While still pretty tone-deaf, its not AS bad as it sounds. In an effort to promote Pride, the mobile adaption of the popular fighting game held an event where players would repeatedly fight against Poison Ivy to earn Harley Quinn tokens. Ivy is a canonically bi woman, who is in a romantic relationship with Quinn in various comics.
In a certain way, we can see what they were intending. They wanted to highlight their queer characters. But instead of taking the empowering approach of playing AS Quinn or Ivy, they opted to beat them up repeatedly. With real world members of the LGBT often the target of violence, this puts a tremendously poor taste in the mouth of anyone aware of these issues. Its clear that little to no consultation was considered when organizing the event.
Every June, countless companies put up rainbows and promote pride month. Not everyone thinks this is done in earnest, however, often calling out how superficial their efforts are and even pointing out various anti-trans, -gay, or -female efforts or policies the company holds behind closed doors. Half-hearted efforts like this, while not as insidious, still do more harm than help to the LGBT community.
Fortunately, the developers realized their mistake not long after the event went live, shutting it down and issuing a formal apology online.
We recognize associating our latest Global Challenge with Pride was insensitive and inappropriate. Real life violence against the LGBTQIA+ community and women within that community in particular is all too common and we should actively engage in efforts to end LGBTQIA+ violence, not normalize it. We apologize to the greater community, but especially LGBTQIA+ members. We are committed to listening and doing better.
While well worded, apologies only mean anything if they learn from it. If they end up making another simple mistake like this next year, then we'll know for sure how much they're actually listening.
They follow this up to explain that any rewards earned from the event will remain to those that already earned them.