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  • Racism, Blacklists and Onyx Path Publishing

    From Khaldoun Khelil's statement from gdocs:


    Racism, Blacklists and Onyx Path Publishing


    CW: Racism, Lying, Threats, Punishment, Black Listing

    My name is Khaldoun Khelil. I’ve written for, developed and consulted on numerous Role Playing Games (RPGs) and Live Action Role Playing (LARPs) games since the late 1990s/early 2000s including Vampire the Masquerade and other game properties. I have degrees in political science, criminal justice and international law. My graduate work was in the area of counterintelligence, democratic institutions and the cultural drivers of war, but I’ve spent a great deal of my career working for energy companies and think tanks. My writing on the Middle East, War Crimes, Data Collection, and Counterintelligence have been cited in numerous articles and essays. My work in RPGs was a hobby I pursued earnestly, but the past few years have allowed me to focus more and more on fiction writing as a career.

    I’m an Arab American of Palestinian and Algerian ancestry, and I have had to navigate systemic racism, bigotry, and islamophobia in the RPG industry for over 20 years. The more success and exposure I garnered, the more push back I encountered from those either uninterested in including diverse voices in RPGs or those who only wanted to promote diversity performatively, but never wanted to allow people of color any creative control or independence. My post today is not a historical recounting of all of the incidents of racism I’ve faced personally or that I have heard of tangentially. This post is about a recent and specific incident of racism that originated from employees at Onyx Path Publishing that impacted me directly and their attempt to silence others and to hide the truth of this incident from me.

    Synopsis: This post details racist actions taken by employees at Onyx Path Publishing. An employee at Onyx Path spread an unfounded and negative rumor about me to another RPG company (Modiphius) during or after a bilateral meeting. When I heard about this smear, another employee at Onyx Path attempted to prevent me from discovering the full story of the matter by lying to me and instead punished a Modiphius employee with refusal to work on future Modiphius projects because of my discovery of Onyx Path’s racist attempt to black list me. Instead of telling me the truth, this employee at Onyx Path personally blamed a person of color at Modiphius with an implied threat that the Modiphius employee could be fired if their employer was informed they were the whistle-blower on this matter. I held off on addressing this issue with Onyx Path for over a year because I had no confidence that the matter would be addressed professionally given the company’s track record. I only approached them now after their recent hire of an outside Human Resources consultant.

    My only request was for a public apology so that the damage done by this smear against me could be mitigated and so that the racist implications of a secret black list and/or smear campaign targeting an author of color could be addressed. After one conference call with Rich Thomas and the HR consultant Georgina, Onyx Path decided the matter was not a company issue and that no public apology was necessary. I contacted their employees directly for apologies, and while both provided me with statements that admitted to no liability, only one attempted to address the issues of white privilege and racism that made this smear and cover up of this smear possible. The other was curt, halfhearted and condescending. Neither could be considered earnest apologies and Onyx Path again refused to publish them in any form or make their own statement.

    I make this public statement now as a way to redress the potential harm done to my reputation and to push back against the structural problems in the RPG industry that have made it nearly impossible for more diverse voices to attain any creative or administrative power.

    Statement: In June 2019 at the UK Game Expo, Matt McElroy of Onyx Path Publishing told a developer at Modiphius that I was a problem and that they would not work with me on RPG projects because I “shitted on them on social media”. Supposedly, according to McElroy, “it was known at Onyx Path” that I was a problem. There is disagreement between Modiphius and Onyx Path if this smearing of me occurred during a business meeting or afterwards during a private conversation. While McElroy insinuated that I was not welcome to work at Onyx Path, currently Onyx Path maintains that is not the case and that I’ve never been on one of their black lists. Onyx Path also clarified to me that they have never had any proof that I have ever spoken poorly of them on social media. When I questioned McElroy about this, he stated that he had heard I was a problem from one of the other two Onyx Path staffers in the meeting, though he did not clarify if that person was the owner Rich Thomas or a developer named Matt Dawkins.

