Wizards of the Coast Hiring Pinkertons Controversy
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Wizards of the Coast Hiring Pinkertons Controversy refers to reports that Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, hired the controversial private security and detective agency "Pinkerton" to retrieve a leaked booster box set of March of the Machine: Aftermath trading cards from YouTuber oldschoolmtg after he posted a video unboxing them. Oldschoolmtg alleges that Pinkerton used threats of fines and jail to get him to comply. He shared news that "the Pinkertons" purportedly came to get the set from him in April 2023, inspiring backlash towards WOTC and memes about the situation online.
On April 20th, 2023, YouTuber oldschoolmtg posted a video in which he unboxes a yet-to-be-released Magic the Gathering booster box set called March of the Machine: Aftermath. In the video, which has been deleted, oldschoolmtg explains that he got the boxes from a friend who claimed they were collector's boxes if March of the Machine, the set prior to March of the Machine: Aftermath. The video was reported on by TheGamer that day. YouTuber Jake and Joel are Magic reacted to the video that same day, where you can view the majority of the footage of the oldschoolmtg unboxing (shown below).
On April 22nd, YouTuber oldschoolmtg uploaded a video titled, "The Aftermath of The Aftermath … Everything Is Gone!" where he explains that he deleted his video after Wizards of the Coast sent the Pinkerton detective agency to his house to retrieve the cards (shown below). He claims they called the cards "stolen product" but says he doesn't believe anything was stolen, hypothesizing that someone at Wizards of the Coast sent the wrong boxes to the person he bought them from, thinking they were from the regular March of the Machine set rather than the Aftermath set. He reiterates that his friend only called them March of the Machine cards and did not say "aftermath." He says that he called someone at Wizards of the Coast on a number provided to him by the Pinkertons and they apologized, offering to send him some other products as compensation.
That day, the YouTuber talked with Kotaku, telling them that the Pinkertons threatened him with jail time, a $200,000 fine and that they "cited several statutes about copyright infringement" to try and get him to hand over the cards.
On April 25th, 2023, YouTube oldschoolmtg posted an update video claiming that on the day the Pinkertons arrived, after going to oldschoolmtg's house and realizing nobody was home, they went door-to-door to the neighbors and asked for information about the YouTuber, claiming they had an appointment with him and he wasn't there (shown below, left). On April 27th, the YouTuber posted another video on the situation, encouraging people not to believe everything they hear about the story, that there is misinformation floating around and that you should only believe things from his videos as the truth (shown below, right). He also claims he's talking to legal counsel about the situation to see what he should do about it.
Online Reactions / Memes
The story spread online, inspiring numerous reactions, including backlash towards Wizards of the Coast for hiring the Pinkertons, who have a controversial past that involves threats and intimidation. Notably, the Pinkertons are portrayed as the antagonists in Red Dead Redemption 2.  On April 25th, Twitter user @ThirstTrapMoth posted a thread on alleged controversies about the Pinkertons. On the same day, Redditor Awkward_GM posted a things we're bringing back meme about the situation to /r/DNDMemes, garnering over 22,300 upvotes in three days (shown below). It was shared by the DnD Rollers Facebook page later that day, garnering over 7,200 reactions and 4,100 shares in the same span of time.
Memes about the situation became increasingly popular over the following days, often taking a critical stance against Wizards of the Coast for hiring the Pinkertons (examples shown below).
 Wayback Machine (YouTube) – oldschoolmtg
 TheGamer – Most Of MTG's March Of The Machine: Aftermath Leaked In YouTube Box Opening
 YouTube – Jake and Joel are Magic
 YouTube – oldschoolmtg
 Kotaku – Magic: The Gathering YouTuber Says Pinkertons Threatened Him With $200k Fines, Jail
 YouTube – oldschoolmtg
 YouTube – oldschoolmtg
 Teen Vogue – The Pinkertons Have a Long, Dark History of Targeting Workers
 HuffPost – The Pinkerton Detectives Good, Bad, and Ugly
 WSJ – Pinkerton Detectives Still Exist, and They’re Tired of Being the Bad Guys
 Twitter – ThirstTrapMoth
 Facebook – dnd rollers
 Reddit – BikiniBottomTwitter
 Facebook – Authentic Memes 4 Radical Teens
 Tumblr – madame-helen
Apr 29, 2023 at 02:41AM EDT
Apr 28, 2023 at 03:13PM EDT
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