Gaming developer brags she won’t hire white people on the team to keep a ‘safe’ work environment

A so-called “non-binary” video game developer is under fire for bragging about only hiring/recruiting minorities for her development team.

Dani Lalonders is her name, and she works for Cliffhanger Games, a group “currently developing a game based on Marvel’s #BlackPanther.”

A video has emerged showing her bragging about violating America’s civil rights laws and not hiring/recruiting white game developers.


“I have a team of 21 right now for Validate,” she says in the video. “It’s a pretty big team. It’s a crazy, big team for indie games. But who is your team? Validate has a team of all people of color. We have no white people on our team. I did that because I wanted to create a safe environment, and I know the best way for an environment to be safe is to be around people who are just like me.”

“And I’m not saying that white people are creating unsafe environments. I’m not saying that. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that sometimes it is hard to work with white people because they think that something may be OK, but it really is a microaggression, and nobody’s trying to deal with that while you’re trying to make a game you love,” she added.

According to Dexerto, the video is from a talk Lelonders delivered in 2021 at the Game Devs of Color Expo.

Having since resurfaced and gone viral, the video is now prompting massive, across-the-board backlash.


What Lalonders said is an explicit violation of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, etc.

What she said in the video evidently didn’t come as a surprise to Tyler Fischer, a comedian who claims he was rejected by an entertainment company in 2020 solely because of the color of his skin.

Speaking with the New York Post two years later, he said he’d been about to accept a job offer from AGI Entertainment Media & Management when he was suddenly rejected for being white.

“I was ready to sign the papers … and that’s when the conversation took a turn. ‘We love you. Everyone here loves you and thinks you’re a star, but we’re not taking you because you’re white.’ And that’s when my stomach dropped,” he said.

Look what he wrote on the social media platform X in response to the video of Lalonders bragging about her racist decision-making:

Cliffhanger Games, the company Lalonders worked for in 2021 (it’s unclear if she’s still with the company), is also facing backlash.

“I hope your entire company is sued into oblivion for refusing to hire white developers. It’s a violation of federal law to hire based on race or sex,” one critic wrote directly to the company on X.

“I won’t be purchasing any of your games because you have developers that only hire black people because they are racists. You won’t see a penny from me,” another added.

Vivek Saxena


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