The Injustice 2 Mobile game Twitter account has issued and apology to fans after an in-game event to celebrate Pride Month involved beating up an LGBTQIA+ character.
The event involved repeatedly fighting Poison Ivy, a well-known bisexual character and iconic villain stemming from DC’s Batman universe. Reported by Kotaku, the irony of this Global Challenge event was magnified by a tweet celebrating that players had “taken down” Poison Ivy over 175,000 times, followed by a Pride hashtag. Apparently, if players fought her another 225,000 times, they would unlock a separate reward tier.
— Injustice 2 Mobile (@Injustice2Go) June 4, 2021
An approach like this suggested that the developers of Injustice 2 Mobile were encouraging violence against LGBTQIA+ people during Pride, and before too long the tweet was flooded with responses from concerned players who were confused as to how this Global Challenge was in any way a celebration of Pride.
The tweet was quickly taken down following the initial backlash, and the Injustice 2 Mobile twitter has since released a statement apologising for the Global Challenge and inciting tweet, stating that they “recognize associating our latest Global Challenge with Pride was insensitive and inappropriate”, and that, “we should all actively engage in efforts to end LGBTQIA+ violence, not normalize it”.
Despite regularly creating these in-game Global Challenges, scheduling an event to beat up an LGBTQIA+ character during Pride Month really doesn’t seem like a good way to celebrate LGBTQIA+ rights. The Injustice 2 Mobile twitter account had also changed its banner and avatar to feature the Pride flag for Pride Month, which made the irony of this event even more appalling.
Changing banners and avatars in order to appear supportive of LGBT+ rights, only to continue activities that harm LGBT+ people is a classic example of pink-washing; a term used when companies attempt to cash in on the focus on Pride and then drop any meaningful support for LGBTQIA+ people as soon as Pride Month is over.
Liam Wiseman is a Freelance News Writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @liamthewiseman