D&D General PETITION: Acknowledge Hasbro's hurtful content (Black orcs, Asian yellow orcs, Native American red orcs)—through an Amendatory Bundle [+ thread]

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Mod Edit:
Folks, this is designated a (+) thread. In it, we assume you are generally on board with the thread's basic premise. If what you want to say is some variation of "No, this is not a good thing to do," please take that idea to a different discussion. Thanks. ~Umbran


Original Poster Edit:
Hey everybody, please see the newly clarified parameters for [+] positive posting, at the bottom of this post. Why? Because this is a very fraught topic. And I already waded through 118 pages of "proudly misinformed" comments when I began this research in 2021. So, from here on out (approx. page 11 forward), I'm asking that folks abide by the parameters. Among other things, the parameters include reading the entire Petition
[Edit 2/25: and the FAQ posted below]. There can be no "positive" genuine conversation without that. Thank you!

THE PETITION:
Will you sign the petition? Sign the Petition

In this Petition, I offer a pragmatic nine-step path of action, whereby Hasbro could amend this hurtfulness. It wouldn't be that hard, and wouldn't take that long.



For the past nine years, Hasbro has been shamelessly profiting off a racism-laced Dungeons & Dragons game product: GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar. Though written in 1988 under a previous owner (TSR), in 2014 Hasbro turned this text into a digital product; and, based on sales-figures, has since made at least $20,000 off of this racist book.

For a thorough inventory of its hurtful contents, please see the complete research PDF here:

"Hasbro's Asian yellow orcs, Native American red orcs, and black orcs: A research document and a course of action"

