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Lead designer on Apex Legends fired for 2007 blog posts

Apex Legends lead designer at EA/Respawn, Daniel Z Klein, has been fired after sexist and racist comments he made toward women and African people circulated on Twitter.
Lead designer on Apex Legends fired for 2007 blog posts

Daniel Klein, a lead designer on Apex Legends at Respawn has been fired after derogatory remarks he made toward women and African people in 2007 resurfaced on social media.

Klein recently confirmed that his dismissal from Respawn was directly linked to his remarks and that he condemns the comments made by his former self. He further indicated that while he disagrees with Respawns decision to terminate him, he accepts their decision to do so.

Lead designer on Apex Legends fired after sexist and racist posts resurface

Klein previously denounced the statements he made in 2007 in a tweet posted on the 28th of July.

apex legends game designer fired sexist racist comments 2007
Daniel Z Klein fired from Respawn after derogatory comments resurface. (Picture: Twitter / Daniel Z Klein)

In his response, he said: "I take full ownership for the things I said, and I'm embarrassed, sad, and angry at my younger self for saying this stuff. I hope it is obvious that I don't believe these things anymore".

Just a few weeks later, however, Klein revealed in a Twitter thread that he is "no longer working at Respawn", adding that he was "heartbroken and depressed".

"You may or may not have seen the awful, bigoted things I said in 2007. I wholeheartedly agree that THAT guy should have been fired. I have poured so much energy into becoming a better person since then, and right now I'm just very depressed because it feels I'll never be able to make up for who I was", Klein said.

apex legends respawn ea game designer fired sexist
Lead game designer on Apex Legends fired for sexist and racist remarks. (Picture: Twitter / Daniel Z Klein)

Klein later clarified that EA or Respawn were "absolutely within their rights to terminate [him]" despite him disagreeing with their decision.

"Lastly, I'm just truly sorry to the Apex team. This is a headache they did not need. I know what their future plans are and I absolutely believe Apex has a bright future. There's so much cool shit coming. I just wished I could have worked on it", Klein concluded.

An EA spokesperson provided a statement to Fanbyte prior to Klein's termination on the 29th of July, which read: "The comments are disturbing, and we certainly don’t condone the point of view expressed. Our [human resources department] is aware and investigating".

Despite the ghosts of his past continually haunting him, Klein has been an outspoken advocate for marginalized groups in recent times. According to Fanbyte, Klein credits his spouse (who identifies as a non-binary, queer disabled person) for encouraging his growth.

apex legends daniel z klein respawn fired
Daniel Z Klein and his spouse celebrate 1-year anniversary. (Picture: Twitter / Daniel Z Klein)

Klein condemns his younger self for the "awful and bigoted statements" he made in 2007 and was previously fired from Riot Games after he publically defended the League of Legends PAX West events, which were exclusive to women and non-binary individuals. 

EA/Respawn has not provided any further comment at this time.

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Header image via Respawn / EA.