Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s facial animations are pretty bad. No one’s denying that.
But a certain subsect of the internet decided to take the ribbing and eye-rolling a step further and resorted to an actual witch hunt against a woman who they gathered had been the lead facial animator on the game.
Screenshots from Allie Rose-Marie Leost’s social media and resume, which listed her as the lead facial animator at EA working on Mass Effect: Andromeda, was all it took for people to launch a hate campaign against her, following disgusting accusations on right-wing website The Ralph Retort.
Reactions started with shredding her resume apart and blaming her for the entirety of Andromeda‘s animation issues and quickly devolved into hateful accusations involving claims that Leost was hired either for her gender or for performing sexual acts.
Developer of Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare, has since come out against the harassment in a tweet clarifying that Leost is a former EA employee who was misidentified as a lead on the game.
It’s not clear what exactly Leost’s role on the game was, if any. We’ve reached out for confirmation and will update this post if we hear back. But whether her role was misconstrued, exaggerated or even a flat-out lie isn’t really the point anymore.
The point, rather, is the two days of reactionary harassment Leost has had to endure, spanning all sorts of gross words and gifs in an attempt to belittle her over animations in a video game. The point is that even if Leost had been the lead animator on Mass Effect: Andromeda, the focus on her work has taken a backseat to the focus on her as a woman. The point is that harassment, and specifically the context of this kind of harassment, is never OK.
And to everyone participating and downplaying the harassment as jokes? Well: