This petition is now closed, so thanks for you support. Good news! You can sign another petition here.
UPDATE: Above the Game author Ken Hoinsky apologies and says he'll write a book that promotes consent (Monday, 1:18 pm)
While our petition received 61,095 signatures in two days, our goal isn’t lots of clicks or even an apology from Kickstarter. Our goal was and always is, impact. So we reached out to Above the Game author Ken Hoinsky. He agreed to a coffee.
On Saturday, our petition writer Ben Kassoy sat down with Ken. We kind of love the idea of two straight guys sitting down to chat about sex, sexuality, and violence. (Read the full story of their meeting here.)
Today, Hoinsky said in a statement that he “wholeheartedly apologizes to everyone I offended” and is committed to writing a book that promotes consent, respect, and healthy relationships.
“Ben Kassoy of DoSomething.Org, a non-profit that encourages social change, reached out to me,” he says, “...to provide alternate opinions and insights to help remove all of the potentially harmful advice.”
Hoinsky realizes he needed to “seriously evaluate every last word of my writing to make sure I wasn't encouraging sexual assault in any way, shape, or form.”
“I am proud to say that his was the first of many meetings I will be having with anti-rape and anti-abuse organizations and experts to make sure that the advice I am offering is free of any tinge of sexual assault or rape vibes,” he added. “I will be rewriting Above The Game under their guidance and insight.”
You did this. Because so many of you signed that petition and tweeted and commented all over Facebook, Kickstarter and the author listened and righted their wrongs.
Let’s not stop. Tell us what else you want to change. We'll help you make it happen...with the same commitment to transparency and impact we demonstrated here. It’s time to do something.
UPDATE: WE WON! (Thursday, 12:25 pm)
After our petition gained over 61,095 signatures, Kickstarter has issued an official apology and statement here. It’s titled, “We were wrong.” (Yup!) While they are still funding the dude, they’ve committed to reviewing their terms of service and will immediately prohibit “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. They are also making a $25k contribution to RAINN. (No mention of us, the petition, or deleting your Facebook posts...)
1. We’re proud. Despite the fact that the statement didn’t mention DoSomething.org and the 60,000+ young people who signed the petition...clearly, we won. Nice work. Lesson? When young people ROAR, it matters.
2. We are thrilled Kickstarter is reviewing and changing its policies to stop anything like this from happening again. We think it’s lame that they are still funding the project - but we have reached out to the author himself to help him write something positive. He is meeting with one of our team this weekend for coffee.
3. We love that our friends at RAINN will receive a donation to continue to combat sexual assault.
4. We hope Kickstarter did something nice for that office manager...
We’re happy we won this one...there is a lot more out there to tackle. Send us your ideas for campaigns and petitions.
You matter. When you roar, people listen and change happens.
UPDATE: Above the Game author Ken Hoinsky (who started the Kickstarter project) has agreed to talk to our petition writer, Ben, over coffee on Saturday on how to write his book without content that is misogynistic, offensive, or tolerant of sexual assault. He has issued this statement of clarification and is eager to speak with us.
UPDATE: The good news: We received over 50,068 signatures in just over a day, which is awesome. The bad news: We’re gutted. Here’s why...
Last night, 9:30 pm
Our CMO, Naomi, called the Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen on his cellphone. She left a voicemail encouraging him to call us back. He has not returned our call.
This morning, 10:15 am
Over 20 of us went to the Kickstarter HQ to deliver your signatures, as promised. We had some posters, but we were quiet, courteous, and only stayed for 10 minutes.
Our CMO Naomi and petition writer, Ben, asked to enter the building to deliver the signatures to Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen.
Instead, the company’s office manager came downstairs and told us we would not be allowed to enter. She assured us the signatures would be delivered to the CEO. (Note: We felt awful for this woman! Who sends the office manager to handle this?! So, when we got back to the office, we sent her flowers. We think Perry ought to buy her flowers, too.)
DoSomething CMO Naomi and petition writer Ben deliver 47,056 signatures to Kickstarter. Notice how scared their office manager looks (when we got back to our office, we sent her flowers).
Many of you alerted us to the fact that Kickstarter had spent hours deleting your posts on their Facebook page. As one of you tweeted at us, “deleting Fbook comments is never a good sign.”
Today, 3:00 pm
We reached out the author personally, offering advice and insight from a professional author and relationship blogger (who works for us!) on how to improve his book so that it does not promote sexual assault. If this book is (apparently) going to be funded and written, we want to make sure nobody is going to get hurt. Our goal isn’t lots of clicks or to embarrass anyone, we just want to make sure violence against women isn’t rewarded...ever.
Today, now (5:18 pm)
We’re disappointed and saddened. We love Kickstarter. We’re truly shocked at how poorly they have handled this. It’s been over six hours since we delivered the signatures, and over 17 hours since we left the CEO a voicemail. We have received no response - through personal channels (like a returned phone call) or on social media. Don’t 50,000+ signatures matter to them?
The bottom line(s):
- We’re bummed. We really thought Kickstarter would pull this thing down - or at least make a very strong statement about their position on violence against women and projects that could encourage it.
- We’re not giving up. (a) We’re going to throw ourselves at this author to make sure he writes a positive book. (b) We’re going to keep collecting signatures until we get a response from Kickstarter. (c) We’re going to continue going after awful things like this, everywhere. If there is a petition you think we should run, tell us at http://www.dosomething.org/petitions/ideas.