Opinion: Nintendo got it right on Alison Rapp's firing
Nintendo made a smart decision in a bad situation
[Disclaimer: This is the opinion of the author]
Nintendo fired Alison Rapp, and it's the right call. Not because of a smear campaign, which was utter horsesh*t, but because of her words and actions while employed at Nintendo.
Let's address the smear campaigns. They originate from her detractors finding a publicly available academic writing from her college days. It seems to take an unpopular stance on Japan's right to make their own laws regarding depictions of child sexuality. It's an uncomfortable topic to be sure, but any topic should be open to properly researched and reasoned academic discourse. Barring her actually diddling children, she did nothing wrong by discussing a controversial subject, even if you don't agree with it.
If that was the sole reason for her firing, I would be there with the rest of the pitchfork-wielding mob, but it's not.
Rapp chose to write about child sexuality and air controversial opinions on social media sites, and made no bones about her posts being intentionally inflammatory. She (allegedly) moonlighted as a model for suggestive photos, and posted a sample from her “shoot” on her twitter. There's nothing particularly bad about any of these things on their own.
The problem is that Alison Rapp was employed by Nintendo of America in the PR field. You know, the only major video game company that's adamant about catering almost exclusively to children and families. We can clearly see Rapp was aware that she needed to be careful about what was and wasn't appropriate, given her position with Nintendo and working with children, but that didn't stop her from making “edgy” posts on twitter, be they serious or in jest.
(EDIT: It has come to my atention that the dates on Rapp's tweets used in this article are prior to her employment at Nintendo. I've been dealing with lots of tweets and dates, so I got confused. That being said, she retained a knack for posting things that are unbecoming of a Nintendo PR employee and the above tweets are still an issue for a family friendly company looking to avoid child related controversy.)
People have been fired for much, much less. For example, her own coworker. Personally, I'm surprised she lasted as long as she did, but considering Nintendo is about a decade behind the times, I'm sure they're just now uncovering her twitter account.
Alison Rapp's own words and actions were all the justification a corporate entity like Nintendo, that wants to be more family friendly than Disney, needed to fire her. Rapp was bringing in bad publicity while the company was already down, and when they found an easy out, they canned her. That's smart and reasonable business practices in action.
Possible easy out.
I feel bad for Alison Rapp. She seems like a truly delightful person and I enjoyed her on streams with the Treehouse at E3 2014. No one should be subjected to smear campaigns, and harassed on the level she was. At the same time, she had to be incredibly stupid or convinced she was bullet proof to behave the way she did.
That brings me to the fallout raining down on poor Nintendo.
Big f*ck you to certain gun jumping media prick(s) that tried to spin a narrative before all the facts came to light. Another f*ck you to all the Z-tier indie devs that want to jam pitchforks into Nintendo over this issue by pulling their games, I'm sure your product is a huge loss in your own minds, and the minds of those who purchase them.
If you want to hate on someone, hate on the assholes that perpetrated a smear campaign against Rapp and put her under a microscope. Aim your anger at Jamie Walton, a person that conducts witch hunts under the banner of a good cause. You can even blame Alison Rapp's own poor social media decisions.
Just don't take it out on Nintendo, they did nothing wrong in firing Alison Rapp.
Update: I feel my words on Mrs. Walton have been taken out of context. The section mentioning her is supposed to be read in a fairly condescending tone to Rapp supporters seeking to place blame and a is reference to when Patrick Klepek misquoted her to paint her as a hoodwinked social worker on a witch hunt. I have reached out to and apologized to Mrs. Walton in private and publicly.