Cards Against Humanity was always about crossing boundaries into the taboo — the company’s popular game dares players to pair cards with the most absurd combination of off-color jokes. But according to a lengthy Polygon investigation, that inflammatory brand extended to a toxic work environment, where former employees say sexism and racism ran rampant. The company’s co-founder Max Temkin resigned last month for his role in fostering a hostile work culture. He also faces allegations of sexual assault, which former employees say were an open secret in the office.
One of those former employees, improv comedian Nico Carter, wrote a Medium post about his experiences at Cards Against Humanity and how he felt sidelined after speaking out against a proposed card that read “Saying the N-word.” In his story, Carter opens up about the “well-meaning white liberals” in his office and how their actions ultimately contributed to him being institutionalized and fired.
GEN: How did you feel after the N-word card incident? And what did you make of Cards Against Humanity’s response to it?
Nico Carter: When we were told that the card was in the final stages and that the owners wanted to have the card in the game, I felt incredibly disturbed. I felt betrayed personally. It seemed self-explanatory that the N-word shouldn’t be used as a joke in a game, or a joke anywhere. I started to question what my presence was being used for.
When I talked to Max [Temkin] about it, his answers were completely insufficient and off-putting and dismissive. And if you read the Slacks I sent him — that was after we had our conversation — I said, damn, I would like to talk some more, because he hadn’t listened to me and kept shutting me down. And he still shut me down. And then he says, “Well, you know, there’s a process for this,” as if there’s some kind of process that didn’t involve him. He’s the ultimate…