A debate has broken out on Twitter on the topic of whether or not Borderland 2’s Tiny Tina is racist.
A couple of gamers took issue with the Caucasian Tina’s use of African American lingo, and messaged the game’s lead writer Anthony Burch to tell him about it.
“Hey big fan of BL2's writing here also, loved Handsome Jack, TT was a profound misstep & made me uncomfy thanks,” tweeted one.
“Its [sic] exaggerated stereotypical low class ‘black’ lingo that with Tina amounts to verbal blackface,” said another.
Throughout the discussion, Burch acknowledged that Tina was “divisive”, but expressed bewilderment at the claims of racism.
“You find it inherently racist that she uses black lingo? Why?” he wrote.
“Isn't it also a little weird to imply that only black people can say ‘crunk’?”
He then reached out to the wider community and asked for their thoughts on the issue.
“The last thing I want to be is exclusionary or prejudiced, so if Tina truly is problematic I'll change her,” wrote Burch.
“I'm just not convinced that a character using lingo like badonkadonk/crunk is inherently racist. If I'm wrong I would like to know why.”
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford even got in on the action, tweeting to Burch that “Tina is not racist because you are not racist. You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion.”
“My expectation Anthony can deal with offending people as long as he believes in the quality of his work/intent/position,” he added.
“But, my estimation is that Anthony would not appreciate being incorrectly imagined a racist by those he cares to entertain.”