But to summarize, in this Hasbro game:
  1. Hasbro depicts a black-skinned orc woman with full lips and a modern-looking spandex-like chainmail bra, which appears to be a parody of a Black woman.
  2. Hasbro uses racial slurs—"yellow men" and "yellow loonies"—to refer to human beings with an explicitly Mongolian-inspired culture and East Asian physiognomy.
  3. Hasbro features "yellow orcs" whose culture is explicitly based on Mongolian, Tibetan, Chinese, Bhutanese, and Nizari Ismāʿīli Shia Muslim motifs. The term "yellow orc" is based on the real-world racial slur "yellow man."
  4. Hasbro describes those (East Asian) "yellow orcs" as having "dull yellow hides" and "ugly rat or pekingese faces." Note the word "pekingese" comes from the Chinese language; "Peking" is an archaic spelling for the city of "Beijing." The pekingese dog breed arose from China, and historically, it could only be owned by members of the Chinese Imperial Palace. The juxtaposition of these adjectives "ugly" and "pekingese" with "yellow orcs" is quite hateful. What is Hasbro saying about the physiognomy of Chinese and Mongolian humanity?
  5. Hasbro's land of "Yellow Orkia" also includes "oriental" goblins with "yellow skin."
  6. Hasbro refers to the "Khan" leader of these East Asian orcs as "the Yellow Demon." Which is insensitively close to the real-world phrase "the Yellow Peril" (aka Yellow Terror, Yellow Specter).
  7. Hasbro describes Khan Hutai, the leader of the Mongolian-inspired Hobgoblin culture, as "a middle-aged hobgoblin with Asian features." Hasbro illustrates these "Asian-featured" hobgoblins with serrated teeth, viciously biting each other's faces.
  8. Hasbro says that, from an in-world perspective, the human "Mongolian" culture gained their culture and religion by ignorantly imitating these "yellow orcs" and Asian hobgoblins.
  9. Hasbro's product also features "red orcs" whose culture is explicitly based on Native American motifs. The term "red orc" is based on the real-world racial slur "red man."
  10. These "red orcs" engage in "scalping," which Hasbro says they learned from a neighboring human nation, which is itself also based on real-world Native American culture.
  11. Hasbro refers to those Native American "red orcs" as having "red hides and simian [=ape-like] features." The term "red hides" is based on the real-world racial slur "redskins."
  12. In regard to the "simian features" of the Native American orcs, Hasbro says there are two varieties: "Orcus Rubeus Vulgaris" [=Vulgar/Common Red Orc] with "Simian features emulating many of the various monkey faces found in nature." and "Orcus Simius Terribilis" [=Terrible Ape-Like Orc]. What does this say about how Hasbro views the physiognomy of Indigenous American humanity?
  13. Hasbro parodies the assassinated Lakota leader Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake as "Big Chief Sitting Drool."
  14. Hasbro parodies the name of the Little Bighorn battle site—a Native American memorial site—as "Little-Big-Snout."
  15. Hasbro insensitively applies the name of the real-world Nakota (Assiniboine and Stoney) nations as the name of a "notorious" red orc burial ground: "Nakota's Grave."
  16. Hasbro hurtfully adapts the real-world racist proverb "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" as: "The golden rule: A Good Orc is a Dead Orc."
  17. Hasbro parodies Indigenous Mexican culture as buffoonish "Oenkmar orcs." One illustration shows these orcs playing a parody of ōllamalīztli—the Indigenous Mexican ball game—with a decapitated orc head.
  18. Hasbro parodies the Vodun religion of West Africa and the African diaspora, by referring to "gri-gri" (a Vodun religious talisman) in a buffoonish context.
  19. Hasbro parodies South Asian / Indian cultures as the buffoonish ogres of Ogremoor, whose names appear to be in Sanskrit and other Indic languages.
  20. Hasbro also parodies Arab, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic culture by applying those cultural motifs to the monstrous gnolls (hyena-persons) of "South Gnollistan." The leader of the gnolls is named "Nizam Pasha," whose name comes from a Turkish historical figure, Nazım Pasha, who was assassinated during WWI.
  21. Hasbro slanders as "Desert Bums" a human culture which is explicitly based on real-world Arab, Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, and Uzbek cultures, and the Islamic religion.
I and the other signatories call on the Hasbro and WOTC leadership to:
  1. Apologize for the hateful and hurtful depictions and racial slurs found in its GAZ10 PDF product.
  2. Donate all of the past proceeds of this PDF—dating all the way back to July 29th, 2014, when the PDF was first offered for sale—to one or more appropriate cultural charities (Lakota, Mongolian, etc.
  3. From henceforth, make the PDF "pay what you will," with all proceeds going to such charities, in perpetuity.
  4. Note: let it be known to all that I have never called for 'censorship.' Rather than divide the community by yanking and hiding this title in a vault (in the manner of Disney's Song of the South), I call on Hasbro to humbly unite the community in this way:
  5. Commission one or more external cultural consultants with real academic credentials, to comb through the book and make a report of the exact nature of its wrongs. Hasbro's own boilerplate disclaimer claims that Hasbro "teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end." So, if Hasbro is here to "teach" us, then let's have the "teaching" done by real teachers with real credentials.
  6. Henceforth, bundle this new scholarly report with the GAZ10 PDF, as an educational "teaching."
  7. Also make amends from an "in-world" (fictional) perspective: by commissioning one or more culturally informed designers (who are either themselves experts in the World of Mystara, or in collaboration with aficionados of that world) to write at least a short (e.g. 1-to-3-page) re-imagining of the Broken Lands of Thar, whereby the racist crudities found in GAZ10 are revealed to be totally false propaganda by enemies of the peoples of Thar. There are any number of ways in which all of the problematic facets can be completely amended, while creatively preserving and enhancing the existence of the peoples of Thar within the fictional Known World of Mystara.
  8. Note: GAZ10 is also advertised as being compatible with the Forgotten Realms and the World of Greyhawk, with a suggested placement in Faerûn's "region of Thar," and/or a magical portal to there, and also to the "WORLD OF GREYHAWK Goblins of the Pomarj, or to Iuz." And so these amendatory actions apply not only to the World of Mystara, but also secondarily to those two worlds as well.
  9. Henceforth bundle this amended re-envisioning of the Land of Thar with the GAZ10 PDF, along with the academic/educational report.
I invite folks in the gaming community to 'sign' and share this entreaty on various message boards and social media.
I have written to a number of cultural advocacy organizations in regard to Hasbro's continued profiteering off of hateful and hurtful content. I intend to update this petition with any replies I receive from these organizations.

