Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro, the writer and director of Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, has issued an apology to fans for the game’s unintentional mishandling of a transgender character’s identity and has promised to “rewrite” the scenario as soon as possible.
While playing Deadly Premonition 2, players will find themselves once again in the shoes of supernatural detective Francis York Morgan.
During the course of their investigation, players will encounter a transgender character. While drinking at the individual’s bar, Morgan reveals that he knows of their deeper connection to the mystery at hand.
In doing so, Morgan directly addresses the character with their ‘deadname,’ or the name they were given according to their birth gender.
Here’s York deadnaming Lena to her face, in an attempted gotcha DP2 #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/uSvPQbLgix
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) July 12, 2020
Fans considered this instance of seemingly intentional deadnaming to be a direct insult to the character, as at the very beginning of the investigation, Morgan corrects a young woman on the use of male pronouns for the same transgender character and tells her to “respect the gender that the person chose.”
This interaction sparked a massive wave of backlash against the game’s eccentric creator, with reactions ranging from feelings of confusion to accusations of outright bigotry, with many fans drawing comparisons between it and the positive trans representation seen in SWERY’s previous title, The Missing.
In response to this backlash, SWERY took to his personal Twitter account to share a personal message written “by myself with Google-sensei.”
He apologized for the “hurt” he had caused, assuring fans that the offense “wasn’t intentional,” and indicating that the scene will be rewritten “ASAP.”
He wrote on Twitter, “Good morning everyone. I need to tell you about my apologies about DP2. So I wrote message by myself with Google-sensei. Please forgive my poor english skills.”
The apology reads, “Dear DP fans. I would like to tell important message.”
It continues, “I realized by pointed out from friends, I might have hurt transgender people in my scenario. It wasn’t intentional. I am really sorry for that.”
“Some scenes will be sanity checked by a team that included diversity. And I will rewrite that scene ASAP,’ Swery wrote.
He added, “So please continue to support Deadly Premonition.”
Swery concluded, “I’m the one writing the scenario. So the characters are not responsible. My fault. Please don’t hate them.”
He followed that up with a request for people to stop trying to direct message him.
He wrote, “Again. Thank you for message. But, I don’t want to get any message of DM. I’m using DM for only chat with real friends. so please never send me. I’ll block you.”
He also added, “I have no interest in propaganda. Cuz I am just creator and hope to become artist.Human doesn’t have enough skill to change the way others think. So I just do what I think right.”
He added, “We can take a horse to the waterfront, but we can’t control horse and let them drink water by force.”
Deadly Premonition 2 is currently available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.