The Korea Herald


Female Nexon employee berates 'misandrist gesture' in MapleStory video

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Nov. 28, 2023 - 12:36

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A screengrab from a Nexon animated video for MapleStory purportedly shows a controversial hand gesture. (YouTube) A screengrab from a Nexon animated video for MapleStory purportedly shows a controversial hand gesture. (YouTube)

A commenter claiming to be a female employee of local game publisher Nexon, which has been embroiled in controversy over the use of a "misandrist hand gesture," recently criticized the animator for reflecting personal views in a team project.

"A game isn't made by one person, but is a product of several people's collaboration over a long period of time. Why are you sneaking in your own personal views and hoping for other people to take care of it?" the person wrote on Blind, an anonymous online forum for verified employees in various industries.

The controversy broke out last week after Nexon released an animated video for the company's popular online role-playing game franchise MapleStory, in which some users claimed one of the characters made a finger-pinching hand gesture meant to be insulting to men.

The gesture was popularly used by members of the now-defunct extreme feminist online community Megalia, which sought to combat misogyny in Korea with mirroring behavior and was seen by many here as being misandrist. The gesture is intended to belittle men by indicating that they have tiny genitalia.

Nexon took down the video in question and issued a public apology, vowing to investigate the matter and to review videos more thoroughly in the future. The video had been created by Studio Ppuri, which has also produced videos for other popular Nexon games.

The studio also issued a public apology, and said the controversial gesture was not placed in the video deliberately.

"I suppose you would feel superior by sneaking in 'the finger' and feel like you won, but the rest of us (in the company) in the related division have to take care of the fallout. Dozens of us have to feel guilty toward the game-loving users and our co-workers," the user went on to say, berating the animator and saying the action has no place in feminism.

The particular hand gesture has sparked disputes in the past of a similar nature, including last year when local convenience store chain GS25 was accused of including it in a promotional poster.