—Travis Henry

(About the Author of this Petition: ·I have done graduate-level work in Native American Studies at Montana State University under the guidance of Dr. Walter Fleming (Blackfoot Nation). For a more extensive bio, please see the PDF at the top of the page.)

[Edit: 2/22/23: Changed the two instances of the word "hire" to read "commission." To clarify that the petition isn't calling on Hasbro to hire new permanent staff in order to make these amends.]
[Edit: 2/24/23: Added mention of TSR's authorship in the intro (instead of only addressing it in the linked PDF): "Though written in 1988 under a previous owner (TSR), in 2014 Hasbro turned this text into a digital product; and, based on sales-figures, has made at least $20,000 off of this racist book."
[Edit: 2/24/23: Removed the example charity (Lakota Waldorf School) to say: "one or more appropriate cultural charities (Lakota, Mongolian, etc.)"
[Edit: 2/24/23: Clarified "at least a short re-imagining" to say "at least a short (1-to-3-page) re-imagining."]
[Edit: 2/24: Posted the Petition text directly into this OP, so that folks don't have to go to the link to read it.]
***​
THE RESEARCH PDF:

In this document:
  • I devote at least a page to explaining each of the 21 problematic (hateful or hurtful) aspects.
  • A bio / curriculum vitae with my relevant experience, such as writings on Native American lifeways.
  • FAQ gathered from previous (vexing!) experience in trying to bring these concerns light.
***​
FAQ:

Please read this FAQ before posting in this thread. Thank you!

In 2021, I brought these concerns to the community via postings and conversations on the Mystara Piazza, ENWorld, and RPGnet forums. The following FAQs are gathered from that intensive (and at times, vexing!) experience.

Q: Why are you blaming Hasbro and WOTC for this product, when it was originally written during the TSR era?

It's true that the GAZ10 book was originally published in 1988 by TSR. Yet Hasbro/WOTC chose to make a new PDF version of the product, and posted it on their DriveThruRPG storefront in 2014, near the start of the Fifth Edition era. Since that time, Hasbro has been profiting from this digital product.

Hasbro owns TSR, and benefits from this legacy, and so Hasbro is also responsible for the less beneficial aspects of that legacy. The GAZ10 PDF is a current Hasbro digital product, available for purchase and profit, in the present moment.

Q: A few years back, Hasbro added a disclaimer to the product pages for D&D Classics PDFs. Isn't that enough? Namely:

"We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end."

No. That is a generic, milquetoast, platitudinous, boilerplate disclaimer, which was robotically slapped on all of the thousands of pre-5E D&D Classics PDFs. (For GAZ10, this may have taken place on November 13th, 2020, the most recent update of DTRPG page.) This bland disclaimer does not really address the specific contents of GAZ10.

Furthermore, even the bland words of Hasbro's disclaimer are themselves a call to action. Hasbro says it's here to "teach" us, and that they are committed to making this GAZ10 product "as welcoming and inclusive as possible"—a work which "will never end." Well, if Hasbro's work of "teaching" us "will never end"…then it's time to get crackin'!

My 48-page research document and call to action—which you're reading right now—are congruent with the true meaning (rather than the platitudinous tenor) of those words. Time for a teachable moment.

Q: Aren't you trying to censor the book?

I am not calling for the book to be withdrawn from libraries. Nor am I even calling for the book to be removed from its DriveThruRPG storefront. What I am calling for is this:

1) I am calling for Hasbro to empower an expert cultural scholar or cultural team to review the book and explicitly point out and explain what is wrong and insensitive about its content, and for their findings to be turned into an Amendatory Bundle (a sort of "web enhancement") for GAZ10, which will be perpetually bundled with the GAZ10 PDF. As a truly educational, amendatory experience, rather than a divisive 'disappearing' of the content.

2) I am calling for Hasbro to empower a culturally-sensitive author who is familiar with the D&D World of Mystara to produce at least a short, 'canonical' reënvisioning of the problematic aspects of The Orcs of Thar, from an in-world perspective. For example, the racist portrayals and cultural misappropriations might be 'retconned' to have been deliberate misportrayals by outside agencies. This creative reënvisioning would be included within the Web Enhancement of GAZ10, alongside the 'educational' report.

