Although PAX West is still a month away, there is already some controversy after Colin Moriarty and Chris “Ray Gun” Maldonado have had the live recording of their podcast, “Sacred Symbols," canceled. The cancellation has been a talking point for Moriarty and his fanbase after he posted a screenshot of an email confirming the cancellation.
The simple fact of the matter is that the type of commentary that the pair engage in is textbook intolerance for individuals seeking racial and gender equality through the guise of comedy. When the pair released a 2016 music video titled “Ain’t No Rest for the Triggered,” Maldonado specifically mocked individuals who are offended by racist Halloween costumes and the misgendering of trans people.
Kotaku reached out Moriarty, who stated that:
“If I were a betting man, I’d say people complained that we were given a panel and PAX capitulated. PAX won’t respond because they can’t. If a big event like PAX said, ‘We cancelled the panel because Chris and Colin are Nazis,’ (which is something I’ve seen often since the cancellation) they know it wouldn’t hold up to actual scrutiny.”
Certainly, no one likely considers the pair to be literal Nazis, and they need not be either for the main point to stand. The current atmosphere in the USA is one where domestic terrorism is on the rise, and racial disharmony appears in the worst of ways. The El Paso shooting only four days ago was executed by a hate-filled man who drove nine hours to a location with a predominant Hispanic population to unleash his spree of murder. For Moriarty to say the cancellation of their panel was political is probably not far off.
On the other hand, we can simply say that as a private organization, PAX is free to invite and dis-invite anyone they like. This is less of a political move, and more a decision not to include divisiveness into a place that historically since its humble beginnings has been about inclusivity in the gaming community.
Moriarty and Maldonado are free to continue being content producers on their own podcast - that's their given right. But to start complaining and blaming politics when others choose not to host them is entirely irrelevant. They may claim that their views are progressive, or liberal, or that they do not support the actions of the current administration. But we're not interested in their claims - only in their actions.
And for the most part? Their actions align quite neatly with the kind of people who should not be at PAX in the first place.