The following petition went live earlier this weekend:
Wizards of the Coast should remove the disclaimer statement on all of its Legacy products
Wizards of the Coast recently added a disclaimer on all of its "Legacy Products", including all of the previous games published by TSR inc. declaring that those products were supportive of racial, ethnic, and gender-based prejudice and stereotypes. The exact statement is below:
"We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end".
This disclaimer makes a statement of fact argument, and therefore paints all of the writers, editors, artists, and consumers of those products as supporting those prejudices, stereotypes and bigotry. This statement by Wizards of the Coast opens the possibility for the players of these "Legacy Products" to face ridicule, and face the labeling as "bigot", "racists", "misogynist", and worse.
It is with that concern in mind that those that sign this petition request that the disclaimer statement be removed. Secondly, that an apology be issued to the previous employees of the company, or companies that produced those products. Finally, an apology be made to the to the "Legacy Consumers and Players" who have been supporting the Dungeons & Dragons franchise for over 40 years.
Not just the players of those products, but the authors as well.ReplyDelete
We all have trouble with the other, the trick is not to ignore it but to acknowledge it and deal with it.ReplyDelete
I think it's a bullshit place-filler for political correctness. The statement doesn't really say anything, starting right out with that "some" legacy content....."some". Really? One sentence in one Dragon Magazine article from 1981 could fulfill this statement. What it does do, and I think you're alluding to it, is throw the entirety of every product under the political correctness bus because "some" can be easily implied as "all" and could/would be by the SJWs of the world, as well as anyone that already has an axe to grind.....Jack Chick, BADD, etc.ReplyDelete
Ooh, look, more people trying to burn books.ReplyDelete
The Groupthink Mob will NEVER be happy.
When will people get that?
This disclaimer makes a statement of fact argument, and therefore paints all of the writers, editors, artists, and consumers of those products as supporting those prejudices, stereotypes and bigotry. This statement by Wizards of the Coast opens the possibility for the players of these "Legacy Products" to face ridicule, and face the labeling as "bigot", "racists", "misogynist", and worse.ReplyDelete
people are smarter than you give them credit for. They may face these accusations. No one said confronting past prejudices and behaviors was easy. WOTC is correct in what they did.
Honestly, I was surprised that they issued a blanket statement for all the old products, instead of just disclaimers on a case-by-case basis after examining the content of each product. I mean, it's a fact that the original Ravenloft module featured "Gypsies" instead of Vistani, and that Gypsy is now considered a slur against the group of people now known as the Romani. I haven't read the original Oriental Adventures or Al-Qadim settings, but it's possible that there are things in those books that haven't aged well, even if the authors meant well at the time. So I can see a case for disclaimers against some of these products. But this approach seems like a rushed, cowardly corporate decision; and the rushed process only reveals it as an insincere PR move.ReplyDelete
But I still think this reaction is overblown. First of all, the disclaimer, as a CYA move intended to forestall anything else somebody finds to complain about besides Oriental Adventures, doesn't say that all the old books contain stereotypes. It only says they may do so. One of them definitely does, and some others may too. This strikes me as the act of an overly sensitive person who thinks that any flaw in their favorite products is somehow a reflection on them as people.
The problem is what Wizards the Coast is doing isn't going to be enough for some wokescolds on Twitter.Delete
Another point I heard recent from someone I know (who is a minority). They said, "Who died and made some jerk on Twitter the arbiter of what's offensive to me?".
Okay... we all know Frank Mentzer can be an asshole but he's OUR asshole, dammit!ReplyDelete
WotC hasn't made anything new that I want to buy. But I was going to buy their new Greek themed book only to support my local games shop. But I don't want to support WotC for labeling me a racist. And if they think their past products were racist then I can't be guaranteed that I won't be called racist infin 20 years for liking their current stuff.ReplyDelete
so if this gets like 170+ signatures what happens? Hasbro sells millions of books and how many of the people signing this are buying them in the first place? I am not seeing the fifty two and older crowd being their core demographic. People see this as a bunch of people stuck in the past crying out how life is not fair and if anything go and buy these books because its not their dads DnD.ReplyDelete
What do they say is so horrible about earlier editions? What is this "ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice"? I don't remember anything about earlier editions that promoted any such thing.ReplyDelete
It's a fantasy game with fantasy creatures and magic. None of it is based on reality.
