Blizzard in
the wake of its decision to punish a professional
“Hearthstone” player for voicing his support of the protests. Most of you will have
already heard of this bit, but for comprehension sake, pro “Hearthstone” player, Blitzchung, donned a mask on a stream
in solidarity of protesters and yelled, “Liberate Hong Kong. “Revolution of our time.” In response, Activision
Blizzard suspended Blitzchung from official “Hearthstone”
competition for a year, said it would withhold prize
money he was rightly owed and stated it would no longer
work with the two casters who shared the stream with Blitzchung. Blizzard, in a truly cowardly display, hid behind a broadly and
vaguely written clause in its rules of conduct
that state the company can in its sole discretion, punish someone if they bring
themselves into disrepute or otherwise offend a
section of the public. The offended public in this
case, well, wouldn’t it, would have to be the Chinese government. Which at the time of punishment hadn’t even said a fucking word. Blizzard merely panicked
and it’s a miserable bid to avoid upsetting
anyone who might threaten it’s a lucrative money-making
opportunities in the sector. The company would, after days of silence, reduce the punishment to try
and get the heat off itself, but we’ll get to the company’s bullshit statement on the matter a little later. In the wake of Blitzchung’s punishment the company is quite fucking
rightly earned itself a hailstorm of criticism
and added protest. They deserve this criticism
because Activision Blizzard, in no uncertain terms, is run
by craven, boot licking worms, who have literally sold out
human rights and human dignity, much less their own dignity,
joining a shameful collective of corporations that are in
emboldening in Jinping’s rule. Activision Blizzard chose tyranny. By hiding behind roles and clauses they’ve tried remain apolitical, but that’s not how this
fucking works Blizzard. That ain’t how this fucking works. You can’t have an apolitical response to a political statement. The moment Blizzard chose to respond, Blizzard made a political
statement, a political choice, and in this case Blizzard chose tyranny. Companies love to have
their cake and fuck it too, this is why so many game
developers say that their games aren’t political, even while exploiting political imagery and messaging. This is why so many corporations want to “Leave politics at the do