    I was contacted by a Modiphius employee soon after this convention, as I was currently working on multiple projects for the company and they asked me to check my social media for anything that Onyx Path could have construed as “shit talking”. Though at no point did Modiphius make me feel my employment hinged on my proving my innocence. I of course found nothing in my social media and I was told the basics of the above story. While the racist effects of Onyx Path’s actions against me are undeniable, I was unsure if there was racist intent and I was hesitant to quarrel with highly placed white RPG figures such as Matt McElroy who is a leading figure at DriveThruRpg, the ST Vault, Onyx Path and Flames Rising. Not to mention Rich Thomas the owner of Onyx Path or the Onyx Path Developer Matt Dawkins. I decided to let the matter be, as it was not the first time I had encountered bigotry, racism, white privilege or borderline cases of all of the above.

    Several months later in Sept. 2019 I asked Matt Dawkins about this issue, as I didn’t know McElroy and had some trust for Dawkins. I had recommended he work on a book with me for Modiphius and I believed we had a good working relationship. Dawkins was an early supporter of my work on Mummy and other WoD titles when he produced YouTube videos as the Gentleman Gamer in the time before he himself became an RPG writer. When I asked him if I had been smeared or black listed, Dawkins claimed complete ignorance, despite having been in the above meeting at UK Game Expo between Onyx Path and Modiphius. He claimed he did not know McElroy well and that he’d never heard my name referenced in a negative way by anyone at Onyx Path. He suggested I contact McElroy directly, but Dawkins' denial was adamant. He also said that he checked the company’s black list and that I was not on it. I was actually relieved on some level and just assumed that McElroy had some personal issue with me and that Modiphius had told him to stuff it.

    I would later find out that Dawkins was lying to me and he continued to hide the truth from me until I contacted Onyx Path directly and formally complained to their newly appointed HR Consultant. Dawkins thus enabled a racist smear against me to stand and if not for his later actions to punish and threaten an employee at Modiphius, I might never have found out the truth.

    A few weeks after I contacted Dawkins about this issue and he denied it, he would be contacted by a developer at Modiphius asking for Dawkins to write a blog post for an upcoming project. Dawkins refused and said that he personally blamed this Modiphius employee for my knowledge of the smear against me. Dawkins deduced that because this developer was also in the UK Games Expo meeting he must have been the whistle-blower, this Modiphus developer also happened to be the only person of color in the meeting as well. In this exchange, Dawkins wasn't angry that a brown author was being smeared by his colleague, but that Modiphius did not keep silent about McElroy's request to black list me. Dawkins instead tells this developer that he refuses to work for Modiphius again and that it’s his fault personally, the threatening implication of that being he could be fired if his boss was to find out he was the whistle-blower. The conversation ends with Dawkins saying he may reconsider in the future if Modiphius improves its ability to keep things confidential. In short, silence in the face of misdeeds was his expectation and unfortunately this is the same culture of silence that has made the RPG industry a ripe hunting ground for predators, abusers and racists.

    It was this conversation between Dawkins and the Modiphius developer that dispelled any benefit of the doubt I had left that I had not been smeared by McElroy and that Dawkins had not lied to me about it in hopes of covering it up. When I spoke to Onyx Path over a conference call about this matter a few weeks ago I asked them how they had discovered that I had found out about the smear against me. I asked Onyx Path if they found out I knew because “I had approached Matt Dawkins about the racist black list?”, Onyx Path’s HR consultant responded with one word... “Yes.”

    It is impossible to see into the hearts of others. No one can know if someone is intrinsically racist, and I personally do not believe racism is an intrinsic quality of human beings. But we are all capable of racist actions, and when Onyx Path employee Matt McElroy used their authority and privilege to demean, smear and potentially black list one of the few Palestinian-American authors working in RPGs, that was racist. When Onyx Path employee Matt Dawkins lied to me about the facts and instead took punitive action against another company to keep me in the dark, that was racist. Facing that and empowering diverse voices in the industry to challenge these structural problems is the only long term solution.

