Head of Xbox at Microsoft, Phil Spencer has apologized for “school outfit” clad dancers at its GDC events which not everyone in attendance appreciated.
The decision to hire the dancers dancers for an event while trying to promote a welcoming environment for all and entice more diversity within the games industry seemed to contradict each other, something that didn’t get past numerous Tweets on the subject.
The Tweets were quickly picked up by Microsoft execs and prompted a response from Phile Spencer who wrote
How we show up as an organisation is incredibly important to me. We want to build and reflect the culture of TEAM XBOX – internally and externally – a culture that each one of us can represent with pride. An inclusive culture has a direct impact on the products and services we deliver and the perception consumers have of the Xbox brand and our company, as a whole.
It has come to my attention that at Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values. That was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. This matter is being handled internally, but let me be very clear – how we represent ourselves as individuals, who we hire and partner with and how we engage with others is a direct reflection of our brand and what we stand for. When we do the opposite, and create an environment that alienates or offends any group, we justly deserve the criticism.
It’s unfortunate that such events could take place in a week where we worked so hard to engage the many different gaming communities in the exact opposite way. I am personally committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business and our core values as a team — inside and outside the company. We need to hold ourselves to higher standards and we will do better in the future.
Not everyone seemed too disappointed with the choice of hiring the dancers though