Dead By Daylight developer Behavior Interactive has announced that it will be removing a number of cosmetics for its “cannibal” character (inspired by Leatherface from the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre) after black gamers complained they were used for racial harassment were used.
Cosmetics, introduced a few years ago, include a number of unlockable skins for the cannibal that alter the “face” of their victim, which they wear on their head, much like Leatherface’s business card. The skins refer to the original four surviving characters that players could choose from, one of which was a black woman named Claudette.
Black Dead By Daylight players stated that enemy players would frequently target them for harassment while wearing the Claudette cannibal skin.
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“Members of the community have shared their experiences with people attacking and harassing them while using some of these masks,” Behavior Interactive said in a blog entry. “These reports were disheartening to hear and we absolutely condemn this behavior. We are not comfortable having these masks in the game when they are used as a means of spreading hatred.”
Behavior Interactive rewards players who unlock the skins with 6,000 Iridescent Shards, the in-game currency used to unlock cosmetics.
Black players also brought up that Leatherface players wearing dead black skin were uncomfortably close to wearing blackface. Blackface refers to the act of a non-black person wearing makeup to imitate a black person. The act has historical roots in minstrel shows from the 1830s and throughout the mid-20th century. In modern times, several politicians and public figures have come under fire for wearing blackface make-up in older images.
SistaKaren, a partner of Dead By Daylight, Compiled anecdotes from numerous black content creators to be bothered with Claudette Cannibal’s skin.
A content creator named MiladyConfetti described being harassed by someone who sent 500 bots to her channel to spam the N-word in her chat. MiladyConfetti says she was then given the walkthrough after submitting a support ticket, with neither Behavior Interactive, Steam, or Twitch taking responsibility for the harassment.
“I understand the reporting system. I had to meet this person four more times in the game and he knew who I was and he did the same damn thing over and over,” says MiladyConfetti in the video, visibly shaken. “I had to experience that. Why did it take me four more times to meet this person before something was done?”
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