Game-maker Blizzard has removed George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s name from his World of Warcraft non-playable character (NPC) due to past homophobic remarks made by the Cannibal Corpse frontman in 2007.
“Gorge the Corpsegrinder” was an NPC and quest-giver that paid homage to the death metal vocalist, an outspoken WoW fan and a prominent player for the multiplayer online game’s Horde faction. However, calls to remove Corpsegrinder from WoW began in September when gamers shed light on homophobic remarks Fisher made in a 2007 interview.
The interview in question originated from 2007, and aired at the 2011 BlizzCon event. Fisher spoke about his love for World of Warcraft and playing for the Horde, but he called the rival faction, the Alliance, the “homo-alliance” and referred to those players as “cocksuckers.”
Blizzard’s then-president and co-founder, Michael Morhaime, issued an immediate apology, but Corpegrinder’s name remained in the game until now. Pressure from the game’s fanbase likely led to the decision.
“So when is Blizzard going to remove Gorge the Corpsegrinder, character named after prominent Horde player who threw homophobic ableist slurs and death threats to Alliance/Night Elf players on the BlizzCon stage?” wrote Twitter user Drekky Drimm, whose tweet gained traction prior the name change.
The character has been renamed Annihilator Grek’lor.
Parallel to the Corpsegrinder controversy is a separate lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against parent company Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of having a “frat boy culture” that is a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”
It’s worth noting that gaming culture has often been criticized for this exact reason, especially in the recent past. Anyone who played Xbox Live or an online game in 2007 can attest to how commonplace homophobic slurs became in the online-gaming lexicon. Finally, it appears developers are putting their foot down when it comes to this behavior.
Watch a clip of the controversial remarks made by Corpsegrinder during the 2011 BlizzCon presentation below.
— 🌸 🍑 Drekky Drimm 🍑 🌸 officially homeless (@drekkydrimm) October 17, 2021