For the time being, this will hopefully be the end of the Destructoid saga. It concludes with more people chiming in about Allistair Pinsof’s firing, the truth surrounding Holly Green’s firing and Dale North’s decision to make a call that affected the life and career of a close friend in a really bad way.
[Important Reading: Allistair Pinsof’s firing from Destructoid]
[Important Reading No. 2: Yanier “Niero” Gonzalez Responds]
It was previously mentioned in the other articles that former writer for Destructoid, Holly Green, was allegedly on the end of wrongful termination, according to her side of the story. Holly stated in a series of fiery tweets that…
“You know, y’all really piss me off. Radio silence on what Dtoid did to me while you piss your pants straining to defend others.”
“Hypocrites. You’ll take that easy opportunity to prove your loyalty without ever actually sticking your neck out for anyone. So go ahead, keep pressing that flesh with abusers and assholes. Ya pricks.”
“They threatened me, erased my body of work, and repeatedly ignore or deny sexual misconduct. But I’m the bad guy.”
“These injustices you wish to fight for women in this industry? They go so deep. You’ll never know. You will always take the easy route. Pricks, con artists, and fakes. You only speak up when it benefits your career, not when ppl need you.”
According to the owner of Destructoid and co-founder of Modern Method, Yanier “Niero” Gonzalez, those statements aren’t entirely true.
When I reached out to all parties involved, Gonzalez was the first to offer an explanation of the situation, stating…
“Holly is a sensitive topic because, and we knew this when she started, she is on some medications for stuff that I rather skip the details on.
“I hired her anyway because she was a weird kid with a stong voice and an honest smile, and everybody has old trauma and deals with depression or health issues. No big whoop. We didnt have a paying gig for her at first so *she* wanted to volunteer (important).
“Early on there she would literally cry when she thought praise was due to her (she felt underappreciated. Nobody thanks me daily either)
“It got worse. Whenever we had a problem with her behavior she would overshare problems with her love life and family. It was really awkward for me to deal with. She was a handful. Just painting a picture for you so far.
“Nobody would say she is a bad writer. She always did good work here and she and I had a good friendship. I dont think she had any beef with particular staff either.” [sic]
Regarding this particular case, I tried reaching out to some staff members of Destructoid regarding her situation, as well as some other individuals from Modern Method regarding their input on Holly, but at the time of the writing of this article, they had nothing to offer or were unwilling to provide a quote.
Gonzalez, however, offered to explain further, noting that…
“She became increasingly outspoken for certain triggers and would rail against staff. When she disagreed with staff she’d then vent passive aggressively on Twitter, and later often taking personal jabs at industry people. No surprise here, she still does this daily if you can catch those tweets before deletion. Almost comedically on Friday nights now when drunk. We all drink but she got very unpredictable.
“I actually made a little handbook called something like “how not to kill each other while working at destructoid” that she signed which clearly explains that “she is the company”. Some of that was edited and expanded specifically for her.
“This continued. She received multiple warnings from staff about it. One of my guys would even be on the phone with her for hours, like a counselor. The email threads were 100+ long sometimes.
“I started to worry about how she would act at press events too, where the alcohol flows freely.
“We blog about Luigi. I dont need all this theater in my life or staff’s inbox.
“Like Allistair said, I dont even like influencing editorial. Im not a micromanager. She went from handful to code red constantly where I had to play mediator.
“When I decided to let her go (a calm very emotional 2 hour conversation) there was no “chance” to give because she hadnt made one specific mistake — she was just scary to work with for months. My team was on pins and needles as to not set her off. [sic]”
I reached out to Holly for a specific quote relating to this situation, but she declined to comment. I did, however, manage to get a quote from her current employer, Ian Miles Cheong, the editor-in-chief at GameRanx.
Cheong didn’t want to go into too much detail, however he did extend a friendly gesture of amity between Holly and the rest of the staff at GameRanx, stating that…
“Holly has been the very epitome of professionalism during her tenure at Gameranx, both present and past. It surprises me that anyone would spread vicious rumors about her and that maybe says more about them than it does about her. I’d question your sources.”
To her credit, Holly also receives some fair praise from Gonzalez. It’s not all a horror show.
He does give her writing and work ethic honorable mention, as well as discussing the ups and downs to working in an environment where it was just too unpredictable for his tastes, stating that…
“Its the sort of firing I had no experience with what to do or say, but on abstract if for whatever reason one person makes other people nervous to work somewhere they gotta go. So I made the call.
“She left with glowing recommendations, too. All work intact. No problem.
“After she got a new job she one day randomly began tweeting about everything from my financial problems (see volunteering above) to name calling my guys. Naturally, I stood up for myself. Ugly words traded.
“The day I heard she hit hamza and saw people cheering her I cut all ties. It was over something a friend of a friend of her said, which (shocker) was a lie. She then tried to make her firing about a guy at Ubisoft allegedly raping her (see oversharing and Luigi) and my company was somehow associated because we know him. Then her followers called my best friend and coworker really horrible things. (Tweets all conveniently deleted 24 hours later) [sic]”
There were additional mentions of Hamza allegedly receiving physical abuse at the hands of Holly. However, I wanted to corroborate Yanier’s claim about Holly’s abuse of Hamza Aziz, the managing director of Destructoid, by talking with Aziz. Unfortunately, Hamza has not offered to comment about the situation after I reached out for a quote.
As part of Holly’s public rant against Destructoid and the upper management, she stated that…
“Let’s get real. When you support Dtoid you support the system of power and influence that silences others, which leads to abuse. No one speaks out against them because omg everyone loves Dtoid. Meanwhile, they use and abuse people.
“You know what other publications call Dtoid? “internet slum lords”.
“Probably not a good sign for your company when your CEO is applying for other jobs, huh. And not even getting them. Not even getting the job, even when his girlfriend works at the company. Pretty bad when that’s how little people want you around.”
Yanier “Niero” Gonzalez did not want that kind of message to go unchallenged. He candidly expressed exactly how he felt about the situation involving the alleged physical attack between Holly and Hamza, stating that…
“Oh hell no.
“That day Holly became dangerous to everyone that blogs here. I SWIFTLY banned and deleted her account. I told her specifically I wanted absolutely no association with her. Im not her custodian and recordkeeper either. Backing up her work is not my problem, and she lost all courtesies.
“Holly, like Allistair, buys into an extreme version of SJW and has become a bully.
“I really, really hate bullies.
“Its not enough for her to have a conversation. Look at her twitter feed – she thinks shes the hero of an underdog story, rallying fans to attack their flavor of the day. Its 1 sided pastebins. Its screenshotting private emails that only further prove what a liability theyd be to hire. No collusion or blacklisting necessary. Red flags say enough.”
“I think all of this is reasonable and I wouldnt change anything I did, except maybe fired her sooner to prevent the soap opera that still persists.
“Whats weird is that a few months before we all hung out with some uk editors and she smoked a blunt as we all sat on the ledge, legs dangling outside a giant window, reflecting on her career at dtoid. Its a microcosm of what being her friend was like – i have no idea what happens next.”
Funnily enough, though, Holly landed on her feet in the games journalism ring. Allistair did not. And this is where some additional issues come into play.