Ubisoft removes controversial British journalist from Watch Dogs: Legion


Ubisoft removes controversial British journalist from Watch Dogs: Legion

Two in-game podcasts in Watch Dogs: Legion featuring British journalist Helen Lewis will be removed due to "controversial" statements she has made in the past. Ubisoft said it was unaware of Lewis's previous statements until the game's development was complete.

"Neither Ubisoft nor the game represent this journalist's point of view," Ubisoft said in a statement. "The development team worked with an external producer to select speaker profiles for these podcasts and were unaware of controversy at the time of ordering or recording."

“While in-game podcasters follow a pre-approved script and do not speak on their own behalf or with their own opinions, we understand that this collaboration itself can be viewed as offensive, and we deeply regret the harm caused to them, we will replace these two podcast episodes in in one of the upcoming updates and in the future we will strengthen our verification of partners biographies. " 

Ubisoft did not elaborate on which of Lewis' comments it deems "controversial," but last year it voiced an opposition to transgender empowerment. In a 2017 article that criticized changes in UK law aimed at simplifying the process of gender reassignment, for example, she wrote:

"Being a woman or a man is now completely in your head. Who in a climate like this would challenge a man with a beard baring his cock in a women's locker room?" 

This statement echoes what opponents of transgender rights often say: men will call themselves women for the sole purpose of gaining access to women's locker rooms and bathrooms.

The US National Center for Transgender Equality states that this hypothetical fear is based on nothing.

"Hundreds of cities, school districts and 18 states are already defending the right of transgender people to use toilets," the organization writes, "and none of them has seen an increase in people attacking anyone or pretending to be trans to gain access to the toilets." 

All of these are yet another attempts by Ubisoft to make amends to the public, which have been heavily criticized this year for accusations of widespread sexual harassment and abuse. Ubisoft has not announced when Lewis will be removed from Watch Dogs: Legion. 

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