Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s actor for Ghost, Jeff Leach, has been fired by Activision for “sexism” due to comments made toward another streamer.
Call of Duty publisher Activision is “no longer working with” Jeff Leach, voice actor of Ghost in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot, following the social media circulation of harassing comments Leach directed at a fellow content creator. Leach had taken over the role of Ghost as a Modern Warfare Season 2 Operator in early 2020.
Ghost is one of the series’ more recognizable characters, making his debut in Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. The skull-masked character then made a post-launch appearance in the reboot as a multiplayer character with Leach as his new actor. Appearing in seasonal cutscenes that served as extensions of Modern Warfare‘s story, Ghost is expected to play a larger role in the inevitable sequel, which will likely release in 2022.
If Ghost does appear more frequently in a new game, Leach will not be reprising his role. YouTuber and Facebook Gaming streamer NitroLuke DX recently shared a series of clips showing Leach making several harassing comments toward streamer ZombiUnicorn, which NitroLuke DX called “Serious personalised intrusive sexism.” Following the clips’ circulation, Activision issued a statement to CharlieIntel:
“Sexism has no place in our industry, our games or in society. […] Activision is no longer working with Jeff Leach. We strongly condemn these remarks. We are committed to delivering a fun and safe experience for all players.”
Responding to NitroLuke DX’s tweet before Activision’s statement, ZombiUnicorn called out Activision for “acting … like allies” by posting in support of causes like Black Lives Matter but not following through or dealing with abuse in their own spheres. “Why are you hiring people like this, with well-documented cases of this kind of stuff?,” ZombiUnicorn said. “Please, put your money where your mouth is.”
Leach is also a partner with Facebook Gaming, but the platform has yet to make any statement on the matter. Activision, for one, addressed the issue swiftly once it resurfaced, but as ZombiUnicorn pointed out, Leach’s behavior wasn’t something new. According to Dexetero, Leach’s comments in the first clip in NitroLuke DX’s tweet, which occurred during a 2017 Twitch livestream, resulted in Leach being permanently banned from the platform. Whether Activision was aware of Leach’s actions prior to hiring him is unknown.
As for what this might mean for the Modern Warfare sequel, Call of Duty 2021 is rumored to be a WWII game. It’s likely the next Modern Warfare won’t need its actors for any recording sessions until the end of 2021 or early 2022, so there’s plenty of time to find a more deserving actor for the role. Whether or not Activision will go the extra lengths to re-record Leach’s performances in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remains to be seen.
Next: Activision’s Biggest Games Will All Use Call Of Duty As a Template
Source: CharlieIntel, ZombiUnicorn, Dexetero
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