American actor Adam Baldwin. Photo: Getty
A petition calling to revoke American actor Adam Baldwin's invitation to the upcoming Supanova Pop Culture Expo, to be held in Australia in April and June, is nearing its target of 2,000 signatures this morning.
In a case reminiscent of the banning of 'pick-up artist' Julian Blanc from Australia, the UK and Canada in November –after his tutorial videos containing sexist and violent content caused widespread outrage– the petition by Albert Santos is requesting Baldwin be barred from the event as a result of his involvement in #GamerGate, an online campaign that gained momentum as a means to target women within the gaming industry.
Under the hashtag, which the star of Full Metal Jacket and the TV series Firefly is credited with starting in August, prominent female gaming figures like Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu became the targets of threats of violence and rape and were inundated with hate mail. There were also threats made against their lives.
A screen grab from the online petition calling to ban American actor Adam Baldwin from Supanova Pop Culture Expo.
In one specific instance, as Santos's petition highlights, Baldwin directly linked to videos that disclosed the personal details of game developers Quinn and Wu, tweeting the information to his several thousand Twitter followers. The sharing of private information online to incite hate and harassment is dubbed "doxxing".
Doxxing also caused Anita Sarkeesian to flee her home in late August after explicit threats were made against her and her family by an online harasser who knew where they lived. In a string of disturbing messages, he described in chilling detail how he would assault and murder Sarkeesian. He then said he would kill her parents.
Several high-profile members of the gaming community have spoken out against the #GamerGate movement, with Firefly's Joss Whedon tweeting: "I watched a bunch of women get sliced up in video games and now I'm watching it on my twitter feed. @femfreq is just truth-telling. Deal."
Santos states that he has long been a fan and attendee of the Supanova event. "I have always felt welcomed and loved by both the community, the variety of guests invited, and the family-friendly atmosphere," he writes in the petition. "Knowing that someone that has not only harassed and intimidated people, but has led an entire online movement in doing so, will be there goes against those sentiments entirely."