Seizing on a small sample size of tweets supplied by a Japanese website, video game news outlet Kotaku published an article highlighting the few allegations of the white washing of Gym Leader Bea in her latest Pokemon: Twilight Wings anime appearance spinning the minority accusation into a more widespread controversy.

On February 20th, Japanese news aggregator Hachima Kikou reported, as an oddity, that a tiny group of Western fans had taken issue with Bea’s appearance in the latest episode of Pokemon: Twilight Wings, “Training.”

In their article, Hachima Kikou cited seven tweets, noting that these “oversea fans are spotty”:

Kotaku Spreads Handful of Tweets In Attempt to Spark ‘White Washing’ Controversy Around Bea’s Latest Pokemon: Twilight Wings Appearance

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Hachima Kikou would conclude their article by offering up several defenses for Bea’s appearance, such as the fact that Bea is not black but rather deeply tan, that Bea’s darker appearance is seen within a closed Pokemon Gym, and that in Pokemon: Twilight Wings, Bea’s skin is being highlighted by bright sunlight due to training outdoors.

Kotaku Spreads Handful of Tweets In Attempt to Spark ‘White Washing’ Controversy Around Bea’s Latest Pokemon: Twilight Wings Appearance

Left: Bea’s appearance as seen in Pokémon Sword, inside her Gym at Stow-on-Side.
Right: Bea’s appearance as seen in Pokémon: Twilight Wings while training outside.

The same day, Kotaku staff writer Brian Ashcraft brought the nontroversy to widespread Western attention, publishing an article titled “Pokémon Anime Accused Of Whitewashing.”

In the article, Ashcraft discusses the same points made by the Hachima Kikou article, but concludes his article with a comparison image of Bea’s two appearances and stating “Uh…….”, implying in a less than subtle fashion that he agrees with the accusations.

Kit Harrison, the technical QA lead for Jurrassic World Evolution and Elite Dangerous series developer Frontier Developments, offered his support for the accusations, leveling the tired insult of “right-wing gamer chuds” against opponents and condescendingly hoping “future episodes correct this.”

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However, despite Harrison’s assumed moral high ground, his statements proved to be some of the most unpopular concerning the issue:

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Similarly, most audiences who encountered Kotaku’s article saw through the disingenuous representation of Bea’s appearance and criticized the site for seemingly attempting to stir up artificial controversy and discourse: