Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Borderlands 2  



Borderlands 2's Tiny Tina viewed as racist? [Update]


8:13 PM on 02.04.2013
Borderlands 2's Tiny Tina viewed as racist? [Update] photo



[Update: Mike Sacco no longer works with Cryptozoic Entertainment, seemingly as a result of his discussion over Borderlands 2. At first, Sacco stated, "I'm gonna confirm two things: That people tried to pressure Cryptozoic into firing me, and that I no longer work at Cryptozoic." 

Despite wording that implied Sacco had been fired, Cryptozoic issued a statement to clarify Sacco was a contracted worker, and had been asked not to represent the company with his opinions. According to the company, Sacco then quit, an apparently unexpected move.

"We asked him not represent himself as an employee of Cryptozoic. After the message was delivered, Mike quit. We like Mike and we are as surprised by his reaction as you are."

Sacco has since said he cast Cryptozoic in a more negative light than intended.]

Many critics have slammed Tiny Tina -- a quest-giving NPC in Borderlands 2 -- for being annoying. Until now, few of them have implied she's racist. Last night, however, writer Anthony Burch addressed concerns from players via Twitter after they took umbrage with the way Tina talks. 

Mike Sacco of Cryptozoic Entertainment led the charge, telling Burch, "Hey. I really like BL2's writing, but Tiny Tina's trope of 'white girl talkin' like them urban folk!!' has got to go."

Although Burch first responded with, "Well, it's not going to," he received further criticism. Sacco went to the extreme of calling her "actively racist" as others chimed in. 

"Its exaggerated stereotypical low class 'black' lingo that with Tina amounts to verbal blackface," wrote one player.

"I don't think you meant to make Tina racist but it's a reasonable view IMO. She equates stereotyped ebonics with wacky," suggested another.

Tiny Tina has fans, however, and others leaped to her defense with cries of, "DON'T CHANGE TINA." Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford also jumped into the discussion, standing by his writer and declaring that Anthony Burch was certainly not racist. 

"Tina is not racist because you are not racist," the executive told Burch. "You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion."

Despite the support, Anthony Burch went from dismissing the criticism to opening himself up for it, stating that he may now end up revising the character and her way of speaking, provided he can be convinced her dialog is inherently problematic. 

"The last thing I want to be is exclusionary or prejudiced, so if Tina truly is problematic I’ll change her," he said. "I’m just not convinced that a character using lingo like badonkadonk/crunk is inherently racist. If I’m wrong I would like to know why."

He responded to Kotaku writer Patricia Hernandez to say that he wouldn't update Borderlands 2 to reflect any changes, due to "technical restraints" with the game. Indeed, it would be quite a feat to redo entire portions of a months-old game due to a single Twitter exchange. Any revision to the character would be undertaken in future installments. 

An interesting discussion, but one that leaves out an important factor -- there are white people who talk like this, believing it's how all black people speak. If Tina herself had been black, and using these ludicrous words, it may indeed look entirely racist, but I never took her as a character making fun of the way black people speak. She seemed more to me like a mockery of the way white people speak when they think they're sounding like "cool black people."

That was just my take on it, though, and it's far from the only interpretation. We navigate stormy waters whenever we set sail on the sea of racial comedy, and it's hard to avoid charges of racism whenever you dip your toe in that particular ocean. As we saw recently with Django Unchained, the floodgates are more than willing to open when your fiction touches upon a racial issue, and the utmost care must be taken to ensure your writing is tenable. Burch remains confident his is, but it'll be intriguing to see if anybody can change his mind. 

