"Hopefully we will keep getting better" - Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik Apologizes

Mike Krahulik says "Pax makes me want to be better."

If you've somehow missed the controversy, you can read more about it here

After re-opening the whole Dickwolves controversy Monday, Mike Krahulik (aka Gabe) from Penny Arcade posted a blog post titled "Some Clarification." In the post,  a decent read if you've been offended by PA's recent activities, outlines the situation and his personal feelings on the matter. 

Mike says that the whole rape culture statement that he was accused of making with the initial comic was never the intention of Penny Arcade;

the comic itself obviously points out the absurd morality of the average MMO where you are actually forced to help some people and ignore others in the same situation. Oddly enough, the first comic by itself is exactly the opposite of what this whole thing has turned into.

The Dickwolves situation bloomed into something else because of the response Penny Arcade made to the hurt feelings expressed by fans and critics alike. Instead of moving on or issuing a sincere apology, they made a joke out of the discomfort of others. 

Mike apologizes for the follow-up strip, expressing regret for what he calls...

"a knee jerk reaction...it was a massive AOE that hurt a lot of innocent people. We should have just stopped right then but we kept going and made the merchandise."

The merchandise he discusses is a shirt with the a wolf's head and with the word "Dickwolves" on it. People who were initially unaware of the conflict became more aware and became much, much angrier. 

"I apologized for it at the time and I will still apologize for it. Everything we did after that initial comic strip was a mistake and I regret all of it."

According to Mike, what he meant when he said that they never should've pulled the Dickwolves merch (the statement made this Monday), was the pulling the merchandise reignited the dying controversy. He believes that if they had just stopped talking about Dickwolves it would've gone away. 

You can read the entire statement on the Penny Arcade website

What do you think about Mike's apology? 

Former Staff Editor

Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.

Published Sep. 5th 2013
  • Matriarch_6651
    @ The "no one should ever express displeasure" bit.

    The rules of society should not be dictated by the most hypersensitive.

    I understand that some people have peanut allergies- allergies that they can DIE from. This is very serious, and therefore I completely understand and support labelling of products, etc.

    I am grateful, however, that they have not formed a massive (Dawn of War) Ork style WAUUUGGGH! attempting to ban peanuts. That would be a bridge too far- and that's in a case when actual harm is done, as opposed to... uhh.... this one.

    PA actually under reacted, because as long as a small subset of the population gets rewarded for bullying others like this, they will continue to do so, and we all lose out as a result.
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    A lot of comedy skirts the edge of acceptable in an attempt to provoke a response. Try to find a comic that's not in some way offensive to someone, and you'll end up with Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan, or a bunch of awful humorists.

    They may have stepped over the line with their responses, but the original premise that ignited the flames was hardly cause for controversy. There's no easy way out of this type of inferno. Ignoring it leaves the angry party smoldering. Smothering it seems like an over-reaction.

    The best solution might have been a sincere apology, but a comedian's nearest tool is humor. So they attempted to defuse the situation the best way they knew how - with a joke. Turns out toss water on a grease fire doesn't put it out.

    The fact that it comes up now and again is not necessarily their "fault". If we never mention our mistakes after the fact, then we miss the opportunity to learn from them.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    I agree with certain aspects of what you're saying.

    Here's the thing. They brought it up. The panel was moderated by a Penny Arcade employee, the person speaking was at the very least, a main face for Penny Arcade. And what he said, without the context of his explanation, was incredibly inappropriate.

    I'm not suggesting that they sensor themselves. I didn't find the original comic offensive, personally. I found it dumb, but inoffensive. Their response, however, was incredibly offensive and is what caused 95% of the controversy.

    I do find it strange that the two arguments for this seem to be 1) Mike is a fascist pig who loves rape and 2)Everyone is getting butt-hurt for no reason, viva la First Amendment. I think both of these arguments are a bit extreme, for clarification. But it's weird to me that the second party believes that there is a vacuum where comedy exists and no one should ever express displeasure with something offensive. Humor is humor, I get it. But if you make the second comic in the Dickwolves controversy, then you deserve the grease fire you've created.

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