Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

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Shrug I haven't talked to her in game but on hearing it if I talked to her in game wouldn't have seemed racist just that she was from somewhere in the south, but it's just one character that's a hobo and there are lots of hobos of different races.

Yeah, we all laughed at her when she was talking about the racist RE5 zombies, but then we got to the part where we were fighting guys straight out of Birth of a Nation and we were like, oh shit, the crazy activist chick was right.

I must buy this game NOW!

SenseOfTumour:

So long a game set in the UK wasn't entirely populated by cock-er-ney chimmerney sweeps, I'd have no problem with a few in there in the games East end levels.

If not chimney sweepers then it would probably, inner city black "yoofs"

You run into two black people before Letitia, both of which are hostages and both of which are employees of the high profile Sarif Industries, which is an extremely prestigious corporation - one which you would have to be exceedingly intelligent to even be considered for a position in.

Both of the black hostages speak perfectly normal.

If you're going to attribute the portrayal of all blacks to a single character, why overlook the fact that the two hostages were executives of one of the most powerful corporations in America? Surely that would give the impression black people are intelligent and that equal opportunity is alive and kicking.

To pick on a single differential and make it a straw-man just because it happens to offend you does not make it offensive to everyone. To overlook the fact people are different and that not everyone are highly spoken well-educated individuals is to sugarcoat reality, which is far more ignorant than any portrayal of a single character, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or orientation.

So, you want your 5 minutes of spotlight, sweetie? ;)

I played the xbox version and honestly didn't notice anything, but I dunno the computer version sounds different to me.

Not racist. People need to man up.

There's a bag lady who lurks around the front of the videostore I work at. She herself is pretty much a shambling stereotype.

I am pretty sure there are poor African-American women with Southern accents.

So the game is racist for including a very real and possible character, in the future of a quite divided society? She struck me as a real contrast to Sarif, and some of the thugs. Leticia has some street smarts, knows a bit about what is going on, and is trying to get by.

Yep, accents and unusual ways of speaking do exist.
Jensen is also in a sub-culture of his own, a corporate slave from a somewhat thuggish cop background who speaks far too curtly, but whom doesn't want to sound too inferior to his well-educated peers. He isn't stupid, but he isn't the best educated and most eloquent person around either. A good choice for a protagonist I suppose, not going to alienate too many people. He is tough, but smart, and doesn't risk being culturally offensive except by being so gravelly.

Knowing Deus Ex's voice acting "the horrible broken English Letitia speaks" probably wasn't even intentional.
After all, I too was offended by GŁnther's terrible German accent. Also offended by Deus Ex were the Chinese, the French and pretty much everyone with a nationality that appeared in the game.

Clearly Ionstorm/Eidos is racist against the entire world!

I haven't laughed so much since some mob accused Jango Fett of being an offensive Hispanic stereotype... despite being played by a Maori who speaks with a typical kiwi accent.

Staskala:
Knowing Deus Ex's voice acting "the horrible broken English Letitia speaks" probably wasn't even intentional.
After all, I too was offended by GŁnther's terrible German accent. Also offended by Deus Ex were the Chinese, the French and pretty much everyone with a nationality that appeared in the game.

Clearly Ionstorm/Eidos is racist against the entire world!

Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."

What depresses me about stories like this is that people don't take the time to read them properly. No one is saying that Deus Ex is a racist game, or that the people who made it are racists, just that the character in question draws on old racist imagery. Seriously, listen to her speak, she sounds like a character from Huckleberry Finn. It's probably not intentional, and there are some very positive African-American characters in the game, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't point out the mistake.

Oh, and for the record, the problem with Resident Evil 5 wasn't that the zombies were black - the game is set in Africa, of course they're black - it was, again, the imagery used to portray them, which strayed into "Dark Continent" territory.

fryzee:
Not racist. People need to man up.

Have you ever thought that statement you're making might be sexist?

Oh my god, again with the complaining. This is racist! That is Sexist! They're homophobic!
It. Is. A. Game.
You don't like one tiny thing in a game you have bigger issues in your life.

As the saying goes "If you don't like it, don't buy it."

RhombusHatesYou:
Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."

Are you sure about that?


No one left Deus Ex unscathed.

Can I call the Chinese people racist then because of the way they speak? Slightly broken English when they are speaking English to me in that game? I was very offended at that! :-)

LilithSlave:

fryzee:
Not racist. People need to man up.

Have you ever thought that statement you're making might be sexist?

People need to Woman/Man up. :3

Logan Westbrook:
What depresses me about stories like this is that people don't take the time to read them properly. No one is saying that Deus Ex is a racist game, or that the people who made it are racists, just that the character in question draws on old racist imagery. Seriously, listen to her speak, she sounds like a character from Huckleberry Finn. It's probably not intentional, and there are some very positive African-American characters in the game, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't point out the mistake.

Why is it a mistake? Are you seriously telling me that absolutely every individual living in an inner city area doesn't speak with such heavy affectation and slang? Because even here in the UK, people from the inner city areas, particularly around London, do have a significant "street speak" about their dialect. It's not just black people, either. White people who are brought up in the inner city who associate with what was generally seen as 'black culture' also adopt that way of speech and how they carry themselves. While Letitia does have something of the fifties about her, i think it's a bit myopic to not see inner city culture having its roots in what was once hyperbolised by the privileged majority. I would've considered it to be more jarring if she spoke with perfect diction. She already looks a little bit too neat to be a hobo as it is. (Then again, all hobos in Detroit seem to have that problem)

Oh, and for the record, the problem with Resident Evil 5 wasn't that the zombies were black - the game is set in Africa, of course they're black - it was, again, the imagery used to portray them, which strayed into "Dark Continent" territory.

