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Chucklefish apologizes after casting white voice actors for non-white characters

Chucklefish apologizes after casting white voice actors for non-white characters

December 6, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

December 6, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Indie, Production

Wargroove developer Chucklefish has issued an apology for a recent announcement that highlighted the fact it had hired white voice actors to voice non-white characters, sharing details on the casting process and acknowledging that the recent promotion was “insensitive and poorly communicated.”

The promotion in question featured headshots of the newly announced voice cast for an upcoming Wargroove DLC alongside pictures of the characters each voiced in-game, calling attention to the fact that while the character designs pointed towards a majority non-white group, the casting itself skewed white.

“We also understand that posting photos of our voice actors beside characters of color without acknowledgment of the systemic problem of representation in the industry was insensate and poorly communicated,” reads the statement shared by the Wargroove team.

That statement, shared here, explains that the studio worked with an external casting management team and handled the audition blindly by keeping “profiles, back catalogues, headshots, etc.” out of the selection process, a step that aimed to keep the team’s own personal bias from playing a part in casting decisions. 

However blind casting to avoid bias is a less helpful step when seeking creative talent to create and voice characters from underrepresented demographics, as the actors, writers, and other creatives from those communities are often just as underrepresented behind the scenes as they are in the games themselves.

“We sincerely apologize for the harm we have caused,” concludes the statement. “We will be more sensitive in our future casting decisions and will continue to support the work of all those pushing for better representation of people of color in the industry.”

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