3) I am calling for all of Hasbro's past and future proceeds of the GAZ10 PDF to be gifted to one or more charities whose primary purpose is relevant to one or more of the specific nationalities which are slandered in the PDF.

While I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro's reaction is to silently remove the PDF from the public's gaze, let it be known to the fan community that I have never called for the PDF's removal or censorship.

Q: Isn't this a personal attack on Bruce Heard, the author of GAZ10?

No. While I firmly disavow the ugly, racist facets within GAZ10, I acknowledge that cultural awareness and global ethics have evolved since the time GAZ10 was written (and even moreso from the racial portrayals found in the Tin-Tin comics which Bruce Heard may have imbibed as a Baby Boomer growing up in France).

I acknowledge that these GAZ10 'low points' do not overshadow the vast creative output of Bruce Heard's career, nor his years of service as former Product Manager of D&D, nor his continuing work as independent creator of the World of Calidar. And, on a personal level, I have amiably conversed with Bruce in the past, about other aspects of his lifework.

I would be delighted for Hasbro to collaborate with and empower Bruce Heard to voice some well-crafted, healing amendatory remarks for inclusion in the proposed "Amendatory Bundle" which would be attached to the GAZ10 PDF; in a similar way that R.A. Salvatore recently made gracious and magnanimous remarks on the racially problematic aspects of his previous Dark Elf novels.

This GAZ10 'amends initiative' is not about personal vilification; it's about acknowledging the problematic facets, taking healing actions, and moving forward. While the original designer is still alive. Artist Jim Holloway passed away in 2020.

Q: Aren't there similarly ugly and buffoonish portrayals of European cultures in GAZ10?

GAZ10 does contain some European and American Settler facets. Specifically:
  • Ancient Roman (3 facets: "Orcus Rex," the "Legion" of Thar, and "Constantine Diocletius," a quasi-Latin name of Greek origin.)
  • German (1 facet: the playing piece of "General Zar—Kobold Chief" is wearing a Stahlhelm (steel helmet) topped with a Prussian spike, and wearing an eyeglass monocle.)
  • Italian (1 facet: the Italian term "doge" (duke) for the kobold king, who's depicted as wearing a Italian Renaissance-era poofy hat.)
  • Norse (the 56 Norse-style sample names listed for the trolls of Trollhattan, and one reference to the migration of the Vestland Trolls.)
  • U.S.A. (2 facets: the city of "Trollhattan," based on Manhattan/New York, and the picture of a monstrous drill sergeant with U.S. army insignia, on p.39 of the Players' Guide.)
While I acknowledge the buffoonish nature of all of those portrayals, I feel there are quantitative and/or qualitative differences between those portrayals and the more problematic portrayals of the "red orcs" and "yellow orcs." Namely:

The above-listed facets are not as plentiful and extensive as the Native American "red orc" and East Asian "yellow orc" passages. The most extensive European motif (the Old Norse-themed trolls) are about as extensive as the South Asian-themed ogres—whose real-world cultural motifs don't extend much beyond the list of names.

The above-listed facets do not have explicitly racial slurs attached to them as do the Native American "red orcs / red hides" and East Asian "yellow orcs" and "oriental" goblins.

I suggest there may be a qualitative difference between lampooning a culture which has a global nation-state presence (e.g. Italy or New York City) or a culture which is 'ancient' or 'medieval' (e.g. Ancient Roman and Old Norse), versus lampooning a culture which is presently emerging from centuries of very real political, cultural, and economic subjection (e.g. the Indigenous Nations of North America).

Having said that, I will also reach out to organizations representatives which represent these European and American cultural groups, in case they have anything to share on this.

Q: Isn't the issue with GAZ10 just another example of the "biological determinism" of fantasy races, which has recently come to the fore?