Africa is still a third world country by most standards. I appreciate the mud hut villages and savage portrayal of native Africans throwing spears and such is upsetting, but what else would you expect to find? Sprawling cities and paved streets? If Capcom didn't want to draw on that imagery, they shouldn't have chosen Africa as the stage. What bothers me is how people claim to have no problem with the game being set in Africa yet fail to recognise such imagery would be inevitable given the location. It's not even as if the entirety of the game was that one painful trudge through the mud hut villages; before that you had a reasonable shanty town and later on an escapade through a vast military complex.

Cain_Zeros:

Ragsnstitches:

Waaghpowa:
I don't remember anyone complaining about racism in the first game over the Chinese accents. I'm Chinese and I didn't see it as a big deal, people need to relax about these kinds of things.

Ha... yeah. That's not going to happen.

OT: If that's racist, then I should to argue every portrayal of Irish people in American Media is racist.

But I, frankly, am too drunk to.

Except Irish isn't a race, it's a nationality. Yes, it would be nice if there were portrayals of Irish people other than Leprechauns and drunkards, but even if you were serious it wouldn't be racism.

Hence my comment... what is depicted in the game is a stereotype of a social class, who happens to be black. It's about as racist as depicting a person who is good at math, who just so happens to be Asian.

For me, its the same as showing a middle-class Irish American in a pub with a pint of guinness on hand.

It's pretty funny, but they could've used a voice and dialect that is less associated with offensiveness/racism.

Offended as a black person? A little. Gonna make a big deal over it? No.

If every black person in Deus Ex was like her then, yes that is racist. But since its only one black person like that in the game then it actually realistic.

Why do people like this exist.

Oh, you're offended by something that doesn't matter in the slightest? Oh, well, how about you shove a pineapple up your ass, because no one cares.

You're supposed to take 'offense' to something that matters. For instance, I take 'offense' when a government-payed law enforcement officer assaults a prisoner. I take 'offense' when politicians pass laws that benefit themselves at the great disappointment to the thousands of people that are affected as a result.

What I don't take offense to, are things like this. This person isn't really offended, not at all. What they're doing is latching on to the diluted mindset that makes them 'think' they should express themselves as being offended, because gee whiz 'someone must' or 'there will be no justice in this world'. Some people call it liberalism, but anyone with a modicum of sense knows it's something more than that. Call it manipulated emotions, or a concentrated effort at destroying the fifth estate from within. Whatever it is, I'll just call it bullshit.

So a black woman with a Southern accent who is not in the best position financially is racist? I mean it's not like there might be black women from the South who are poor right? Nope, can't be, it's just impossible.

Sure, it's a fine line to walk. When does it become racist? When she's singing gospel music for now reason? When she's chowing down on KFC and watermelon? I don't know the whole context of the character, but I don't feel that having a character who makes sense (there are plenty of people of African decent in the US South, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are poor) is racist. Sure it's rather stereotypical, but I don't see that as offensive. Even if I am a white male, I still think people are over-reaching.

I suggest black people make more of their own games instead of whining at the white Canadian developers. That way they can input their own view into the industry.

jeretik:
I suggest black people make more of their own games instead of whining at the white Canadian developers. That way they can input their own view into the industry.

You forget that making games,writing books,directing or acting in films requires actual work and skills on their part. Bitching about everything doesn't.

seems to me someone is just wanting to be offended so they have a story to write. I would bet some people do sound or talk like this in real life so should we exclude them cause it might offend? they wouldn't in a movie or book I bet, why should a game be judged differently then that movie or book? Sorry it's not offensive cause I see it happening in real life, grow up and deal with it

Blood Countess:
seems to me someone is just wanting to be offended so they have a story to write. I would bet some people do sound or talk like this in real life so should we exclude them cause it might offend? they wouldn't in a movie or book I bet, why should a game be judged differently then that movie or book? Sorry it's not offensive cause I see it happening in real life, grow up and deal with it

Even if nobody speaks like that, it's an artistic right to make it that way. The dude is just a troll, looking for quick money and fame.

Bitch bitch, whine whine. Why does anyone pay an credence to that moron. The company should do the best thing they can do and not answer any of these people. You give credence to what they say by defending it. You should never end up on the defensive in a situation like this.

Edit: Also, this was not a broad portrayal of black folks, it was a defined character with actual speaking lines and interaction. If the black street walking NPC's were all like this, maybe. But not a single character.

*sigh* having one character that fits a stereotype is not racist. There are actually people like that. When every character or most that belong to an ethnic group/religion/gender/whatever are being portrayed a certain way then there may be a problem but one character on its own is not. If you're going to get in a rage every time a character is stereotypical you'll be raging all the time.
Also many stereotypes exist for a reason.

I'm not sure that it's racist as opposed to utterly, immersion breakingly ridiculous. I've got no problem with the accent just with the amount of inflection placed on it. She's like the black version of the "Yes Guy" from The Simpsons.

Staskala:

RhombusHatesYou:
Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."

Are you sure about that?


No one left Deus Ex unscathed.

Fuck, I was only thinking about DEHR and totally forgot that.

Now my ears are bleeding.

Irony's Acolyte:
So a black woman with a Southern accent who is not in the best position financially is racist?

With what she charges for information I'd hardly say she was in poor financial shape. Perhaps she's eccentric and likes rifling through bins.

You never hear about people getting up in arms about stereotyped white people. Why is that?

I mean whatever.
The woman in the game actually seems intelligent and has some respect for herself. I think that's more important than what pronounciation she uses.

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