At least the dialog between Anthony, his supporters, and critics is respectful and enlightening, rather than full of rage and insults. Well ... mostly





Celebrate Borderlands: The Handsome Collection by stocking up on Golden Keys photo


Borderlands 2 lead writer Anthony Burch is leaving Gearbox photo


Gearbox 'ready to start' Borderlands 3, begins hiring process photo


These are the most popular Borderlands characters photo


Don't want to grind for those new Borderlands 2 skins? Just be patient instead photo


Free Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skins coming to Borderlands 2 on Tuesday photo


Borderlands 2 Vita hitting EU a bit later, arriving at the end of May photo


Borderlands 2 Vita to PS3 cross-save functionality coming photo


Borderlands 2 on Vita has co-op capped at two players photo


Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6 photo


Borderlands 2 Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
Borderlands 2



5:30 PM on 03.24.2015
Celebrate Borderlands: The Handsome Collection by stocking up on Golden Keys

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today. One of the major selling points for those who have already played Borderlands 2 and/or Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on last generation hardware is the ability to import save d...more



9:30 AM on 01.30.2015
Borderlands 2 lead writer Anthony Burch is leaving Gearbox

Almost five years ago, Anthony Burch went from being a Destructoid staff member to a Destructoid alumnus, moving on to work as a writer at Gearbox Software. On his personal Twitter account this morning, he announced that he w...more



7:10 PM on 01.25.2015
Gearbox 'ready to start' Borderlands 3, begins hiring process

During the official Borderlands panel at PAX South, Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford confirmed the company was "ready to start" production on a new game in the franchise, later taking to Twitter with an open call to developers l...more



3:45 PM on 01.08.2015
These are the most popular Borderlands characters

Per the official Borderlands Twitter account, Krieg, Claptrap, and Tiny Tina are the series' most popular characters amongst Borderlands fans. There's no clear indication which character received the most votes, but I wager C...more



6:30 PM on 07.16.2014
Don't want to grind for those new Borderlands 2 skins? Just be patient instead

Yesterday, a set of new skins and heads for Borderlands 2 released, featuring the Vault Hunters dressed as characters from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. As it was announced, the customization options would be made available as...more



1:45 PM on 07.14.2014
Free Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skins coming to Borderlands 2 on Tuesday

Over the weekend at GaymerX, Gearbox announced that it would be releasing free Borderlands 2 customization options tomorrow. The idea behind them came from the prolific Borderlands cosplay community, so the Borderlands 2 char...more



8:00 AM on 05.09.2014
Borderlands 2 Vita hitting EU a bit later, arriving at the end of May

For those of you who just picked up your shiny new Vita Slim in North America, you probably found a redemption code for Borderlands 2. Europeans have been enjoying it for about a month or so already, but without the...more



11:30 AM on 05.08.2014
Borderlands 2 Vita to PS3 cross-save functionality coming

For those of you that are lamenting the lack of cross-save functionality in the Vita version of Borderlands 2, fret no more, as an official Gearbox support representative has confirmed the mechanic on its forums. Answer a que...more



6:15 PM on 05.02.2014
Borderlands 2 on Vita has co-op capped at two players

Ever since the announcement of Borderlands 2 on PlayStation Vita, we have been hopeful about Gearbox's first-person shooter lootfest on Sony's handheld. After the first footage of it in action came out, it seemed clear that t...more



4:15 PM on 04.08.2014
Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6

Sony has announced a release date for the Borderlands 2 PlayStation Vita bundle today via PlayStation Blog. The bundle, which marks the first release of the handheld's slimmer hardware redesign in North America, will be avai...more




Borderlands

5:30 PM on 03.24.2015
Celebrate Borderlands: The Handsome Collection by stocking up on Golden Keys

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today. One of the major selling points for those who have already played Borderlands 2 and/or Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on last generation hardware is the ability to import save d...more



4:00 PM on 03.19.2015
Lots of games are morally bankrupt, we get it

With Hotline Miami 2 recently released, I realized I am really, really tired of games that belong in its genre. When I say "genre," I refer not to "action games" or "indie games" or even "violent games," but a subtler, more h...more



8:00 AM on 03.18.2015
Gearbox details process for importing saves into the Borderlands Handsome Collection

When you pick up Borderlands: The Handsome Collection later this month, you'll have the opportunity to transfer your old save file for both included titles. It's actually pretty easy this time around, as all you'll need ...more



View all Borderlands






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more