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The Last of Us Part II director sent ‘transphobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic’ abuse in response to controversial sequel

Lily Wakefield July 6, 2020
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Still from The Last of Us Part II. (YouTube)

The Last of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann has revealed the “transphobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic” abuse he’s been receiving in response to the hugely successful but widely criticised game.

The new game is the eagerly-anticipate sequel to The Last of Us, which was released in 2013 and follows two characters, Joel and Ellie, as they venture across the United States in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

It has already been criticised by gamers in the LGBT+ community for its questionable portrayal of a trans character, which some described as “trauma porn”.

Now, “hateful and violent” abuse has been coming from another direction, as bigoted parts of the gaming community express outrage about a controversial plot twist, and the inclusion of LGBT+ characters (though many appear confused about which of the characters are trans).

The Last of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann opened up on Twitter about the vile messages he has been receiving.

He wrote: “You can love or hate the game and share your thoughts about it. Unfortunately too many of the messages I’ve been getting are vile, hateful, and violent.

“Here are just a handful of them (feel it’s important to expose). Trigger Warning: transphobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc.”

The hateful messages were filled with transphobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs, as well as violent death threats.

Druckmann is not the only one to have received horrific abuse.

Laura Bailey, the voice actress who played controversial new character Abby in the game, also shared vile messages she has been receiving, including some that promised to kill her child and hoped for her parents to get cancer.

She wrote: “Man. I try to only post positive stuff on here… but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming. I blacked out some of the words cuz, ya know, spoilers.

“Side note: Thank you to all the people sending me positive messages to balance it out. It means more than I can say.”

The developers of The Last of Us Part II shared a statement on Twitter in response to the abuse: “Although we welcome critical discussion, we condemn any form of harassment or threats directed towards our team and cast.

“Their safety is our top priority, but we must all work together to root out this type of behavior and maintain a constructive and compassionate discourse.”

Despite the criticism and hate, the game sold four million copies in the first 48 hours, making it the fastest-selling Sony game for PlayStation 4.

More: Abby, abuse, anti-Semitic, homophobic, Laura Bailey, Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us Part II, transphobic

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