    All I ever asked for was a public and sincere apology for patently racist actions by employees representing Onyx Path, but voices like mine are so weak in the RPG world that I was not even able to win that modest reparation for myself. I write this statement in hopes of empowering the next creative person of color and educating those they may work for in this industry. Hopefully they'll never be put in a position to ask for an apology, but if they do find themselves in such a position I hope my story shows them that they’re not the first to be treated poorly and that it’s never wrong or too late to stand up for yourself.

    Khaldoun Khelil
    07/28/2020

    You may share this statement with Copy/Paste and the link below:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

  • #2
    This forum doesn’t take criticism well. I don’t expect a response, or for this thread to last long.


    Remi. she/her. game designer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whatever happened with McElroy anyways?

      Comment


      • #4
        He's been suspended from working on Onyx Path products indefinitely pending a review (which probably isn't going so well after this go added to the reason why that happened). No new since then. I believe OBS/DTRPG also did something similar, but I don't have a link to such handy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
          This forum doesn’t take criticism well. I don’t expect a response, or for this thread to last long.
          ...and this thread has been up 12 hours and counting...

          (nvm this piece has already circulated around in other places)

          Comment


          • #6
            (Also posted on RPGnet)

            This is Rich Thomas, founder and creative director of Onyx Path Publishing, writing in response to Khaldoun Khelil's posts from 7/28-8/3. I'm not posting this in order to argue Khaldoun's interpretation of events as I have not spent my life dealing with racism as he has, but to walk through the steps our independent HR specialist (whom I'm going to abbreviate to HR from here on) went through in their investigation and the conclusions they made.

            On July 3rd, Khaldoun Khelil emailed me as well as our new HR email with a series of concerns that specified that Onyx Path had put his name on a "racist blacklist" and went on to detail his concerns in much the same way as his post on 7/28. We took Khaldoun's concerns extremely seriously, and I removed myself from the HR investigation as I was present during part of the events specified in the complaint.

            On July 4th, HR confirmed receipt of the original complaint, and began a series of emails with Khaldoun in order to delve into his complaint, which led to interviews with the Onyx Path representatives accused of racist behavior. This investigation took several weeks and enabled HR to review the situation based on everyone's uncertain memories and then to present to Khaldoun and myself the following conclusions:

            Khaldoun was very concerned he was on a racist blacklist at Onyx Path. The HR conclusion was that Khaldoun was never on any sort of Do Not Hire list, racist or not, at Onyx Path. During the meeting Khaldoun describes between Onyx Path and Modiphius at UKGE, HR found there was no evidence of any sort of suggestion from Onyx Path that Modiphius should not work with Khaldoun (as we ourselves were still okay with hiring him).

            At some point near the end of the UKGE meeting, both Matthew Dawkins and the primary Modiphius representative left the table, and I stayed to see if there was anything else to discuss. It appeared that the remaining Modiphius employee and Matt McElroy were talking among themselves and while I did not hear what the Modiphius employee said, I did hear McElroy respond that he "didn't like working with people who shit on the company online. Would you?"

            The HR investigation did not find evidence that McElroy was attempting to prevent the Modiphius employee from hiring Khaldoun, or to "smear" Khaldoun's reputation, or that McElroy ever discussed Khaldoun with any other companies.

            In regards to why McElroy made the statement he did, we subsequently rediscovered screenshots of remarks made by Khaldoun online that included a reference to Matt McFarland (not Matt McElroy) being removed from Onyx Path projects quietly so that we could hire him back quietly later. We stopped working with Matt McFarland in 2017, and Khaldoun's online comment was in 2019. Onyx Path was not at the time he wrote his comment, nor ever will be, working again with McFarland.

            McElroy believes this comment, made in 2019, a few weeks prior to the Expo, is the one he learned about that made him upset when Khaldoun's name was mentioned at the meeting.

