An admin on the official Discord servers for Kinetic Games’ extremely popular indie horror game Phasmophobia was recently removed after a Twitter user issued a public condemnation of the studio for not keeping its community safe from sexual harassment and racism.
Last week, Twitter user @CrownedCollider posted a thread in which they alleged problematic behavior by one of Phasmophobia‘s Discord admins, “Charcoal Salamander.” The accusations, backed with Discord screenshot receipts, concern inappropriately shared nudes and outright racist behavior. While the developer’s lead artist, CJ, initially responded skeptically in a private DM and seemed reluctant to act, two days later they issued an apology tweet stating that Charcoal Salamander had been removed from the server. Yesterday, Kinetic Games tweeted its own statement detailing issues with the admin in question, which goes back to the beginning of the year.
Kotaku has reached out to Kinetic Games for comment.
According to Kinetic Games’ statement, Charcoal Salamander had been accused of sexual harassment on January 25 of this year, specifically sharing nude images and broaching several “on-the-line” topics. At the time, Kinetic Games was content with Charcoal Salamander’s response, believing that the images had been shared publicly elsewhere on Discord.
@CrownedCoIIider’s initial call-out tweet last week was met with dismissal by Kinetic Games lead artist CJ via Twitter DMs. In shared screenshots of the conversation, CJ disagreed with the nature of sharing nude images, dismissed it as essentially boys being boys, and claimed that this alone wasn’t a punishable offence.
A day later, @CrownedCoIIider shared videos of a private conversation with Charcoal Salamander, in which the former Discord admin can be seen making racist comments. Following this, CJ issued their apology, suggesting that their dismissal of the inappropriateness of what is arguably revenge porn was taken out of context.
Per their statements, the artist CJ pledged to “not let a situation like this happen again,” and Kinetic Games said it “will do better.”