Barely a few hours after its "women in gaming" luncheon at the Xbox Game Developers Conference, Microsoft made a big blunder and undid its work by hosting a party that had skimpily clad dancers.
The Redmond-based company was quick to come under fire on social media once images of dancers in school girl uniforms emerged online.
The incident came to light after Kamina Vincent, the editor of Tin Man Games, tweeted her displeasure.
I like dancing, I like talking to devs. But not at this #GDC16 party. Thanks for pushing me out of this party, Microsoft.
— Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
Making a formal complaint tomorrow. I will not stand for this. I'm trying to encourage women into the industry then this happens. — Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
The photos of the party surfaced soon after all over the Internet wherein people expressed their anger. Twitter users were quick to express their displeasure.
Extremely disappointed @Microsoft and @Xbox hired women wearing these outfits to perform at @gdc. PLEASE RT. — Brianna Wu, Yeah! (@Spacekatgal) March 18, 2016
Vincent also shared some more images of the dancers.
Someone sent me photos and and an OH: "We've got the best spot in the house, don't we?" (Deleted originals to blur) pic.twitter.com/WWiLo0wwOB — Kamina Vincent (@spamoir) March 18, 2016
This prompted an apology from Microsoft for hiring dancers who were dressed as skimpily clad schoolgirls for its GDC after-party on Thursday in San Francisco.
"It has come to my attention that at Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values," noted Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox. "That was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated."
Spencer also noted that the company would be dealing with the issue on an internal level.
Xbox Head of Marketing Aaron Greenberg also expressed his disappointment.
@ZenMobius @XboxP3 @Xbox @Microsoft @Spacekatgal @GDC Very disappointed to see this, going to follow up with team. — Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) March 18, 2016
Tech companies have been under a lot of scrutiny over diversity and equality issues at the workplace and the current fiasco is representative of the sexist undercurrents that plague the Silicon Valley.