The orthodoxy is getting out of hand.
Huh, guess I must be racist too...if Amber_toy says it, it must be true.ReplyDelete
They don't get to speak for the whole D&D community (the gaming community in Islamabad, Pakistan has a DIFFERENT set of triggers and X-Card vetos and RPG Consent Form blanks than yours!), and the Cultural-Marxist Entryists are spreading lies about the gaming scene 30 or 40 years ago in order to gain social power over a hobby they barely know. Why should a 22-year-old girl with a pair of polyhedral-dice earrings and no game-experience (or even life-experience for that matter), and who only ever learned Common Core math and so cannot add two-digit numbers on the fly without taking off her shoes and socks, lecture us about "systemic racism" in the D&D scene without being challenged by eye-witnesses to that history? And yet, by the long-established social channel, she will whine about a non-existent problem, and since she is a high priestess about the non-existent problem, WotC will put her in charge!ReplyDelete
Well said indeed.
This is getting rather tiresome. If one looks hard enough, one will find something that will offend someone at some point. Once the door has been opened, it can never be closed.ReplyDelete
Where do I sign?ReplyDelete
Wow 130 signatures, you'll sure change WOTC's mind, lolReplyDelete
I think that the disclaimer can be there but the wording can be changed a bit to be kinder to the creators.ReplyDelete
You could reword it like this:
"We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website may seem to not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may be interpreted as reflecting ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be disrespectful to the original creators and would also be like erasing the past. The only way we can show progress is to show what we have learned over time. Dungeons & Dragons today teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end".
Just needs to be changed to point out:ReplyDelete
"This is a blanket statement that we have applied to ALL content prior to 5e, as we lack the resources to individually check products. This disclaimer does not indicate that this particular product contains any prejudicial material."
That would help a bit, but when your disclaimer requires a disclaimer, you should really just go back to the drawing board.Delete
We apologize for the disclaimer of the previous disclaimer, the new disclaimer of the disclaimer of the original disclaimer has been completed in an entirely different style and at great expense.Delete
The persons responsible for this disclaimer have been fired.Delete
A moose once bit my sister.Delete
a witch turned me into aduckDelete
..well i got better mind.
Dude, it was a newt, not a duck.Delete
To sign the petition, click the orange text near the top of the page "Wizards of the Coast should remove..." It's hard to notice it's an active link, not just text. I signed. We need to stop this Politically Correct garbage and the totally unjustified character assassination of writers, artists, designers, and players.ReplyDelete
I know I am late to this party, but it all seems like a non-issue to me, by which I mean both (1) the purported racism in the old materials is cheesy but not malicious, and (2) so what if WotC puts in a disclaimer--I do not believe the disclaimer is a big deal--no one reads corporate disclaimers anyway.ReplyDelete
Yeah, my friend had Oriental Adventures back in the day (1980s) he being Japanese/Native Hawaiian, and me being Chinese and Caucasian mix. I don't really remember the details in the book, but I don't recall either of us being offended by it. Honestly D&D does just as much stereotyping and butchery to European myth and history than it does to Asian myth and history, but it was only ever about having fun--it was never about doing justice any cultures'folklore and beliefs.
That said, I don't personally give a flip about the disclaimer, but it would upset me if WotC stopped publishing the old work--that would be a bad thing. By comparison, the Dr. Seuss anti-Chinese book that was pulled from publication was far worse than anything I recall from OA.
Personally what concerns me far more is the Tolkien heritage of race-based good and evil. Yeah they are fantasy races so it is "okay" but it still reinforces the idea that a "race" can be good or evil. The sooner the fantasy genre sheds itself of that simplistic and pernicious idea, the better. The original Morcockian law-chaos continuum was always more compelling and interesting to me anyway.