Kotaku claimed 'Persona 5's lead track had "retarded" in its lyrics
Kotaku UK has been accused of racism for claiming Nintendo and Persona 5 used a “disability slur”
Bounding Into Comics reports that Kotaku UK has come under fire after accusing Nintendo, Super Smash Bros and Persona 5 for insulting disabled people.
In an article written by Laura Kate Dale for Kotaku UK, it was claimed that a “disability slur” was included in one of the songs for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate new Persona 5 DLC.
“In the track ‘Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There’, if you skip to around 1:48 into the track, you’ll reach a section of the song where words are softly spoken rather than sung,” Dale writes, including a YouTube link of the song. “At around 1:57 it appears the term “retarded” is used, and followed up by the assertion that “I can say it.””
“The official lyrics for the song, curiously enough, does not include this spoken word section. This is our transcription of what’s said.”
Dale went on to explain why “retarded” is a bad word. “The term ‘retarded’ is considered a slur against people with mental disabilities. It has been commonly used as a pejorative term to diminish the capabilities of those with certain mental health conditions, and is widely accepted as a term which should not be used in English-speaking parts of the world,” she wrote.
“Needless to say, this does not exactly fit Nintendo’s family friendly image, nor seem an especially appropriate inclusion in a game with a 12 rating (or indeed any game),” Dale concluded.
However, many social media users took offence to the article and hit back at Kotaku, blasting them racism as the song was written by native Japanese speaker Lyn Inaizumi.
Some claimed that the Japanese singer is actually singing “retort it” but pronounced it incorrectly.
“This is pretty racist if you guys….making fun of someone or accusing someone for not being able to speak completely affluent in a different language is messed up,” one Twitter user wrote.
“What’s up with this article? This seems pretty freaking racist…,” wrote another.
“She wrote an article for Kotaku about a Persona 5 song lyric now in Smash U. which she misheard as “Retarded”, when the Japanese singer says “Retort it” in english, not her native language, and there was a quite a backlash to it,” another wrote.
In response, Kotaku released an article titled ‘We Screwed Up With That Persona Lyric’.
“We asked Nintendo both for an official transcription of the lyric, and for an explanation as to why this section of the song is omitted from the official lyric transcription. We’ve now received the following reply: We checked with Atlus who confirmed that the actual lyrics of the song do not include the word “retarded”,” the article reads.
“Frustratingly, this does not clear up the confusion over what the singer is actually saying. But we accept that this article was a mistake.”
Frustratingly, this does not clear up the confusion over what the singer is actually saying.
But we accept that this article was a mistake.
— Evan Hissey (@EvanHissey) April 19, 2019
This is pretty racist if you guys….making fun of someone or accusing someone for not being able to speak completely affluent in a different language is messed up
— imaddynn (@imaddynn) April 18, 2019
She wrote an article for Kotaku about a Persona 5 song lyric now in Smash U. which she misheard as “Retarded”, when the Japanese singer says “Retort it” in english, not her native language, and there was a quite a backlash to it.
— Jamie Charles Ellis (@JamieCharlesEl1) April 19, 2019
This entire thing could’ve been avoided if they had done basic research, but this is Kotaku of course. Controversy = clicks, no matter how fabricated it is.
Also, why didn’t they do this back when Persona 5 first came out? It’s the same damn song.
— KomodoZero (@Komodo_Zero) April 18, 2019