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Wizards of the Coast, best known as the company that publishes the popular fantasy-themed trading card game Magic: The Gathering, recently announced it would be ending its longtime partnership with artist Terese Nielsen due to the latter’s affinity with the alt-right.
For reference, Magic: The Gathering consists of hundreds of thousands of cards, each of which is fitted with astounding artwork. The company typically does not produce this artwork in-house, but outsources it to a number of independent creators. Nielsen, who had been designing cards for Wizards since the early 1990s, was one of their earliest and most prolific freelancers.
For most of her employment, Nielsen was on good terms with the company. However, in 2018, fans began noticing the artist was following an alarming amount of conspiracy theorists on Twitter, nearly all of whom are affiliated with the alt-right. From white nationalists like Stefan Molyneux and Sandy Hook-deniers such as Alex Jones, Nielsen could be found in their lists of followers.
While the artist could have been following these accounts for strictly educational purposes – not unlike how many non-Trump supporters follow the President’s Twitter account – she cemented her unfavorable political beliefs by retweeting a number of racist posts. As soon as the Magic community became aware of her tastes, Nielsen began unfollowing many of the aforementioned accounts.
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But her employer had already taken note. Had this controversy come to light a few years ago, Wizards of the Coast may have pardoned the artist and pretended nothing had happened. However, after receiving accusations of pervasive, ongoing racism on the work floor, the company’s hands were metaphorically tied.
“We haven’t commissioned new art from Terese Nielsen in quite a while,” Doug Beyer, Principal Game Designer for Magic: the Gathering said. “The last product that will have any reprint art from her is this Fall with Zendikar Rising.”
Source: Hipsters of the Coast