More than 4,000 people have signed a petition urging the organisers of a pop culture event to withdraw their invitation to actor Adam Baldwin, claiming that his #GamerGate hashtag is used to target women for sexist abuse.
The petitioners are demanding that the Supanova Pop Culture Expo, a convention for fans of comic books, anime, and science-ficton and fantasy in Sydney and Perth revoke its invitation to Baldwin to meet and greet fans as a 'supa-star guest'. reports Daily Mail Australia.
The petition claims that the hashtag allegedly initiated by Baldwin led to "numerous instances of harassment and abuse towards women" in the past six months.
Baldwin, they say, "claims to be acting for 'journalistic integrity' but targets women, people of colour and the LGBTI+ community inside the gaming industry".
Baldwin denies the accusations, and in a tweet alleged that the accusations are defamatory.
Actor Seth Rogen branded Baldwin a "fucking idiot" in a tweet, after Baldwin alleged that games developer Brianna Wu lied when she claimed she had been driven from her home after receiving rape and death threats, and described the reaction of feminist Anita Sarkeesian as hysterical after she received abusive messages, reports The Vine.
The petitioners claim that Baldwin, best known for his roles in Firefly and Chuck, postedlinks to private information about female games developers on his Twitter feed – an act known as "doxxing" – who were then subjected to sexist abuse.
"I have always felt welcomed and loved by both the community, the variety of guests invited, and the family-friendly atmosphere that is harboured [sic]," petition organiser Albert Santos wrote. "Knowing that someone that has not only harassed and intimidated people, but has led an entire online movement in doing so, will be there goes against those sentiments entirely."
Event organiser Daniel Zachariou in a Facebook posting asked for the "patience and understanding" of those attending the event, but did not indicate what action, if any, would be taken in response to the petition.
Fans of Baldwin have organised their own counterpetition, demanding that the actor be kept on.
"Quite a few things he has said have been grossly taken out of context…" says the petition, which has 3,000 signatures. "Dont [sic] spoil it for those of us who desperately want to see him.Who cares we all have beliefs and what are we turning into an extended US state where the opinions of right or left wing sensationalism is taken for gods right! Please he is an amazing actor in many ways and his views are his own. I don't care.'
"Who cares we all have beliefs and what are we turning into an extended US state where the opinions of right or left wing sensationalism is taken for gods right! Please he is an amazing actor in many ways and his views are his own. I don't care.
"If you don't like him, don't get his autograph and don't go to his panel."
The GamerGate campaign began after female games designer Zoe Quinn was falsely accused of sleeping with a male journalist in return for positive reviews.