I think what people were objecting to are these questions:
RPS: Why that woman? A number of people were fairly taken aback by the fact that she was a scantily clad and in a compromising position, which is understandable. However, the camera panned out to reveal that her arms were grotesque scythes, which struck me as making it less about sex appeal and more about creating a striking image of destroyed beauty by way of rampant technological augmentation. Is that what you were going for?
By itself, this could be a perfectly good observation that engages with the topic and gives a fair chance of reply, but there seems to be a bit of an edge to the way it was posed in how it asks pointedly, ‘Why that woman?’ That brings with it the history and context of accusations of what, for brevity’s sake, I’ll call sexism, and, although the rest of the question was not confrontational, Kanik clearly was reacting to that first point (‘Why not that woman?’) before addressing the rest of it.
The next question, though, was really quite badly put and confused:
RPS: Even then, though, there’s still an issue of disempowering someone who seems like a lead female character. Will Cyberpunk be more even-handed in terms of the way it treats gender overall, though? I mean, it looked like she joined the Psycho Squad at the end of the trailer, which puts her in a pretty important place.
First, there’s the weak assumption that it was a ‘lead female character’ in the trailer, especially as in the answer to the first question, Kanik said specifically that the trailer was to ‘catch the atmosphere’ and the setting. Then, there’s the odd interpretation that a bulletproof killer female cybernetic being (or whatever the technical term is) is ‘disempowered’, which really activates a lot of the associations with empowerment in the real world that seem to have very little to do with the matter at hand. I suppose there are parallels you can draw with violence against women, but it’s so much out of context that it comes across as seeming more like an unconsidered accusation than an attempt at engagement. This is not made any better by next part of the question about whether it will be more ‘even-handed’, which sounds like a passive aggressive way of saying, ‘Are you going to admit you were wrong about the sex cards?’ And this part was what Kanik picked up on and it was so off-base that he had to explain that in a RPG, you get to customise your character and decide what to do with him or her.
To be honest, the next few questions weren’t great either. ‘The city looks kind of generic.’ ‘Say something about braindances.’ ‘By the way, the last writer you worked with didn’t like your games.’ Bad day at the office all round.