Trans voice actor alleges she was called f****t ‘every day’ while at gaming company Rooster Teeth
A trans voice actress has alleged serious claims of misconduct and toxic culture at a major games media company, and says she was called “f****t” repeatedly while she was at work.
Actress Kdin Jenzen posted an open letter on Saturday (15 October) alleging she faced homophobic abuse almost “every day” and was overworked without appropriate pay while working at Rooster Teeth, part of the Warner Bros empire.
“So it’s for me to finally say something about Rooster Teeth,” she said.
“I’ve been waiting to say anything directly for a long time on this subject in hopes that something – anything – would change and get better.
“But it’s obvious that this is just ‘how it is there.'”
My final words on Rooster Teeth & just SOME of my experiences there.
— Kdin Jenzen (@KdinJenzen) October 15, 2022
Jenzen joined the company – which produces gaming-related shows such as Red vs Blue and Death Battle! – as a temporary contractor in 2013.
She stayed with Rooster Teeth for just under a decade, departing in June 2022.
While working for the company, she alleged, from February to November 2013, she was “entirely unpaid” for her contract work and was called a “f****t” on several occasions.
“Every day I came into work, I was called, ‘f****t’ – but they could not use that name in content so when anyone was recording, I was called ‘Fugz’ instead,” she wrote.
“For any fans who used that nickname for years, that’s what you were calling me.”
Jenzen added that, while she reported the nickname to HR, “nothing was ever done about it” and wrote that the videos using the name are still available to watch.
Not only was harassment commonplace at work according to Jenzen, the incredibly long hours – commonly known as “crunch” – began to impact her physical and mental health.
“My hours in that department were 7am until 11pm,” she continued.
“I was put into a position where I ignored my own physical health to focus more on work, which eventually caused me to come down with pneumonia.”
The former producer alleged several other instances of mistreatment regarding illness, including seven-day weeks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and just two weeks of recovery after “life-saving surgery”.
After the work demand and hostile conditions, Jenzen spoke to “one of the founding fathers of the company” and was told she was “too nice to work at Rooster Teeth” and to “just quit and find somewhere else to work”.
Rooster Teeth co-founder apologises in a statement
Co-founder Geoff Ramsey responded to the allegations in a Sunday (16 October) Twitter statement, saying that he “f**king sucked”.
“I should have known better at the time, and honestly, I probably did, yet I chose to ignore that truth,” he said in a vehemently self-deprecatory statement.
“That is in no way meant to serve as an excuse and I’m certainly not trying to give one.
“I apologised to Kdin privately in 2016 for this, and again in 2020. I will do so now publicly.”
Ramsey added that he “ignored” the pain of words because “it was easier to do” and admitted he “should have confronted my demons sooner”.
In response to the statement, which many claimed does little to address the institutional issues Jenzen faced during her time at Rooster Teeth, the trans actress told Ramsey to “go pay, credit, and give proper benefits to your staff”.
Social media users call out Kdin Jenzen for using racial slurs in the past
Despite supporting Kdin Jenzen’s statement in calling out Rooster Teeth, others have condemned the streamer for using unacceptable racial slurs in the past.
After posting her open letter, a 2009 clip resurfaced of Jenzen calling The Cleveland Show “Family Guy with a n****r” while streaming.
The shocking segment sees a 19-year-old Jenzen use racial slurs multiple times, while also saying that “I’m white, you can’t hurt my f**king feelings”.
Jenzen addressed the clip in a tweet, saying that she “should’ve known better” and is doing “everything in my ability to become and grow into a better person since then”.
There is a video online of me, at 19 (15 years ago), using an awful slur.
Ive apologized publicly before, & Id like to apologize again as I shouldve known better then & do know better now.
Ive done everything in my ability to become & grow into a better person since then. (1/2) https://t.co/vUlFtrSMnk— Kdin Jenzen (@KdinJenzen) October 18, 2022
“I hope my actions over these years speak to this, and I want to make sure that my stupidity from 15-years-ago does not distract from the wrongful treatment, harassment, and worse from Rooster Teeth towards their employees and the community.”
Some users found it difficult to accept the apology, with one saying: “This doesn’t detract from the business practices of [Rooster Teeth] but you can’t just brush this under the rug as ‘I was younger and I’m sorry.'”
Another person pointed out to users claiming “Rooster Teeth diehards [are] trying to ‘cancel’ people for speaking their truth” that condemning a person for their past behaviour and critiquing Rooster Teeth for its misconduct “are not mutually exclusive”.
“Kdin’s apology does not address the main issue with the video. Kdin addresses the slurs here, but not the actual content of the rant.”
Voice actress of a queer games character demands boycott
In a similar set of allegations, voice actor Hellena Taylor called for fans to boycott the upcoming game Bayonetta, starring the titular queer character that she originally voiced.
Taylor alleges that she was offered a mere $4,000 flat rate payment for the entire project, which would have taken years to produce.
“This is an insult to me for the amount of time that I took to work on my talent and everything that I have given to this game and to the fans,” Taylor said.
“I am asking the fans to boycott this game and instead spend the money that you would’ve spent on this game donating it to charity.”
PinkNews has contacted Rooster Teeth to comment.
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