Was Tecmo’s whitewashing of a Dead or Alive character racist? Probably

MWEB GameZone writes: "It’s obvious that Lisa was originally African American or Latina and that she’s now been made white. On the face of it, it would appear that Tecmo did, indeed, whitewash this character.

"But was it racism?"

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Sillicur1083d ago

This is really tough, I wonder if it is really racism.

pinkcrocodile751083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

I think the author needs euthenising.

I've read stupid, pointless, even offensive articles online but never have a found an utterly pointless article try to dress it self up as "Holier the Thou".

This is a video game, I don't care about whether a character has been altered to white, black or an elephant with six breasts... Actually that last one is pretty cool.

Lets not forget that this is a game, this isn't an indictment on the studio or the artists.

This is an indictment on the cretin who wrote the article in the first place!!

... and to answer the pointless question.


Was that too much?

Septic1083d ago

Hold up a min. You can't just Michael Jackson a character just like that and expect no questions to be asked.

This is some weird reverse tanning situation. If Itagaki is making these accusations then I think we should take them into consideration.


Eh? A game can't have racism? THAT sounds stupid to me.

Lord_Sloth1083d ago

I'm just trying to figure out who thinks this woman is white.

pinkcrocodile751083d ago

@Septic - "Hold up a min. You can't just Michael Jackson a character just like that and expect no questions to be asked"

Yes you can!.

When the film Annie was remade recently, nobody thought twice about a black Annie, since she was an orphan it had no impact on the story so was fine.

Please tell me how changing a character in a fighting game from one colour to another changes the game in any way?


"Eh? A game can't have racism? THAT sounds stupid to me""

It's a game with strict censorship laws in place in each respected country or union.

Opinions may differ from country to country regarding content however this isn't South Africa imprisoning Nelson Mandella, segregation or equal rights.

This is a model in a fighting game being changed. Itagaki has a right to his opinion but opinions are like @RSE H0LES... Everyones got one.

This is just mine!

Bimkoblerutso1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

Yeah, I think we've been so overrun with false accusations of racism and sexism that gamers have taken a reactionary stance even when things SHOULD be called out or examined.

Even if you don't necessarily see this as racist, it is a little...weird. Did they change her color for promos because they thought it would sell the image of the game better?

Mr Pumblechook1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

Lisa Hamilton aka La Mariposa is Latin American.

Wikia says she is a luchadora (Mexican wrestler).

If you compare the two pics her skin tone is definitely lighter in the more recent one. I don't think this was done to 'whitewash' her, I don't share the belief that Tecmo did this as a calculated move move to increase sales as the Dead or Alive games feature other ethnic characters. Maybe it was just a change by the game's art director, as no-doubt other characters are modified between instalments. But then maybe Itagaki knows more about the motivations of the current team. I would have thought that perhaps a Latina character would have a Latina name, but I don't follow DoA lore, maybe it explains this.

At the start of this video it shows Lisa in Dead or Alive Final Round. Her darker skin tones contrasts again the white skin of Tina Armstrong.

When I see racism I will be the first to call it out, but it is important you do this with good well-founded reason, and don't flippantly call people or companies 'racist.' But I don't think there is quite enough evidence here.

BattleAxe1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

Would it be racist if they turned a character who was originally white, and made them black? Probably not, because there is a double standard in today's society. Keep the PC nonsense out of gaming.

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Spotie1083d ago

Not seeing how the article can admit that race is treated differently in Japan, and yet imply that this changing of a character's color is racist based on Western standards.

Isn't that a little (a lot) contradictory?

To make matters worse, they post the launch trailer, where I'm 100% certain I see a dark-skinned female both doling out the harshness and getting her butt handed to her. This female wasn't presented as one of the new characters, so unless I missed some other such woman over the last few iterations, that could ONLY be Lisa.

Meaning the article answers its own question(not with the stupid answer it also gives in the title) with its content, all the while acting as if that question still remains.

In other words: this was done for hits.

rainslacker1083d ago

"Isn't that a little (a lot) contradictory? "

The term is ethnocentrism. It's an actual term to describe this, and it's extremely common for people and the media to do such a thing. It's an interesting topic, I encourage anyone who is interested in culture to go look it up.

Dunno if I'd call his thoughts contradictory, as it just makes two statements about different cultures. I don't find it racist though. Racism is defined as

"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

Since there is absolutely nothing to say that this change was made due to this belief it shouldn't be called racism, nor should the accusations be made.

It's possible that the art director, the producer, the director, or focus groups just found the lighter skin more appealing. I personally would have never thought about the change were I asked my opinion in a focus group, because I never thought Lisa was black. I honestly just thought she was one of those heavy beach going tanned women, mostly due to her bleached blonde hair color.

Blaze9291083d ago

Let's face it, racism is real - and exists. Still.

FullmetalRoyale1083d ago

I still haven't accepted there are people even slightly different than myself.

ShaunCameron1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

And it's as old as humanity itself. Ethnocentrism and tribalism were its original forms.

rezzah1083d ago

I think of it more as idolizing. To be specific, perceiving the fairer skin pigmentation to be more attractive.

That's their own opinion, and their own game to do with as they please.

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Bigpappy1083d ago

I have the X1 version, and she still has her color from what I have player. So this makes me concern as to what Itagaki is referring to, or has he lost his mind. Don't know if its platform specific or in a particular arena.

lord zaid1083d ago

Can't speak to the game itself, but in the promo pic for La Mariposa, she is clearly white. Or at the very least her skin has been lighten a lot.

IcicleTrepan1083d ago

It looks like a white person with a suntan had the suntan removed.

rainslacker1083d ago

In the brighter levels with lots of "natural" sunlight, or stadium lighting, her skin looks like she hasn't tanned in a while. In the darker scenes her skin actually looks a bit lighter in comparison to other games in the series, but this is likely because the devs worked on more realistic looking skin, so the light is probably a bit more natural when being rendered.

HanCilliers1083d ago

Just thinking abt the gaming climate & all the talk over the past years re diversity in gaming - then it was unwise to do this.

XXXL1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

People should protest. There's not enough of that goin on today. PC bulls***

skydragoonity1083d ago (Edited 1083d ago )

Racism is everywhere. Used to it sadly, still won't stop me from playing and enjoying myself

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