            Looking into the conversations between Matthew Dawkins and Khaldoun, and Matthew Dawkins and the Modiphius employee, HR was able to review Matthew's chat log and presented the conclusion that Matthew behaved in a professional and business-appropriate manner. When Khaldoun requested it, Matthew reviewed our freelancer list and truthfully let Khaldoun know that he was not on any "blacklist" at Onyx Path.

            Matthew was not present when McElroy's conversation took place as he had already left the meeting, and he had no knowledge of it until asked about it by Khaldoun. As this was the last of their communications together, Matthew never revisited the situation or recontacted Khaldoun.

            Matthew's conversation with the Modiphius employee, where Matthew explained that he had decided not to do freelance work for Modiphius for professional reasons, was reviewed by HR and found to be a reasonable decision made by a professional freelancer as to whom they would work with. At no point during those conversations did Matthew threaten the Modiphius employee, nor did Matthew's personal decision as a working freelancer affect his work on Onyx Path projects that would be approved by Modiphius.

            Based on the investigation, HR concluded the concerns raised by Khaldoun did not have actionable resolutions that Onyx Path could reasonably explore, and that Onyx Path's part in the complaint was closed. HR recommended that Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins should consider providing Khaldoun with the personal apologies he had requested during our wrap-up call between him, HR, and myself.

            Both of them did apologize privately to Khaldoun for the pain they caused, as they did not believe public apologies for private conversations were appropriate to the situation. As Khaldoun stated during the investigation, he has no evidence that anyone knew of these conversations outside those who were participants nor that he has missed out on any projects because of these conversations.

            Understandably, Khaldoun also stated he has no way of knowing what negative effects might have come from these conversations, and that not knowing is a large part of his concern in a world and an industry where people of color are marginalized routinely.

            That was the situation as of the time of Khaldoun's post of 7/28. Our independent HR specialist provided us with a conclusion based on the best practices of HR at this time.

            However, what their recommendation can't address, is the institutional and societal racism that Khaldoun KheliI has dealt with his entire life as a person of color, and which our Onyx Path team that comprises our Monday Meeting crew has not.

            Onyx Path Publishing remains committed to enabling marginalized creators to thrive within the TTRPG industry. We continue to examine our own interactions with our freelancers and prospective freelancers and these interactions with Khaldoun show that we need to dig deeper to understand how something we think of as acceptable within the mostly white confines of the TTRPG business community can be hurtful and threatening to those who have been marginalized.

            It was important to me that HR and I listened to and responded to Khaldoun's concerns with respect and to truly try and understand the situation from his perspective.

            After listening to Khaldoun, I better understand how Matt McElroy honestly explaining why he was angry with Khaldoun may appear reasonable to another white guy, but that an angry white guy in a position of power making the same statement to a PoC leads to a different set of reactions based on a lifetime of similar situations.

            We can do better to make Onyx Path a place that is welcoming to all creators, and we must approach our communications with a better understanding of how the other person is liable to receive what we are saying and doing.

            Onyx Path as a company is committed to examining where we have failed to understand and to change our behavior and communication styles to avoid causing miscommunication and pain in the future. As a group, we in the Monday Meeting crew are in the process of attending sensitivity training courses together, which we see as only a step towards our goal of better understanding and communication practices and not the goal itself. We have hired an HR specialist to take us to task when we're at fault. We want to improve as a company and as individuals, and having a qualified individual call us out when we act inappropriately is a part of that.

            As individuals, we continue to listen and learn, and to apply what we know to our interactions with others, and particularly with those who have suffered under racist systems. Matt McElroy, for example, has started business communication courses, as well as continuing his stress management therapy, recognizing that there are issues that are preventing him from communicating as he intends.

            This is not something any of us can accomplish in a day or a week or a year, but an ongoing evaluation of where the lessons of a lifetime of white privilege have made us unaware of how our actions might be interpreted or how we might unintentionally cause harm.

