Wyrmwood, the maker of tabletop gaming accessories long loved by players like Dungeons & Dragons, is coming under fire for its response to a barrage of sexual harassment allegations that have surfaced this week.
After a tweet gained traction who accused the company of protecting an employee accused of sexual assault, one of the fired employees responded with harsh words against the company.
I am a former employee of @WyrmwoodGaming
and I want to leave my story on record. I’m the one the tweet was talking about. Remember firing me, Doug?
(I’m looking at the video because he wrote all this down for clarity and brevity.)#WyrmsArentFriends pic.twitter.com/FiVDKyg6iM
— Andy Morocco (@Andy_Morocco) February 19, 2023
In the video, former employee Andy Moroccoalleges that he was fired in retaliation for reporting the sexual assault of a co-worker that occurred on company premises.
“I was taken behind the store by CEO Douglas Costello. I assumed he wanted more information directly from the source, but instead he fired me in retaliation for, in his words, ‘creating drama in the store,'” Morocco states in the video.
He later added “Wyrmwood is not your friend and they don’t care about people.”
In response to the allegations, Wyrmwood released a four-page document describing the events in their own words, in which they claimed that the accused sex offender was also fired and that they were unaware that the alleged assault had taken place in their home. of work – the last claim they have since withdrawn. Later that day, Wyrmwood released a since-private YouTube video in which Wyrmwood management and HR representatives presented their side of the story in the presence of their attorney, in which they repeated their allegations, including the false claim that they had not been informed where the incident took place.
Organizations begin to cut ties with Wyrmwood
Soon after Wyrmwood’s response, fans and partners began cutting ties with the company, including Take This, a non-profit organization that has partnered with Wyrmwood for years.
In its statement, Take This cited what it considered to be Wyrmwood’s inadequate response as the final reason for ending the partnership, writing: “The serious allegations involving egregious employee behavior and the termination of the person who reported the behavior at Wyrmwood Gaming violate the ideals and mission of our organization. Wyrmwood has since released a written statement and an accompanying video that are troubling and outside Take This’s ethical standards.”
Meanwhile, former Wyrmwood supporters took to social media to express their disappointment at how Wyrmwood responded to the allegations, many of whom stated that they would no longer purchase Wyrmwood products.
I read the written statement last night and felt that some of the comments seemed harsh and now I am seconds into this video and utterly appalled at Wyrmwood’s conduct.
— Lysa Penrose (fae/faer) (@lysapenrose) February 22, 2023
The following day, Wyrmwood made his video response private and issued a further statement apologizing for his initial response, writing: “We are taking down the video we posted. We reacted with visceral anger and disbelief at the false allegations that were spreading online, and We did what we always do – post a video addressing this to defend ourselves. However, many of our partners and customers reached out to us and explained that the video was tone deaf and harmful. We agree with them and apologize.”
For many years, Wyrmwood has been a trusted high-end option for tabletop gamers, who have made their projects some of the biggest Kickstarter successes of all time. Time will tell if partners and customers will accept the apology, but so far all the controversy seems to have had little effect on his Kickstarter, which has raised over $1.7 million for his gaming table.
Travis Northup is a writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @TieGuyTravis and read his game coverage here.