Activision has cut ties with the voice actor behind the character Ghost in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Jeff Leach, after the comedian and streamer was faced with accusations of sexism.
Leach was banned from Twitch in 2017 after comments made about Twitch partner ZombiUnicorn. ZombiUnicorn turned down an offer to appear on a show when she heard Leach would also be a guest – who then made the comments about her on the show.
On May 7, a Twitter thread was posted by Facebook streamer NitroLukeDX, including a clip of Leach’s comments about ZombiUnicorn, as well as another clip more recent, believed to be from December 2020.
In response, ZombiUnicorn called upon both Facebook Gaming (where Leach is a partnered broadcaster) and Call of Duty publisher Activision to take action.
On May 8, an Activision spokesperson provided Dexerto the following statement:
“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.”
Leach defends comments
On Twitter, Jeff Leach explained that his allegedly sexist comments were in response to “a hateful, toxic troll who came into my community chat to attack me and my community.
“I have done the same to men who think that internet trolling and toxic behavior are clever. I’m a stand-up comic.
You made this a gender-related issue and took it out of context.”
No. I mocked a hateful, toxic troll who came into my community chat to attack me and my community. I have done the same to men who think that internet trolling and toxic behaviour are clever. I’m a stand up comic.
You made this a gender-related issue and took it out of context.
— Jeff Leach (@jeffleach) May 8, 2021
He also said that he did not condone anyone sending “threatening messages” and that anyone who does so does not represent his community.
ZombiUnicorn said “good on [Activision] for taking action” but reiterated that Facebook Gaming was still “allowing hate and prejudice to reign free on your platform.”
I sent @Activision a lot of documentation of his prejudice & misogyny over the years. If this statement is true, good on them for taking action.@FacebookGaming we're still waiting on your response to allowing hate and prejudice to reign free on your platform. https://t.co/uQIvCLrHdg
— Nati 🦩🌴Ⓥ (they/them) (@TheZombiUnicorn) May 9, 2021
At the time of writing, Jeff Leach is still a partnered streamer on Facebook Gaming.