Ubisoft to remove a controversial journalist from Watch Dogs: LegionPlatforms: All
Ubisoft has issued an apology for including a British journalist in several of the in-game podcasts for Watch Dogs: Legion, after being made aware of controversial remarks they have made.
Helen Lewis, a London-based staff writer for The Atlantic, appears in two episodes of the BuccanEar podcast feed in Watch Dogs: Legion. While she has many troubling views, from her critical views of feminism to the MeToo movement, it is her views on trans rights that are particularly worrying.
In 2017, Lewis came out strongly against the United Kingdom’s move to streamline the process of legally changing one’s gender, penning an op-ed for The Times called “A man can’t just say he has turned into a woman.” Lewis wrote in the piece: “What the government proposes is a radical rewriting of our understanding of identity: now it’s a question of an internal essence—a soul, if you will. Being a woman or a man is now entirely in your head.”
Lewis is one of many prominent figures in the UK with these dangerous views, ones that can cause actual harm to a marginalised minority in society. When opinions hurt people, they no longer become tolerable, and this is why fans have objected to Ubisoft giving Lewis a new platform to boost her profile.
A Ubisoft spokesperson told Kotaku, “We were made aware of controversial remarks from a journalist whose voice-over performance appears in two in-game podcasts in Watch Dogs: Legion. Neither Ubisoft nor the game reflect this journalist’s viewpoints.”
The statement went on to say, “The development team worked with an external producer to select speaker profiles for these podcasts and were not aware of the controversy at the time of booking or recording. While the in-game podcasters are following a pre-approved script and are not speaking in their own name or with their own opinions, we understand this collaboration itself may be seen as offensive and we deeply regret any hurt this has caused. In response, we will be replacing these two podcast episodes in an upcoming update and will reinforce our background checks for partners in the future.”