            Comment


            • #7
              Khaldoun Khelil's Response from RPGnet.


              Originally posted by RichT View Post
              (Also posted on RPGnet) <snip>
              In regards to why McElroy made the statement he did, we subsequently rediscovered screenshots of remarks made by Khaldoun online that included a reference to Matt McFarland (not Matt McElroy) being removed from Onyx Path projects quietly so that we could hire him back quietly later. We stopped working with Matt McFarland in 2017, and Khaldoun's online comment was in 2019. Onyx Path was not at the time he wrote his comment, nor ever will be, working again with McFarland.

              McElroy believes this comment, made in 2019, a few weeks prior to the Expo, is the one he learned about that made him upset when Khaldoun's name was mentioned at the meeting.
              <snip>
              I asked for any evidence of my social misconduct and was told by OPP HR and Rich that there was none. That some comment of mine on accused abuser McFarland is now being "rediscovered" is suspect and I ask that it be supplied to me since it was grave enough for an Onyx Path employee to hold against me. This sounds very much like an after the fact discovery and a reach at that considering Onyx Path only released an official statement on McFarland two years later in 2019 ( ABOUT MATT MCFARLAND richt - February 18th, 2019).

              Also, this directly contradicts the statements made to me by Rich Thomas in our meeting with HR and instead lines up with the Modiphius employees account. Rich told me the remarks were made in a private meeting with all Modiphius and OPP employees present. This was why it was a breach of confidence for the Modiphius employee to speak on it outside a meeting. Now Rich is saying it was a side conversation, which is exactly what the Modiphius employee had always claimed when they spoke to me. It was also told to me by Rich that he did not hear the exact words said, but his statement provides a direct quote from McElroy. And in our conversation with OPP HR, Rich believed that the Modiphius employee may have misunderstood McElroy's intent because "English was not their first language". While its asinine that a person who edits and develops books in English, regardless of their first language, could misunderstand such a direct smear of me as a "problem."

              Originally posted by RichT View Post
              (Also posted on RPGnet)
              <snip>
              Looking into the conversations between Matthew Dawkins and Khaldoun, and Matthew Dawkins and the Modiphius employee, HR was able to review Matthew's chat log and presented the conclusion that Matthew behaved in a professional and business-appropriate manner. When Khaldoun requested it, Matthew reviewed our freelancer list and truthfully let Khaldoun know that he was not on any "blacklist" at Onyx Path.

              Matthew was not present when McElroy's conversation took place as he had already left the meeting, and he had no knowledge of it until asked about it by Khaldoun. As this was the last of their communications together, Matthew never revisited the situation or recontacted Khaldoun.
              <snip>
              Even if Dawkins didn't know at the time I asked him, because the smear was said in a side conversation and not at the meeting as Rich originally told me, he hid the information about the smear and potential black listing from me - and he intended to hide it from me indefinitely. And instead of moving on, as I often have to move on from slights and smears against me, Dawkins instead punished this Modiphius employee.

              Dawkins seemingly identified the "leak" by the fact that the Modiphius employee was the only PoC in the room, as he never contacted the other Modiphius person in the meeting. Instead Dawkins assumed it was the PoC employee that told me I was being smeared and that Onyx Path wouldn't work with problem people like me. Dawkins told him in a chat that he would not work with Modiphius again because of their personal actions, the implied threat to a PoC with few prospects in the RPG industry is obvious - If Dawkins told their boss, the unnamed Modiphius employee would be fired. This is the implication the Modiphius employee drew from this conversation and in the chat they do their best to soothe Dawkins with effusive praise and apologies. I do not fault them for it. I have been in a similar situation where I must placate an angry white man with power over my job. And despite that, Dawkins would later describe this Modiphius employee as a "snitch" to another industry professional who contacted me after this story was published.

