D&D General New WOTC racism allegations regarding Hadozee and Spelljammer

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The Myopic Sniper

Adventurer
D&D YouTuber Indestructoboy brought to my attention the latest round of racism allegations directed at WOTC here:

Indestructoboy:
Youtube: New Wizards of the Coast racism allegations regarding Hadozee and Spelljammer

Twitter Hadozee Racism Accusation (NSFW)

Twitter Hadozee Minstrel Artwork (Sensitive Content):

Three Black Halflings Podcast on the Hadozee issues: (have not listened to this yet, linked in YouTube video)
https://headgum.com/three-black-halflings/good-and-happy-work-hadozee-lore-with-the-3bh-avengers

Any thoughts?

Mod Edit:
Folks,

This thread concerns issues of racism. If your only intended contribution is to dismiss the issue please find a different thread to engage with.

~Umbran
 
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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
I just feel sad about this one. I have no idea how this made it past their DEI person (or maybe didn't, but that person just got overruled). I see there is no sensitivity reader credited for the Spelljammer books.

The minstrel art in particular is just inexcusable and not defensible.

They could have so easily avoided this one. Imo the hadozee weren't salvageable and just should have been left in the past. Nobody would have missed them.

For me, this really hurts an otherwise fun product.
 


Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
I mean... this is all there. It's pretty terrible. I'm less inclined to believe it was intentional in any sense, but I do think that it's a product of unconscious bias.

So here's the thing: when you've got yourself a brand-new monkey/ape-like race for your TTRPG game, you should probably avoid, at all costs, any unfavorable comparisons to african-descended peoples. You know, like... instances of slavery or minstrelsy.

WotC really need to get themselves a (much better, hopefully) sensitivity reader.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
I mean... this is all there. It's pretty terrible. I'm less inclined to believe it was intentional in any sense, but I do think that it's a product of unconscious bias.

So here's the thing: when you've got yourself a brand-new monkey/ape-like race for your TTRPG game, you should probably avoid, at all costs, any unfavorable comparisons to african-descended peoples. You know, like... instances of slavery or minstrelsy.

WotC really need to get themselves a (much better, hopefully) sensitivity reader.

I don't think it was intentional. But they did remove the term "deck ape", which apparently appeared in past editions. The fact that the did that shows they knew that this was kind of a messed up idea. So it should have been clear to them that they needed to take a much harder look at the overall lore here, and decide if "former slave race of monkey people" was something they wanted at all.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I mean... this is all there. It's pretty terrible. I'm less inclined to believe it was intentional in any sense, but I do think that it's a product of unconscious bias.

So here's the thing: when you've got yourself a brand-new monkey/ape-like race for your TTRPG game, you should probably avoid, at all costs, any unfavorable comparisons to african-descended peoples. You know, like... instances of slavery or minstrelsy.

WotC really need to get themselves a (much better, hopefully) sensitivity reader.
Yeah, it's kind of strange that this got through to the final product. WotC had enough sense to not update the Grommam, so they clearly had some idea that Spelljammer had some racially insensitive content before. But this looks like it's completely new. They really should have had a sensitivity reader for this.
 





Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
One thing that does come to mind is that maybe WOTC needs to playtest lore and concept art in their Unearthed Arcana as well as mechanics. It is better to cause a Twitter storm over playtest content that can be changed than something that is already released.
They did. They "playtested" lore for the Hadozee in the Travelers of the Multiverse UA. It didn't make any mention of them previously being slaves or commonly being minstrels.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
But surely Wizards of the Coast has a CS editor on staff, right? someone to take a look at everything pubic-facing before it gets published? I mean, my company has a whole team of them, and we're engineers. Surely a publishing company would have at least one? Right?
You would think so, but no, history suggests otherwise. WotC doesn't have a history of active belligerent racism, but they have a strong history of self-assured "but we're nice guys, not racists!" lack of introspection. Which really bites them in the butter when they try to bring forward older Edition material, particularly.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm curious what the artist Wuzyk used for a model/inspiration for the left most of her three Hadozee figures - and if she was told to make one a bard. (The instrument and hat seem fairly common for a bard - checking PHB and Google respectively).
 



Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I'm curious what the artist Wuzyk used for a model/inspiration for the left most of her three Hadozee figures - and if she was told to make one a bard. (The instrument and hat seem fairly common for a bard - checking PHB and Google respectively).
I mean... yeah... But it's also the -same- instrument in both pictures. Just with a shorter neck for the Hadozee.
 

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