Borderlands 2 writer defends “racist” character

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One of the writers for Borderlands 2, Anthony Burch, has responded to criticism about the character Tiny Tina, which some people have been suggesting speaks in a manner that could be considered racist, or at the very least stereotypical. He’s suggested that this was in no way the intention but if people have a problem with it, she’ll speak differently in future DLC.

The words and phrases used by Tina that have got a few individuals riled up are “badonkadonk” and “crunk”, which some have equated to “stereotypical low-class black lingo” and “stereotyped ebonics.” Burch said when creating the character he wanted to mix in that sort of way of speaking, with naivete and fairytale to create a wacky character, which anyone not overly dramatic when it comes to language that has played the game, will attest to.

tinytina Borderlands 2 writer defends racist character

Of course the blowhards who complained to Mr Burch didn't say anything about the fact that a young girl is killing people.

This discussion went far enough that the head of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford weighed in, defending Mr Burch: “Tina is not racist because you are not racist,” Pitchford told Burch. “You’re a pillar of tolerance and inclusion.”

One more Borderlands 2 DLC pack is expected to be released and if Tina features, it seems likely that she won’t be speaking in her usual manner, despite the fact that it was hilarious and in keeping with the style of the game. Unfortunately for those that felt they needed to speak out against this so they themselves would seem not racist, already written and produced in-game dialogue cannot be altered. Shame that.

KitGuru Says: I think these people are being far too sensitive. They don’t realise either, that the people who genuinely aren’t racist, don’t see racism where it isn’t. If you think using words of a culture that is not your own, makes someone a racist, you’re silly and potentially a racist yourself, or at least far too concerned with race. Its intention that creates prejudice, not language.

That said, maybe these guys have a point. I’m a short guy, “Tiny” Tina is making fun of someone who obviously has problems with her height. I’m offended. This game should be banned. [/sarcasm]

Thanks Kotaku.

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