Call of Duty: Modern Warfare voice actor Jeff Leach was let go from Activision following ongoing sexism accusations.
Leach was the voice actor behind Ghost, a character in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Leach is also a streamer. He was banned from Twitch in 2017 after comments made towards Twitch partner ZombiUnicorn after they had declined to appear on a show where Leach would also be a guest.
“She couldn’t just rely on her horrendous cleavage,” Leach said at the time.
In a montage shared by NitroLukeDX on Twitter, Leach could also be seen saying sexist things to women while playing Call of Duty. This included calling another player a “cunt.”
“It’s always some dirty, gross, fucking emo bitch who looks like she has no chance of getting a bit of dick in her,” Leach ranted at one point.
Serious personalised intrusive sexism. Influence. Contempt. Violence! Serial offender! @TheZombiUnicorn
— NitroLukeDX (@NitroLukeDX) May 7, 2021
In response to NitroLukeDX’s thread on the matter, ZombiUnicorn called on Facebook Gaming and Activision to acknowledge Leach’s actions. A day later, Activision did take action. A spokesperson told Dexerto that Leach was no longer working with the game developers.
“Sexism has no place in our industry, our games, or in society,” the spokesperson said. “We strongly condemn these remarks. We are committed to delivering a fun and safe experience for all players.”
I’ve took some time to address this situation in a thoughtful way & add my voice in the rising concern with how companies like @facebookgaming, @activision & @callofduty continue to overlook prejudiced malicious behaviors by cis white men like Jeff Leachhttps://t.co/cUYd4qkQE6 pic.twitter.com/J8XnH4WFbO
— Nati 🦩🌴Ⓥ (they/them) (@TheZombiUnicorn) May 8, 2021
Despite Activision’s decision to drop Leach after the clips surfaced, Leach still maintained innocence regarding the situation. On Twitter, Leach stated that the comments were made in response to a “hateful, toxic troll” who attacked Leach and his community. Leach then noted that he’s said similar things to male trolls as well.
“You made this a gender-related issue and took it out of context,” Leach said.
No. I mocked a hateful, toxic troll who came into my community chat to attack me and my community. I have done the same to men who think that internet trolling and toxic behaviour are clever. I’m a stand up comic.
You made this a gender-related issue and took it out of context.
— Jeff Leach (@jeffleach) May 8, 2021
Leach’s take on the situation got a big eye roll from most people in the gaming community. Even though he may have been responding to a “troll,” all of his comments were about the fact that she was a woman. The female-focused insults made his in-game rants more than just being “comedic,” especially in a community where women are often harassed due to their gender identity. Many people asked Leach to better take responsibility for what he has said and done.
ZombiUnicorn applauded Activision for taking action against the voice actor and stand-up comedian. But they are still waiting for Facebook Gaming to follow in Twitch’s footsteps and ban Leach. ZombiUnicorn tweeted that Facebook Gaming is “allowing hate and prejudice” on its platform until it responds.
Meanwhile, Leach has allegedly received a lot of harassment and hate mail in response to the situation coming to light once again.
“This should go without saying but anyone who sends threatening messages is not representative of me or my community and I do not condone this in any way,” Leach tweeted.
Some of his fans have shown support following this latest tweet, saying that the comedian was “done dirty” in this situation. Others noted that Leach was simply standing up for his community and didn’t deserve the backlash.
For many Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players, Leach will always be the voice of Ghost, regardless of his actions outside of the game.