Cards Against Humanity has supplanted classic games like “snort the adderall” and “kings” as the pastime of choice for the early-20s set. Max Temkin, the card game’s creator, is an accused rapist—a charge that’s only finally catching up with him.
Temkin was supposed to appear at the upcoming XOXO Festival, which describes itself as as “an experimental festival celebrating independently produced art and technology.” Think the feel-good Gen-X nebulousness of SXSW, before SXSW became a horrorshow. The festival’s tabletop gaming component was supposed to be headlined by Temkin: “If you haven’t played the essential party game for horrible people, now’s your chance,” the website beckoned.
Yes, about that. Despite a recent fun and flattering New York Times profile, Temkin still stands accused of rape by a former college classmate.
Given that XOXO’s code of conduct demands “cooperation from all participants to ensure a safe environment for everybody,” this was an odd invite. Nozlee Samadzadeh, a developer and editor, was the first to protest Temkin’s inclusion in the festival publicly:
Other women spoke out as well:
Heads up, today is your last day to cancel @xoxo passes and get a refund, for anyone else uncomfortable about them promoting a rapist.
— ✨Courtney Stanton✨ (@SuperOpinion8ed) August 22, 2014
Four days later, Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, the conference’s founders, wrote a contrite note on XOXO’s website admitting that they had made a mistake inviting Temkin:
Since releasing our lineup this week, we’ve heard from several attendees and members of our community who are uncomfortable with Max Temkin’s involvement due to allegations of sexual assault that were made against him last month.
We made a mistake. We didn’t anticipate that his presence could make people feel unsafe, could be triggering for victims of sexual harassment or assault, and question whether XOXO was a place where they belonged.
We spoke with Max, and we’ve agreed the best course of action is that he will not be attending XOXO.
Temkin, whose Twitter bio reads “Unemployable,” has not commented on the matter.
Photo by Nate Burgos/Flickr