Gaming, VR World

Patreon Pressured to Pull Sarkeesian Effect Documentary

The online creative funding site Patreon is being pressured to scrap a documentary aimed at exposing the alleged corruption of “Social Justice Warriors”.

The documentary in question is called The Sarkeesian Effect, and has raised over $7,000 in monthly contributions on Patreon. It’s being crafted by author/musician Jordan Owen and right-wing blogger Davis Aurini.

The primary goal of the project is to document and expose the controversial topic of how “SJW’s” have “infiltrated” both the media and academic spheres to “consolidate power among a conspiratorial few”.

Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian is the host of Feminist Frequency, a show that criticizes media in a feminist light.

The film will also directly criticize and investigate popular feminist games critic Anita Sarkeesian (of Feminist Frequency fame), but will focus on the topic as a whole, rather than just Sarkeesian.

“The methodology of Social Justice has a chilling effect on the culture: by demanding perfect diversity, they ensure that true diversity will never be allowed.  By celebrating victims-and-only-victims, the conversation is controlled by the voices that complain the loudest; seldom are these the voices those who have actually been hurt. 

“As a result, the culture winds up being directed by those who are most unscrupulous.  Creators, gamers, and actual victims are excluded from the conversation.”

Due to the controversial nature of the content, Patreon has faced significant backlash from many users on the internet who feel the documentary is offensive and in some cases, sexist.

As a result of the backlash, Jack Conte, CEO and Co-founder of Patreon, took to Twitter to mediate things. Conte was then inundated with emails that expressed users opinions on the film, both positive and negative.

Other users echoed the sentiment by saying that The Sarkeesian Effect film is “using Patreon to sell Sexism 101”, and that the content will “gaslight” Sarkeesian if allowed to be funded.

Conversely the possibility of the documentary being pulled by Patreon has caught on by the GamerGate collective. Proponents of the movement see the attempts to thwart production a means of further substantiating the revelations of a cult-like social system that influences media.

Evidence of this collusion has surfaced as part of the Gamergate movement, where prominent games journalists have been caught influencing one another in private e-mail lists.

Other examples include the swath of sensationalized “gamers are dead” articles written in full conjunction of Anita Sarkeesian’s criticism featured on major gaming sites.


Patreon is sort of like Kickstarter’s crowd-funding, but its more personal and is a recurring symbiosis between content creator and fan.

Patreon has been branded as a place where users can “support the creators they love”, but recent events have caused some to raise eyebrows on the ethical implications of the platform.

These implications were raised when key journalists across Polygon and Kotaku were supporting people like Zoe Quinn on the platform, effectively giving an indie developer funds to continue their work.

This was largely seen as unprofessional and could constitute in a conflict of interest, especially since journos had a financial stake in any one developer. As a result Kotaku revised its ethics policy and Polygon writers were forced to offer full disclosure on devs they supported on Patreon.


GamerGate may prove to be a deciding factor in the fate of the documentary; the collective has proven that its a force to be reckoned with.

One Redditor further scrutinizes Patreon as a whole by calling it a “kind of hipster welfare system”. Others claim that Patreon pulling the documentary would inhibit free speech and act as a form of censorship–giving further credence to an overarching conspiracy that controls the media.

Conte has yet to make an official decision on the fate of The Sarkeesian Effect, and it will certainly be interesting to see what Patreon decides to do.

The medium is certainly under pressure from both sides of the community, and runs the risk of earning the ire of the GamerGate collective if the film is scrapped. On the other hand, if the documentary is allowed, Patreon might forever be known as a haven for sexism and misogyny.