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Trans Fans Want ‘Critical Role’ To Drop Big e-Commerce Sponsor for Platforming Transphobia

The highly popular Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role released their newest episode, but it caused some controversy when fans learned that it was sponsored by Shopify. Shopify is an e-commerce company that’s known for being responsible for platforming Libs of TikTok.

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Libs of TikTok is a right-wing Twitter account that has been known for harassing and speaking misinformation that serves to further stigmatize LGBTQ people and others. In August of this year, the account’s owner, Chaya Raichik, tweeted audio of a conversation she had with employees at Children’s National Hospital asking if they would “perform hysterectomies on children under the age of 18 to aid in transitioning.” Raichik badgers the employees into saying what she wants to hear, playing into the transphobic rhetoric of the political right.

“None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients,” hospital spokeswoman Ariana Ahmadi Perez said, according to Washington Post. “We do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18.”

Yet, a spokesperson from the hospital has claimed they have suffered from threats online, including bomb threats, as a result of these attacks.

Erin Reed, a queer legislative researcher specializing in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the country, called Critical Role out on Twitter. Reed pointed out that Critical Role has dropped sponsors for being homophobic in the past.

We reached out to Reed for comment and they provided the following statement:

I, along with other activists, have been alarmed at the twitter account Libs of TikTok and the way Chaya Raichik, the person behind the account, targets hospitals for providing gender affirming care. In recent weeks, children’s hospitals she targets are often the recipient of bomb threats. This needs to end.

I have reached out to Shopify on numerous occasions and I know at least one prospective employee has withdrawn from the hiring process because Shopify refuses to kick Libs of TikTok off of it’s platform. Libs of TikTok violates Shopify’s terms of service over hateful conduct and is a threat to trans youth and the doctors who support them.

When I saw that Critical Role, a massively popular D&D group which I have been a fan of for a long time, advertised for Shopify, I was horrified. Critical Role has a history of ending partnerships with companies that support transphobia. I reached out to Matt Mercer and Critical Role to hopefully raise the issue so that they can move on from this company, and I hope we can all call for Shopify to remove Libs of TikTok.

As someone who was largely unaware of Shopify, learning this was very illuminating, and I’m sure many might not be aware of these ties. Considering the audience and cast behind Critical Role, I would image this news would be deeply uncomfortable and hopefully bringing this to light will cause some actual change. While Erin has led the charge, more fans are coming out asking for a comment from the company following this information.

(featured image: Critical Role LLC)


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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.
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