Piece Touting Sex “Upon a Bed of Sonic” Strikes a Poor Chord
Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo publicly apologized late Monday over the publication of an article earlier in the day, in which the writer used the context of a Sonic adorned bed to describe his sexual conquests on it.
“We’ve taken some heat for this story. Some didn’t find it funny. To that I expect condemnation only for our taste. But to those who feel the story supported a view that our readers are all straight, male gamers, I do apologize,” Totilo said in a footnote added later to the story titled How I Achieved Greatness on a Sonic the Hedgehog-Themed Bed. “I should have caught that in the editing process of what was intended to be a light, humorous story.”
The article was penned by Kristen Kail. Notable from the Destroy All Slackers podcast and from his work as a comedian and author, Kail is an up and coming voice of influence in the Sonic community. Below is an excerpt from his piece:
At my new place I was a free man, a man who was free to decorate his room the way he felt a man-cave should look: covered from head to toe in Sonic the Hedgehog memorabilia. Action figures still in their packaging lined the walls, a poster of Eddie Lebron’s live-action fan film starring Jaleel White in the kitchen, and the cream of the crop – a giant Sonic the Hedgehog throw blanket with matching pillow cases on my bed.
Now, one might take a look at such an apartment and immediately declare “this guy will never get laid,” As a self-proclaimed ladies-man, I made it my job to disprove such a theory.
Totilo says it’s his responsibility if the tone of article made some who read it feel uncomfortable, and admitted in later comments the piece, in his opinion, “missed its mark.”
“That’s not on Kris, who was simply trying to entertain our readers. That’s on me,” Totilo said.
The apology was enough for a few Kotaku readers to accept. But many remained infuriated at the column’s apparent chauvinism. Others even questioned Totilo’s apology, arguing it was misdirected away from readers’ core concerns with the article.
“Having plastic figures on my shelves and anime art prints on my walls don’t embarrass me,” read one comment. “Articles like this embarrass me.”
“If your book is even just half as bad as this article, I can finally say that I’ve wanted to partake in book burning,” read a second comment directed toward Kail.
Kotaku has been on a bit of an anti-Sonic roll lately. Over the weekend, Kotaku writer Luke Plunkett urged readers in a headline to “not get excited” over the first gameplay trailer for Sonic 4: Episode II. And in the middle of February, Kotaku’s Mike Fahey penned a satire mocking various fan artists and their work, presumably without their prior knowledge, under the title Freaky Fan Art.
It is not clear whether, in light of the backlash, Kotaku staff will retract this latest article.