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Marco Polo publisher will no longer work with Daniele Tascini following “racist remarks”

Future sales of his games will benefit anti-racist charities.

German publisher Hans im Glück has denounced the “racist remarks” made recently by Marco Polo designer Daniele Tascini and resolved to no longer publish any of his games.

The publisher’s statement discusses an obligation to grapple with one’s past “as white Europeans” and recognise the inherent privilege of “white everyday racism”. Hans im Glück said Tascini’s actions and resulting apology were not evidence enough of an acceptance or understanding of the harm caused.

“There is no reason for using certain words. Every apology to do so, regardless, only serves the protection of white privilege,” the statement said.

Dicebreaker reported on January 18th that Tascini excused the use of racist slurs in a Facebook comment originally relating to a discussion of the portrayal of orcs in fantasy and its racial implications. Through translations it appeared the designer saw no problem using the slur with friends and defended the use by claiming the context in Italian was entirely different from English.

Statement??Uns wurde eine Diskussion (stückweise) zugespielt, in der sich ein Autor der Marco Polo-Reihe (Daniele...

Posted by Hans-im-Glück Spieleverlag on Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A recent interview in Fustella Rotante also surfaced, wherein he minimised Wingspan designer Elizabeth Hargrave’s testimony about feeling like an outsider as a woman in board games and otherwise dismissed the importance of inclusivity.

Hans im Glück apologised to the co-designers on Tascini’s games, including regular collaborator Simone Luciani, for being affected by the decision. The publisher urged the community to still purchase Marco Polo and other titles from local shops, so as “not to punish small retailers - which are facing rough times anyways”.

The statement ends with a commitment to donate all profits from the sale of Tascini’s titles going forward to anti-racist organisations. The publisher is currently deliberating on the beneficiaries and urged the community to watch its website for updates regarding this effort.

Hans im Glück is the second publisher to formally end its professional relationship with Tascini, following Teotihuacan publisher Board&Dice’s public statement on January 16th, which also denounced his racist comments and characterised his apology as insufficient.

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