The issue with GAZ10 is that…and three levels beyond that. Yes, the biological determinism is bluntly stated in GAZ10 (DM's Booklet p.3):

But if GAZ10 only had the "standard" orcs and goblinoids as found in other D&D sources, with the typical orcish names and such, then it would just be yet another example of the D&D/Tolkienian/fantasy tradition of biologically-and-spiritually deterministic "evil humanoids/goblinoids," which is now rightfully being superseded by a trend to present all humanoids as individuals, with potentially their own individuated outlook, rather than as genetically and divinely pre-determined "evil species."

Yet GAZ10 goes three steps beyond that, in a way which makes it stand out as possibly the most problematic (racist, hurtful) D&D product ever made:
  • The first step beyond: These orcs are not only portrayed as inherently dim-witted and evil, but they also are portrayed with real-world cultures. (East Asian, Native American, Norse, South Asian, etc.) The text even says so.
  • Second step beyond: Some of those real-world cultures are cultures which are struggling for cultural survival and sovereignty in real life. For example, the Lakota Nation.
  • Third step beyond: if those real-world cultural inspirations had been straightforward or positive, that would be one thing, but the depictions are especially 'ugly' in tonality, including real-world-based racial slurs: e.g. "Red orcs" with "red hides" who "scalp" their enemies, and whose leadership includes "Chief Sitting Drool." And "yellow orcs" and "oriental goblins" led by "the Yellow Demon," with Mongolian and Chinese names and "ugly pekingese faces."
These three steps go beyond even the problematic "biological and spiritual racial determinism" seen in fantasy works, for example in depictions of orcs or drow, which has begun to be addressed and amended in recent years.

But the specific insults to specific real-world cultures and to specific human phenotypes as seen in GAZ10, have not yet been addressed and amended.

Q: Aren't all portrayals of Earth-based fantasy cultures inherently problematic? Aren't you saying that all Real World-inspired cultures are misappropriations?

I have never suggested that there are any Real World cultures which are absolutely 'off limits' in regard to serving as inspiration for fantasy works. In fact, it's my belief that there is a respectful way of portraying any of the myriad of Real World human cultures within a TRPG setting. I (Travis Henry) have gathered the world's most extensive (but still far from complete) chart of what real-world cultural motifs are represented in the D&D Multiverse. As seen in Hasbro's recent Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, as conceived by Ajit George, there are respectful ways of evoking Real World-analogous cultures—including non-European cultures, indigenous cultures, and cultures of the Global South. But there's also a wrong, disrespectful way of doing it. GAZ10 is a glaring example of the wrong way.

THIS THREAD AT ENWORLD:

I am still calling for a (+) positive thread. Why? Because I've already lived through a 118-page "ENWorld dogpile" in my 2021 attempt to broach this topic, where a few community members repeated over and over again the "truisms" that "it makes no business sense!!!" and that (even an educational addendum is) "censorship!!!" and "don't say anything or Hasbro will take away our toy/book!!!".

I wished to not experience that again, so in preparing for my OP, I tried to make the FAQ in the Research PDF comprehensive. But as you can see from the first 11 pages of this thread (and from the whole nother anti-thread), that doesn't stop anyone from posting without having even read the Petition, much less the Research PDF (nor its FAQ). "Proudly misinformed + obliquely crafted disinforming" is a gutsy way to converse, but I'd rather skip it. I have other affairs to attend to in life.

So, despite the Moderator's Note in red, the first 11 pages of this thread unfurled with many negative posts which hadn't even read the Petition or my Research. So much for the "A-Game at ENWorld"! (I definitely believe folks when it's said "there is no A-game at ENWorld"!) I am grateful for the thoughtful contributions though. And even the adverse posts contained some hidden gems which helped clarify my wording. Thank you!

