Back on May 8, Call of Duty cut ties with Jeff Leach, the voice actor behind Ghost in Call of Duty: Warzone, over sexist comments Leach had made in the past. Fast-forward a week, and now Leach has released an official statement regarding the matter, apologizing for his comments. The statement, which was shared via TwitLonger, notes that Leach is both "deeply sorry" and "ashamed" for his comments. He also notes that he's learned his lesson and is working on his emotions.
"Several members of the media have reached out about comments I have made and I truly believe my viewers and the press deserve honest answers and an explanation," reads the lengthy statement. "As you know, passion can be a double-edged sword. First and foremost, I am deeply passionate about creating great work, sharing that work with my audience and using it to lift, entertain, educate and connect more closely to my community. This extends to my acting work, live streams and the online contact I choose to have within the gaming community. That will never change. However, on the other end of the passion spectrum, I have also reacted passionately in situations where I felt attacked, targeted or harassed and I have very occasionally lost control – and that’s what happened to me with a couple of individuals in the gaming community. My rancor towards them was not only wrong but also the antithesis of my relationship with my fan base and the inclusive message I try to promote – and for this, I am deeply sorry but also ashamed. Transparency is a huge proponent of my online content. Anyone who has cared to watch a chunk of the 40+ hours of live content I produce each week will be aware of this. However, the use of vitriolic language online always holds the power to cause harm. As stupid as I have acted, I am not an uneducated man and I am not naïve to this fact. It's one of the reasons I have been so vocal on my platforms about ending the toxicity and hate speech that exists in various facets of this industry. I’m remorseful for misrepresenting my true intentions and apologize to the individuals and the business partners that I may have negatively impacted by these outbursts. This includes my incredible supporters, moderators who have worked so tirelessly to protect our little online community and the companies who extended opportunity and trust to me and whom I have let down. I'm grateful for the words of support and understanding that I have received and I want you all to know that lessons have been learned, my emotions are being worked on and I will continue to be transparent and accountable to those who are generous enough to give me their time and interest."
As noted at the time, Activision and Call of Duty have severed ties with Leach, who will no longer be playing Ghost going forward. Meanwhile, Leach has also been dropped by Facebook Gaming, who he was previously partnered with before all of this.
Serious personalised intrusive sexism. Influence. Contempt. Violence! Serial offender! @TheZombiUnicornMay 7, 2021
In addition to Activision and Facebook, Leach was also dropped by the following sponsors: Team Kitch, AimControllers, and Sneak Energy.