We've already spoken about what we think about the Xbox One stage show at this year's Eurogamer Expo, but more drama kicked off on the final day of the show, with show presenter Fraser Millward being called into question regarding his treatment of one of the female contestants who took part in the show.
Laura Kate Dale tweeted the following messages (note that due to the woman being harassed mercilessly via Twitter, we have removed the actual Tweets):-
"Most embarrassing moment of Eurogamer. Pulled up on stage for XB1 thing and called male twice and "it" twice."
"That has really ruined my weekend."
"Hope someone from Microsoft sees this. Your presenter made completely dehumanised me in front of an audience. Ruined my Eurogamer."
Twitter has rallied to Miss Dale's defence, and understandably so. The stage shows have been a little close to the bone at times over the weekend, with one notable occurrence seeing clearly underage gamers taking part in a "twerking" contest in order to win a t-shirt, in front of a crowd of fans.
Ricky Mensah, Event Manager for Microsoft, apologised for any offence caused by the stage show, before introducing us to the show presenter, Fraser Millward. In a short discussion with Mr. Millward, we showed him the accusatory tweets and asked for his response to the whole situation.
Mr. Millward stated that he agreed that he referred to Miss Dale as "this person" as with all the furore of dealing with 350 or so baying fans and trying to run a stage show, he didn't instantly recognise her gender. He states that "I should have said 'this person' and then gone on to the next person and also referred to them as 'this person' so as not to cause offence, but I was thinking on my feet. I wouldn't do the same thing again."
In direct response to the following tweet, though, Mr. Millward was a little more defensive in his comments.
Laura Kate Dale: "I was 'he', 'it'. 'Thing' and 'this one'. I was on stage and they still insist 'we need a woman on stage, any women here.'"
"Staff apologised to her, but every single part of the first sentence of that tweet is made up. We called for more women so as to balance things up as there were mostly male gamers on stage, yes. There are ways of complaining in a mature way, but this is inflammatory and slanderous. 350 witnesses saw that this did not happen and that I didn't say those things. I would like to speak to her face to face to sort this out, but she's taken to Twitter and now I'm getting hundreds of tweets per minute." We asked what could have sparked these claims if this indeed did not happen, and Mr. Millward said that "I referred to her as 'this person', at which point some of the crowd laughed. I should have diffused that situation, but I think that is what's caused this to happen. I did not refer to the woman as 'thing' or 'it' at any point."
Miss Dale claims that Microsoft's security staff prevented her from speaking to Mr. Millward, which Mr. Millward claims he was not aware of.
Update #1 - 10:30 September 30th, 2013: A Microsoft spokesperson has issued the following statement: "We are aware of an incident today on the Xbox booth at the Eurogamer Expo, at which an inappropriate comment was made, and we apologise for any offence caused."
Update #2 - 22:39 September 30th, 2013: Fraser Millward has posted the following over the course of a series of tweets this evening:
I’d like to express my sadness and dismay at what has ensued following a live stage event at the weekend. No offence was intended when I referred to Laura Kate Dale as ‘this person’ after I asked the audience to applaud her and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any offence and hurt I may have caused. There will be no further comment or response regarding this matter. Signing off!