Video game publishing giant Activision has pulled a collaboration with a popular streamer of its “Call of Duty” franchise in response to a tweet in which the star said that a school board voting to designate June as LGBTQ Pride month should “leave little children alone.”
Nick Kolcheff, who goes by “Nickmercs” and streams the popular first-person shooter (FPS) games on streaming platform Twitch, tweeted in response to footage of a clash between demonstrators outside a school board meeting in Glendale, California, where the board was voting to officially designated June as Pride month.
“They should leave little children alone. That’s the real issue,” he tweeted.
“I didn’t mean to upset anybody, I know that I did. I’m not apologizing about the tweet, because I don’t feel like it’s wrong. I’m going to stand by what I said, I’m not going to delete the tweet I just want to make sure everyone understands the point I was trying to make by tweeting my response.”
The Activision Blizzard Call of Duty website on a smartphone arranged in the Brooklyn borough of New York, on Monday, May 16, 2023. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
However, Activision soon announced that it was dropping an operator bundle — essentially a Nickmercs-themed in-game costume and other virtual cosmetic items purchasable for real money via the in-game store — from its two main COD titles, Warzone and Modern Warfare II.
Kolcheff addressed the matter again on Friday, tweeting: “Friends are created in good times, but families are built through adversity. Appreciate all of you that have my back, understand my position as a new father & recognize the love I have for all. Ain’t no hate in this heart. P&L [Peace & Love].”
The incident taps into an ongoing national debate about Pride celebrations the extent to which children should be encouraged or even mandated to participate in them, if at all.
Target recently came under fire after displaying “tuck-friendly” women’s bathing suits for transgender-identifying people, as well as Pride-themed apparel for children and infants.