Magic: The Gathering Creators Accused Of Pervasive, Ongoing Racism

Magic: The Gathering

Wizards of the Coast, better known as the company that owns, designs and ships the popular fantasy trading card game Magic: The Gathering, is being accused of pervasive and ongoing racism. Although the company has, like many others, issued a statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, one of their former affiliates would beg to differ.

Zaiem Beg, a well-known member of the Magic community over in Seattle and frequent contributor to many websites devoted to the card game, recently posted a lengthy account of his negative experience with the company on Twitter. The account, titled “The Wizards I Know,” implores fans not to accept Wizards’ statement of solidarity, as their actual business practices stand in stark contradiction to what their PR team says.

Although the account is way too long to cover in detail, here are some key takeaways. According to Beg, Wizards’ recruiters have frequently refused colored applicants in favor of white ones, even when the former were much better suited for the job than the latter. What’s more, the company has also judged employees of color by radically different standards than their white colleagues.

In his account, the whistle-blower describes a particularly tasteless incident where, during the making of the India-inspired Kaladesh set, one white designer “joked in a column about putting the word ‘convenience’ in the flavor text if only there was room on the card for such delightful racisms.” This attitude, according to Beg, prevailed on the work floor.

At the end of the day, it’s easy for companies and celebrities to issue statements of solidarity. The difficult, yet necessary part is modifying their practices according to their supposed beliefs. In this regard, the Magic: The Gathering creators are but one of many industry leaders that have blatantly contradicted themselves during these trying times, and are now suffering the consequences of their insincerity.