Now, four days later (now that my workweek is done, and I can sit down and start to reply to the pile o' posts), I am clarifying what [+] positive means to me, in this thread. I'm not a moderator, yet this is how, as the Original Poster, I'm defining [+] positive:
  • Folks, my outreach efforts are continuing to share this thread with outside cultural associations, so let's put our best foot forward as humanist representatives of the tabletop roleplaying gaming community. Thank you!
  • Because this is a fraught, hexed, vexing topic, in order to ensure a high standard of discourse, FROM HERE ON OUT, PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE PETITION (the 21 points of concern, and the 9-step call to action) [Edit 2/25: and the above-listed FAQ] before posting.
  • Yes, whether you're for the Petition or not, if you haven't read the 30-point Petition [Edit 2/25: and the FAQ], do not post in this thread. I would rather have a sparse, informed discussion than an overflowing uniformed / "proudly misinformed" discussion.
  • POSITIVE: You're very welcome to voice understanding, support, and affirmation. As a model, here are two actual examples from recent days:
    • 1) "The criticisms are fair. The solution suggested is reasonable."
    • 2) "As a 60-year-old white (celtic ethnicity) guy of conservative leanings, all I can say is that I am glad to have never seen Gaz10 before, and I cannot understand how that content and those depictions ever got published in the first place! Even in the 1980s that kind of thing was recognized as wrong! I agree with the proposed action - altering the material would be more of a "hide the wrongs of the past" action, and it is really hard to learn from something that is hidden away or disguised as something different."
  • OKAY: "No, I will not sign the petition." You're also welcome to say why, as long as you don't stray into the NEGATIVE fields listed below.
  • OKAY: "I believe this detail in your research PDF is incorrect." Okay, I will aim to look into it.
  • NEGATIVE: "Petitions never work." (Gee, thanks!)
  • NEGATIVE: Stating or implying that bundling an educational/research PDF and a fictive re-framing PDF with the GAZ10 PDF (with that GAZ10 text itself left unchanged) is "censorship," "hiding the book," "rewriting the book," "1984," "Orwellian," "thought police."
  • NEGATIVE: Posting non-sequiturs along these lines, e.g. "I'm not saying that any of the points in your Petition are censoring or thought-policing or expurgating, but I am saying that those are wrong. Yes, censorship is quite wrong. And I can't say it enough in this thread. I'll say it a hundred times. For no reason. Why can't I voice my opinion? Are you saying that that's not my opinion? Are you calling me a liar? Where's a moderator?!" (Huh?)
  • NEGATIVE: "It makes no business sense. Hasbro is a business. So it will never happen." (None of us are accountants or business managers at WOTC/Hasbro. I'm not here to guess the budget of Hasbro. I'm here as a consumer and educated advocate, calling for a doable action. The 9 points of action are not that hard, and would not take long to do. I myself could write the two bundled PDFs in a week.)
  • NEGATIVE: Scaremongering. Stating or implying that Hasbro may take away this GAZ10 toy and/or all Classic PDFs and/or not allow Mystara to be opened to DMs Guild if I voice this. Note: "scaremongering" is not as bad as "hatemongering," but "scaremongering" (in regard to toy-loss) is still not welcome in this [+] thread. For me, some things are more important than a toy. Yet neither in the 2021 thread*, nor in the present Petition, have I called for the removal of GAZ10. I always offered an additive, positive way forward. *(Well, except for once...at some point in the 118-page 2021 thread, after a few folks kept piling on misinforming calls of "censorship!!!" and "re-write!!!" over and over again, even after I asked them to stop, and asked the moderation to help stop that, and it kept happening, at some point I was like: dang, the quality of this conversation is so block-headed that now I almost wish Hasbro did take these folks' toys away! And the colorful words I used resulted in my being banned from the thread! :-/
  • NEGATIVE: Name calling or "skillfully indirect" name-adjacent adjectives (with or without a caveat such as "don't take this personally"). For example: "this is a Fool's Errand", "Fight me Coward", "Extreme woke victimist activism", "silly modern woke", "Outrageous.", "Idiotic," "Self-Centered", "Usual trust-fund kids who don't know sh*t", "Random Person" [Edit 2/25: Why do I include the term "random person"? Because this term (which has appeared at least twice in discussions about my petition) is inherently invalidating. Who is not a "random person"? Are only Hasbro employees not "random people"? By "random" do you mean I have no qualifications or creditials on this topic? Please see my bio/CV in the Research PDF], and "Reprehensible"...all adjectives and phrases which have blessed this Petition here or in other venues this past week.

