Last month, Chucklefish announced the voice actors for new characters in a DLC pack for Wargroove, a turn-based strategy game released earlier this year. Of the new characters, three appeared to be people of color. When Chucklefish revealed the faces of the voice actors for these characters, some accused them of whitewashing, as the announced voice actors were all white.
Thank you for your feedback everybody. We have an update here: pic.twitter.com/qM4eY4HrL8
— ⚔️ Wargroove (@WargrooveGame) December 6, 2019
Yesterday, Chucklefish posted a statement on the Wargroove account addressing people’s concerns about the casting. They first thanked everyone for their “feedback” and said they “appreciate everybody who took the time to share their concerns and educate [them].” They revealed that, to prevent their “own unconscious biases to impact” who they cast, they used “an external casting management team” to help from the development stage and onward, and they “handled the auditions blindly.” They explained this entailed “not looking at profiles, back catalogues, headshots etc.” and simply deciding on voice actors by listening to their audition audio files.
They then addressed the voice actors reveal post itself, which included side-by-side pictures of the new characters with their voice actors. Some believed this highlighted the contrast between the characters of color and their white voice actors, as it did not include “acknowledgement of the systemic problem of representation in the industry,” which Chucklefish said was “insensitive and poorly communicated.”
They’ve got war cries, taunts and loads of grunt options; it’s the voice actors behind everybody’s favourite Outlaw faction!
— ⚔️ Wargroove (@WargrooveGame) November 13, 2019
Concluding their post, Chucklefish said, “We sincerely apologize for the harm we have caused. We will be more sensitive in our future casting decisions and will continue to support the work of all those pushing for better representation of people of color in the industry.”
This is the second time Chucklefish has come under fire in recent months, as they were accused of taking advantage of volunteers on their game Starbound back in August and September. Chucklefish responded to the allegations saying that the unpaid contributors to the game “were under no obligation to create content.”