              In our meeting with OPP HR, Rich told me that he had officially complained to Modiphius about a "breach in confidence", to their CEO in fact. No one at Modiphius has any record or recollection of any such complaint. OPP never produced any documentation of such a complaint either. The complaint never happened. The PoC Modiphius employee was assumed to be the guilty party and Dawkins took action against them.

              Originally posted by RichT View Post
              (Also posted on RPGnet)
              <snip>
              Based on the investigation, HR concluded the concerns raised by Khaldoun did not have actionable resolutions that Onyx Path could reasonably explore, and that Onyx Path's part in the complaint was closed. HR recommended that Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins should consider providing Khaldoun with the personal apologies he had requested during our wrap-up call between him, HR, and myself.

              Both of them did apologize privately to Khaldoun for the pain they caused, as they did not believe public apologies for private conversations were appropriate to the situation. As Khaldoun stated during the investigation, he has no evidence that anyone knew of these conversations outside those who were participants nor that he has missed out on any projects because of these conversations.

              Understandably, Khaldoun also stated he has no way of knowing what negative effects might have come from these conversations, and that not knowing is a large part of his concern in a world and an industry where people of color are marginalized routinely.
              <snip>
              I have no way of knowing these negative effects because they were actively hidden from me by OPP employees. Rich's employees.

              As of now, only Matt McElroy is in direct communication with me on this matter and he has been transparent and forthcoming in our private discussions. Everyone else at Onyx Path seems to wish to have this conversation on public forums and that is not my preference. I am only responding to gross mischaracterizations of facts or willful ignorance.

              I asked for public apologies because the secret nature of this smear and the cover up of it with lies and omission of facts means it could still be spreading. Private statements do not meet the standard of an apology that addresses the harm done. This is how systemic and structural racism works, in secret. Every mistake by the privileged, no matter how grave, is given the benefit of the doubt. While every mistake by the underprivileged is damning. A social media comment of mine remarking on how long it took Onyx Path to officially distance themselves from McFarland ( it took OPP two years ) is taken as a slight worthy of black listing. But when I am smeared in secret, and the one PoC in the room who stands up for me is bullied and threatened, that is undeserving of an apology?

              Rich is calling the statements given to me by Dawkins and McElroy apologies, but they are not because they are not public nor do they address key issues. In fact, OPP refused to publish these statements and I do not have permission to publish them from Dawkins or McElroy. Though Dawkins did publish his on RPG.net briefly ( LINK ) in hopes of defending himself, not to apologize to me.

              You can't have it both ways.

              Rich can't claim credit for apologies that no one can see. He can't claim credit for an HR process that failed to address my minimum grievances. He can't say the issue is personal and has nothing to do with Onyx Path when both Matts are highly placed members in his organization in charge of hiring and marketing decisions.

              If Rich wishes to do better, then the apologies should state the facts, address the racist implications of these actions and be public.

              ----

              Posted by Khaldoun Khelil on RPGnet
              Last edited by YamaYomi; 08-04-2020, 06:29 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                While it’s good that steps are being taken to improve matters at OPP, this is an unfortunate reminder of both why improvement is necessary and how far OPP still has to go. Bluntly, no one at OPP involved here comes out looking their best, and Khaldoun is right that the damage done to his reputation in the TTRPG “scene” cannot be repaired with a private apology. (To say nothing of the unnamed Modiphius employee that Dawkins allegedly called a “snitch.”)

                I have a lot of fondness for Onyx Path. The group I’ve been playing with for the last decade started with Changeling; the original Dark Eras is on my personal list of Top 5 TTRPG Books. But the upcoming Scion KS will be the last one I support, and the Companion likely the last book I purchase, until there’s evidence that there has been lasting change in the company culture. You’re taking good steps, but there has to be follow-through. (And, frankly, the steps you’ve already taken are the reason why I’m willing to be convinced to return.)