Here's a link to the "new start" later in the thread, where all the posters will have read the Petition and the FAQ before posting, so as to ensure an informed and genuine (=positive) discussion. (link)

—Travis Henry, author of the petition

Major Edits to this OP:
  • 2/24: Based on folks' helpful suggestions, I revised the title of the thread from:
    "PETITION: Stop Hasbro's hurtful content—no more Black orcs, Asian yellow orcs, or Native American red orcs—amend GAZ10 (+positive, A-game thread)"
    TO
    "PETITION: Acknowledge Hasbro's hurtful content (Black orcs, Asian yellow orcs, Native American red orcs)—through an Amendatory Bundle [(+) thread]"
  • 2/24: Deleted the term "A-game thread." (An RPGnet term not recognized on ENWorld.) Instead, I explained why I'm still going with a (+) positive thread, and what that means to me.
  • 2/24: I reformatted the OP into three more grokable sections: THE PETITION, THE RESEARCH PDF, THIS THREAD.
  • 2/25: Based on Morrus' moderation, I removed "reading the Research Document" from the required reading for this [+] thread.
  • 2/25: I posted the FAQ from the Research Document directly into the OP, and refer to it in the [+] positive parameters.
 
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Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Can we can have a go at the Ilead later? Its packed full of tons of less than palatable material, or maybe you could focus on products that are still relevant, instead of 35 year old drivel that is the single most well documented case of "ick" that was ever produced for an RPG.
I would say GAZ10 is of substantially less importance culturally than the Iliad.

I do think this is a fairly obscure piece of old-school Mystara lore that wasn't all that well seen even back in its day and probably is getting more attention now than it did back when it came out.

I'm not a huge fan of censorship, but I guess donating the profits might be reasonable. How much money are they making off this thing?
 

No, I won't sign. This product was published in 1988. It currently has this disclaimer with it:

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

Personally I find attempts to revise and hide the past distasteful. Second, I think spending any time re-writing a legacy product that is sub-par in the first place is a waste of limited resources. Third, the logical business decision would instead be to pull this product from distribution completely, and that would not do much more than the first in attempting to hide the past.
 


No, I won't sign. This product was published in 1988.
This digital product was published in 2014.
It currently has this disclaimer with it:
Cut-and-pasting from the FAQ in the above-linked PDF:

Q: A few years back, Hasbro added a disclaimer to the product pages for D&D Classics PDFs. Isn't that enough?

A: No. That is a generic, milquetoast, platitudinous, boilerplate disclaimer, which was robotically slapped on all of the thousands of pre-5E D&D Classics PDFs. (For GAZ10, this may have taken place on November 13th, 2020, the most recent update of DTRPG page.) This bland disclaimer does not really address the specific contents of GAZ10.

Furthermore, even the bland words of Hasbro's disclaimer are themselves a call to action. Hasbro says it's here to "teach" us, and that they are committed to making this GAZ10 product "as welcoming and inclusive as possible"—a work which "will never end." Well, if Hasbro's work of "teaching" us "will never end"…then it's time to get crackin'!

My 48-page research document and call to action—which you're reading right now—are congruent with the true meaning (rather than the platitudinous tenor) of those words. Time for a teachable moment.
 
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Redwizard007

Adventurer
Hasbro is not still profiting off the Iliad.

Dude, if THIS is the hot button social issue that you want to take on I really have to question your priorities. Is it disgusting? Of course. Should it still be for sale? Obviously not. It is obviously important to you, and I apologize for being dismissive, but this doesn't even crack my top 100 injustices of the last decade
 


Dude, if THIS is the hot button social issue that you want to take on I really have to question your priorities. Is it disgusting? Of course. Should it still be for sale? Obviously not. It is obviously important to you, and I apologize for being dismissive, but this doesn't even crack my top 100 injustices of the last decade
Hi, what has made this more of a hot button, is Hasbro's recent attempts to portray itself as a "protector" and "moderator" of the game community--with Hasbro claiming its "core goals" are to protect us from "hateful and hurtful content." Please see the recent statements by Hasbro spokesman Kyle Brink, which I've helpfully gathered on the first page of the above-linked PDF. Thank you!
 

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