The ECA, or Entertainment Consumers Association (not to be confused with the ESA, or Entertainment Software Association) has appointed Gerard Williams, better known to the public at large as Hip Hop Gamer, as their new ambassador.
And it's a move that has perturbed more than few people; both supporters of the ECA and advocates of video games as a whole. Many believe that such a role should not go to Williams due his extremely divisive and controversial past.
Almost immediately following the announcement, Destructoid brought up just a few of his indiscretions. And it is indeed a compelling case as to why he is a poor choice.
The reason why so many have such a vitriolic disdain for the Williams is his affinity for confrontational behavior, along with his liberal use of anti-women and anti-gay slurs. Which isn't exactly becoming for someone who is supposedly "dedicated to giving all members of the gaming community a collective voice."
Following the announcement, Twitter exploded with people calling out the ECA. Many brought up Williams's checkered history, and the ECA basically feigned ignorance.
A formal response was eventually given, which was repeated on their Facebook page:
"Gerard approached us wanting to know what he could do to help the cause. He's in the process of turning his life around, becoming more professional and inspirational to his friends and followers. It's exceedingly rare that we have individuals approach the organization laying it all out there, offering to do whatever they can, and asking for nothing in return. While we weren't aware of any of his perceived transgressions online, we choose to embrace his support, his efforts and his selflessness. If we were all judged solely upon the negatives in our past we would all be damned. We would like to give him the opportunity to be a voice for gamers and a positive role model for gaming."
The ECA now claims that they are eager to elicit other ambassadors, and has also repeatedly emphasized how Williams was not a hire. The entire organization is run by volunteers, it explains.
Only time will tell if the Hip Hop Gamer has indeed turned a new leaf, or if the ECA continues their very slow paced distancing away of their new representative.
As for the person at the center of it all, his website is mysteriously offline. Perhaps due to the man's sudden surge of popularity and attention? Or perhaps the plug was pulled, since there's so much there that could be used against him and the ECA?
At any rate, Williams seems completely unfazed, and has even released a new rap video:
And what's the big lesson learned here? Google is your friend.