Play news Halo Infinite sets off controversy with Emancipation Day skin for African American slaves
343 Industries is at the heart of a controversy over the name of a skin in Halo Infinite.
343 Industries has just changed the name of a cosmetic from Halo Infinite which had offended many fans.
“I apologize for making a moment of celebration hurtful”
To celebrate Juneteenth, also called Emancipation Daythe day of the celebration of the liberation of African American slaves in the United States, Halo Infinite came with a new emblem. From the color palettes to choose from for this emblem, the name of a palette shocked many players. A pallet with pan-African colors were called “Bonobo”, the name of a species of great apes in danger of extinction. No need to explain how much such names can offendmore to celebrate the liberation of black slaves.
That reactions from players, content creatorsetc., were lively and numerous:
I refuse to believe that is actually true. How is it possible??
– Rythaze 🌧️ (@Rythayze) June 14, 2022
Managers from 343 Industries responded quickly and communicated. In fact, this the color palette has been renamed “Freedom”. Especially the one Halo Franchise Chief Community Manager, John Junyszekand director and founder of 343 Industriesgave some explanations on Twitter:
The palette was incorrectly named and we renamed it immediately via an update. (2/2)
—John Junyszek (@Unyshek) June 14, 2022
We are a studio and franchise committed to inclusivity, where everyone is welcome and supported to be their true selves. On behalf of 343, I apologize for turning a celebrated moment into a hurtful moment. (2/2)
– Bonnie Ross (@PlutoForEver) June 15, 2022
John Junyszek: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Sean. We strive to create diverse and inclusive gaming communities. Although the original name referred to an internal toolkit, it was not intended to be used on this content and we acknowledge the damage it may have caused. The palette was incorrectly named and we renamed it immediately via an update.
Bonnie Ross: We were made aware of a palette option for our Juneteenth emblem that contained an offensive and hurtful expression. The team immediately resolved this issue via an update. We are a studio and franchise committed to inclusivity, where everyone is welcome and invited to be themselves. On behalf of 343, I apologize for making a moment of celebration hurtful.
Bonobo would be an internal asset editor
In his article on this controversy, Kotaku quote a anonymous source familiar with Halo development, which has somewhat more specific explanations. In fact, this source confirms it Bonobo is a 343 asset editor. Bonobo was great commonly used on Halo 5but the studio does not would use it more for Halo Infinite development. Only it still exists and that is it very popular in the development team and is known by many employees, even though it no longer appears to be in use. It is therefore possible that a developer has filled in a placeholder text for this palette named Bonobo and that the quality control team did not see it, or even that been put there automatically. Unfortunately, it is also possible that this is the case a deliberate action by an employee of the development teamwhich has not been discovered before.
It’s pretty vague, and we’ll probably never know what really happened. The truth is naming a palette after a monkey may not have bothered anyone … if it was for another emblem! But there, too Celebrating Emancipation Day is obviously offensiveand it is normal for the players to react.
Note also that only people like John Junyszek, Bonnie Ross or Joe Staten, the game’s creative director, communicated on Twitter. Official Halo communication channels do not have no statement. The Halo Twitter account simply retweeted Bonnie Ross’ message.
The Juneteenth emblem palette in Halo Infinite, dedicated to the liberation of African-American slaves, is now called Freedom.