In the wake of the hugely successful critical and commercial success of The Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog have found themselves having to respond to harassment and abuse being hurled at their developers and actors involved in the game on social media.
Although we welcome critical discussion, we condemn any form of harassment or threats directed towards our team and cast. Their safety is our top priority, but we must all work together to root out this type of behavior and maintain a constructive and compassionate discourse. pic.twitter.com/eoq4t1ITnh
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) July 5, 2020
The statement reads:
“Although we welcome critical discussion, we condemn any form of harassment or threats directed towards our team and cast. Their safety is our top priority, but we must all work together to root out this type of behavior and maintain a constructive and compassionate discourse.”
While it’s safe to say they will also have seen a lot of positive messages from fans, Actor Laura Bailey (who plays Abby) and writer, director and Naughty Dog VP Neil Druckmann both shared some of the frankly vile messages they have received since the game’s release.
Note: Expect a number of triggers and spoilers if you reach the abusive messages.
Man. I try to only post positive stuff on here… but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming. I blacked out some of the words cuz, ya know, spoilers.
Side note. Thank you to all the people sending me positive messages to balance it out. It means more than I can say.❤️ pic.twitter.com/kGyULWPpNu
— Laura Bailey (@LauraBaileyVO) July 3, 2020
You can love or hate the game and share your thoughts about it. Unfortunately too many of the messages I've been getting are vile, hateful, & violent. Here are just a handful of them (feel it's important to expose.) Trigger Warning: transphobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. pic.twitter.com/uR9vpGgYQa
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) July 5, 2020
The outrage comes from some of the narrative and creative decisions made through the game. Following on from the original game, The Last of Us Part II features openly LGBTQ characters, and makes some dramatic and shocking twists with its story that were closely guarded by Naughty Dog through the game’s development.
While it’s within everyone’s right to dislike and critique a story, there is simply no excuse for that to lead to homophobic and transphobic comments, see anti-semitic abuse hurled at Druckmann, not to mention threats of violence against an actor playing a character in a work of fiction.