In the wake of the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, Wizards of the Coast has announced that they will be “removing a number of images from our database that are racist or culturally offensive” from the Magic: The Gathering database and banned them entirely from competitive play.
These changes were announced on June 10th, with Wizards of the Coast specifically addressing the 1994 card ‘Invoke Prejudice,’ stating that “the card is racist” and asserting that “there’s no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else.”
In a blog post they stated, “Today, we will be changing the multiverse ID and removing the Gatherer card image for the card Invoke Prejudice, originally printed in 1994. The card is racist and made even worse by the multiverse ID it was unfortunately codified with years ago. There’s no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else.”
Invoke Prejudice’s multiverse ID, as referenced in the update, was “unfortunately codified” as 1488 a number which is used as shorthand by white supremacists to reference the infamous and racist “fourteen words” declaration.
Apologizing for the card and admitting that “it should never have been published nor placed in the Gatherer,” Wizards of the Coast asserted that “we should have been better, we can be better, and we will be better.”
The blog post states, “But to that point, it should never have been published nor placed in the Gatherer. And for that we are sorry. The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions. We appreciate everyone helping us to recognize when we fall short. We should have been better, we can be better, and we will be better.”
In support of their commitment to change, Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be “removing a number of images from our database that are racist or culturally offensive.”
This removal will apply to several cards, including:
- Invoke Prejudice
- Stone-Throwing Devils
- Pradesh Gypsies
These cards have since been replaced in the database with an image reading “We have removed this card image from our database due to its racist depiction, text, or combination thereof. Racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place in our games, nor anywhere else.”
These cards will also “be banned in all sanctioned tournament play,” though no official date for their ban has been given.
They concluded the blog post writing, “There’s much more work to be done as we continue to make our games, communities, and company more inclusive. Know that we work every day to be better and that we hear you. We look forward to sharing more of our plans with you as our games and organization evolve.”
In a post to Twitter they also indicated these cards won’t be the last ones to be censored. They wrote, “We are starting a review of every card we have printed. This first pass isn’t meant to be an exhaustive catalogue of every problematic card in Magic’s history, and we will continue to take actions on similar cards in the future.”
We are starting a review of every card we have printed. This first pass isn’t meant to be an exhaustive catalogue of every problematic card in Magic’s history, and we will continue to take actions on similar cards in the future.
— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) June 10, 2020