                To close out, I’ll add my voice to the chorus: leaving McFarland’s account unbanned on these forums is a bizarre own goal that gets worse the longer it lingers. Yes, the ban would be largely symbolic, but leaving it swept under the rug ignores the festering wound in your reputation. There’s no good reason it hasn’t happened already, and the longer you put it off, the worse the footnote is going to be every time people argue about OPP and it comes up that he was left unbanned from 2019 to 20XX.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Raz_Fox View Post
                  While it’s good that steps are being taken to improve matters at OPP, this is an unfortunate reminder of both why improvement is necessary and how far OPP still has to go. Bluntly, no one at OPP involved here comes out looking their best, and Khaldoun is right that the damage done to his reputation in the TTRPG “scene” cannot be repaired with a private apology. (To say nothing of the unnamed Modiphius employee that Dawkins allegedly called a “snitch.”)

                  I have a lot of fondness for Onyx Path. The group I’ve been playing with for the last decade started with Changeling; the original Dark Eras is on my personal list of Top 5 TTRPG Books. But the upcoming Scion KS will be the last one I support, and the Companion likely the last book I purchase, until there’s evidence that there has been lasting change in the company culture. You’re taking good steps, but there has to be follow-through. (And, frankly, the steps you’ve already taken are the reason why I’m willing to be convinced to return.)

                  To close out, I’ll add my voice to the chorus: leaving McFarland’s account unbanned on these forums is a bizarre own goal that gets worse the longer it lingers. Yes, the ban would be largely symbolic, but leaving it swept under the rug ignores the festering wound in your reputation. There’s no good reason it hasn’t happened already, and the longer you put it off, the worse the footnote is going to be every time people argue about OPP and it comes up that he was left unbanned from 2019 to 20XX.
                  I appreciate your post, so thank you for making it.

                  I do want to clarify a couple of things, namely: I didn't call anyone at Modiphius a "snitch", and we have indeed now successfully banned McFarland's profile.

                  I hope you stick around to keep track as we follow through on improving ourselves as individual creators and as a company. All the best to you!


                  Matthew Dawkins
                  In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


                  Website: https://www.matthewdawkins.com
                  Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post

                    I appreciate your post, so thank you for making it.

                    I do want to clarify a couple of things, namely: I didn't call anyone at Modiphius a &quot;snitch&quot;, and we have indeed now successfully banned McFarland's profile.

                    I hope you stick around to keep track as we follow through on improving ourselves as individual creators and as a company. All the best to you!
                    Thank you for the prompt and encouraging response. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this as it unfolds, but I’m very glad my feedback was taken into account.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Khaldoun Khelil's Response from RPGnet. - Responding to a series of posts that accused Khelil of smearing others and on "the secret tweet" .


                      -----

                      I do not wish to spar here. I am upset, but I am also long experienced in moderating my emotions so that I can be heard.

                      Please forgive me if my tone or words betray my intent.


                      On my "Recently Rediscovered" Comment

                      I was told by Rich, Onyx Path HR, and others that no offensive social media on my part existed.

                      Matt McElroy in his statement to me never mentions McFarland. He even told me in writing that he had heard someone "During the meeting at UKGE " say that I was a problem. He never mentioned seeing a comment or tweet by me. He could not remember who mentioned me to him at UKGE. To quote OPP HR from the statement she read to me from McElroy "it was known at Onyx Path" that I was a problem. This is the same statement to me that Rich Thomas has called an "apology." Rich Thomas is now saying that this statement by McElroy contains a material lie at its heart.

                      That something has been discovered in my social media after the fact is distressing, and that it has still not been identified to me by OPP is equally distressing. Also, I've now been accused of many things based on a tweet or comment that no one has identified to me, again I cannot defend myself from secret information and I will not pour through my social media again. That is partly what started this entire fiasco.

                      Instead of smearing me privately, lying to me and trying to cover that up by bullying a third party, Matt McElroy and/or Matthew Dawkins could have treated me with respect and contacted me directly to clean up my act as it were. They did not think I deserved that respect and now refuse to take any responsibility for their actions publicly.

                      I have never smeared anyone, publicly or otherwise. I have the utmost respect for OPP HR. I thanked her and even told her that she was the person I had been waiting for this past year. Someone to hear my story and to broker a reconciliation, but you cannot broker a reconciliation when there is no contrition. She did her duties diligently and she was brutally honest with me and Rich Thomas and she is one of the few people that I directly quote in my statement.


                      On McFarland

                      I am not here to open a discussion about McFarland and OPP. I state the below because I have been tarred with being indelicate concerning McFarland and those who have to live in his shadow at OPP.

                      If I made a comment about Matt McFarland somewhere, it was likely in response to the fact that Onyx Path never publicly made a statement about him until almost 2 years after his initial exposure in 2017 and that he was still being accredited and/or removed off books until 2019. That he disappeared from OPP without any official comment in 2017 was distressing to many people and I was not the only person to think his status and race afforded him such a quiet exit without being publicly denounced by OPP. If I personally thought that was a way to keep the back door open for him I do not remember stating so, but it's possible.

                      At the time he was still funding kick starters, his author bios were still up on OPP social media, his account still active on OPP forums and not to mention he continued to attend gaming conventions in 2018. That last fact was especially distressing to many people in the industry upon seeing him stroll up to their booth at Origins 2018. This was so distressing in fact that I contacted WW/PDX to ask if McFarland was officially persona non gratis at the WW and OPP booths at GenCon 2018. I suspect I was one of many to bring this up to them and at the convention I was even personally assured by a WW/PDX representative that they had spoken to OPP and that McFarland had been banned from both booths. It was my first time at GenCon and I even asked Matthew Dawkins to sign my copy of BJD as it was also the first time we had ever met in person.

                      McFarland would be publicly cancelled by OPP in 2019 and in response to this thread in the OPP forums he has now been removed as a member of the OPP forums as of today (Aug. 5th 2020). According to the posts in that thread several OPP fans had been calling for his removal from the forums for some time. In 2020 he was removed.

                      In short it was not my actions that allowed McFarland's legacy to linger at Onyx Path.


                      On Privilege

                      It highlights my position of weakness in this dynamic that I have to answer for how indelicate my unseen comments about Matt McFarland may have been. This thread (ON RPG NET) has been for the most part respectful and calm, but the moment I came under suspicion for not choosing my words properly about an abuser... I was pounced upon and degraded. I have been accused of smearing and accusing others, and that I deserved to be on a black list. This is an illustration of the systemic issues I have exhausted myself trying to explain.

                      My bad tweet is unseen, but on the word of a white man it damns me, but Matt McElroy does not have to answer for his smear against me. A smear he does not deny but will not apologize for publicly. Matthew Dawkins doesn't have to answer for lying to me or bullying another person of color. A lie he admits as an indefinite omission of facts, but will not apologize for publicly. They receive the benefit of the doubt, while I am condemned by an invisible tweet.

                      And I must repeatedly explain high concepts such as racism and privilege.

                      But let me be clear, if my comment on McFarland was as indelicate or rude as it is being portrayed then I apologize. I apologize unreservedly and publicly to anyone at Onyx Path who has worked hard to live and work without the shadow of his legacy on your back. If I insinuated that you were secretly longing for him back, then I am sorry and I make no excuses for it. I only hope that one day I can see this comment or tweet so that I can apologize more earnestly and specifically address my apology to those to whom it may have eluded or called out.

                      I have already publicly apologized to Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins for any distress my statement may have caused them as well.

                      All I have ever asked for is a public apology for racist actions against me by Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins.

                      If they cannot do that, it says nothing about me. But It speaks volumes about them and Onyx Path' s commitment to their stated ideals.





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                      • #12
                        Closing this thread, as the Onyx Path crew is off for the next week.

                        YamaYomi, so far your only posts to this forum have been copying over posts from RPGnet. I'd reconsider your posting style.


                        Ian A. A. Watson
                        Onyx Path Community Manager
                        Trinity Continuum Content Lead

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