Nexon’s recent controversy with feminist hand gestures by Angelic Buster (Enver) MV Conti from its popular title MapleStory took a new turn. Feminist Criticisms against Nexon were found to be inappropriate and the PPURI studio (also known as Studio Root) was forced to admit the false accusation. However, the table turned towards the PPURI studio and facts show that the animator didn’t put any underlying message to portray “misogyny” as the Nmcho community claimed against Nexon on this index finger controversy.

On the 28th of November, heavy criticisms burst out alleging Nexon, and a few other South Korean game developers for a hand gesture controversy with thumb and index finger in their promotional videos. Later, Nexon passed the allegations to Studio PPURI, saying the contents were made by them. PPURI took down all the videos soon after the matter went viral online and they also released a statement of apology. As reported in The Kyunghyang Shinmun, a few of the spokespersons from both Nexon and PPURI talked about the matter with the South Korean daily where they clarified their stand that led to the issue to a latest turnver.

The animation was made by a male artist, destroying the last hope of establishing the issue

PPURI introduced the artist of the ‘Angelic Buster’ in Nexon’s promotional video as Mr. K who is currently in his 40s and a male. The person was hired on a freelance basis because of Nexon’s pressure to finish the job on a tight schedule. The person had no interest in making such a misogynistic symbol. But more shocking news is that Mr. K was only a part of the team that created the video for Nexon. 30 animators together built the video and were supervised by two Emmy Award-winning male directors whose job was to guide the poses.

Kim Sang-jin explaining animation process of a game character
Image via PPURI

Kim Sang-jin and Choi In-Seung jointly oversaw the process of making the content and the duo also said, “It is impossible for an animator to arbitrarily insert a specific scene against the director’s intention.” Kim won the 59th Emmy Award in 2007 for the animated TV series “Avatar: The Legend of Aang”. He said, “If you understand the process, you will understand how absurd this controversy is.“. Moreover, the video that went viral was also checked by the game company more than eight times.

The issue emerged last month when a defunct radical feminist named Namcho community started spreading controversy. The community claimed that the hand gesture of several game characters from Nxeon portrays a symbol of misandry. It went viral quickly and put Nexon in a very uncomfortable situation. Taking early steps, the company didn’t bother considering PPURI’s stand. Kim Chang-seop, the director of MapleStory at Nexon, emphasized the company’s stance, stating, “We firmly oppose those who feel no shame in blindly hating others and find joy in exposing them.

Kim Chang-seop, the general director of Nexon MapleStory responsing against freelance animation companies
Image via Nexon

Later, the company decided to take legal action against the animation studio. However, the quick response now looks like a curse for Nexon as the feminist allegations against Nexon are inappropriate. Kim Hwan-min, head of the IT Union, remarked, “Confirming intentional misandry based solely on a hand gesture is an absurd mockery of the animation industry. Nexon’s failure to verify even basic facts before blaming the company engaged to produce the video also defies logic.

Nexon provided all the materials but the blame was on PPURI’s shoulder

So, before a character is showcased, the parent company describes each movement and how they want the character to act. Besides, there were specific instructions from Nexon for each movement and pose. The company even provided a reference image so that PPURI could do it accordingly. Director Kim said, “The general director not only directs the scenes but also inspects each stage of the production process.” And, each set of works has to undergo four stages of checking. He also said that it is common sense to understand the issue.

Nexon pushed PPURI to accept the allegation without checking a prior fact

Jang, the CEO of PPURI, had a call with Nexon the day after the theory went viral. A Nexon authority said, “We are cautious about giving our opinions,” but that “apologizing is the kind of consideration that the root side can give (to Nexon).” “I want you to be as fast as possible,” and “I want you to communicate in a strict and low-key manner,” he said.

Angelic Buster MV Conti draft art by Nexon, Nexon index finger controversy
Image via Nexon

And now, Nexon is being criticized gravely because the index finger controversy against Nexon was found to be inappropriate and their poor support to the creator studio of the controversial video. The company pushed the maker of the original art, PPURI, to take all the blame. The animator had to issue a departure announcement to protect the others as continuous threats were coming at him from the Namcho community.

This again showed how miserably Nexon failed to address the issue with fact-checking. This could have ruined the man’s whole career. The poor animator became a scapegoat for Nexon’s action. In answering a question asked to the animator why he’s bringing up the fact now he said, “We need to be a society where we can say no.

What are your thoughts on this index finger controversy of Nexon? Let us know in the comments below!

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