‘Dead By Daylight’ Voice Actor Claims Latest Killer Designed To Mock Their Transgender Identity, Calls For “Reparations”

The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) stares on in its Greenville Cheer costume in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) stares on in its Greenville Cheer costume in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

A transgender voice actress for a monster in Dead By Daylight objected after some considered its cheerleader’s outfit to be transphobic.

The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) looms in the darkness in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) looms in the darkness in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

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On March 12th, Dead by Daylight released their latest DLC pack, ;Chapter 31: All Things Wicked’, which along with a new map and Survivor character, also introduced a new Killer – The Unknown, a monster inspired by urban myths and analog horror, particularly those revolving around supposedly found footage of impossible beings.

A mimic-type creature, The Unknown attempts to tricks its victims into its clutches by emulating the shape and behavior of a regular human being, resulting in its appearance as a twisted mass of skin and limbs twisted around a broken skeleton.

In service of this ‘human emulation’, during gameplay, The Unknown can be heard calling out to its potential victims in both male and female voices

In further service of its attempt at disguise, the creature also appears to steal the clothing of those it kills, as seen in how the monster’s Eyeless Woman and Greenville Cheer cosmetic options drape it in the torn outfits of an older woman and cheerleader, respectively.

This latter cosmetic was notably featured in a newspost published to the Dead By Daylight website prior to the DLC’s official launch.

“Everyone in Greenville remembers the high school cheerleader that had gone missing during a football game,” reads the Greenville Cheer outfit’s official description. “The team quarterback was last seen that same night as well. Could it be a coincidence? Sightings of the missing teen have been reported long since her disappearance by teachers that knew her. Available in two varieties.”

Behaviour Interactive shows concept art for the Greenville Cheer costume for The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) via the official Dead by Daylight website
Archive link Behaviour Interactive shows concept art for the Greenville Cheer costume for The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) via the official Dead by Daylight website

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Of note is the fact The Unknown’s voice changes from male to female depending on its cosmetic, with male clothing making it sound more masculine and female ones having it produce a more feminine voice – both options of which are distorted and broken up as if the creature doesn’t truly understand what it’s saying, or is struggling to do so.

Both of these voices were provided by transgender voice actress, “classically trained and educated singer, performer and songwriter” and “voice feminization” coach Zoey Alexandria.

Sable Ward (Liz Morey) risks lingering in the dark in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
Sable Ward (Liz Morey) risks lingering in the dark in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

In light of both Alexandria’s identity, shortly after The Unknown’s reveal, large swaths of social media came to believe that the warped, disfigured, and ill-fitting appearance of the possible alien/government experiment/ancient evil was meant to be a stereotypical swipe at the appearances of transgender individuals.

“Let me just start off by saying, because I know some players will take this thread uncharitably: I don’t think the devs or designers were intentionally being transphobic when they made these skins, and I understand the concept they were going for” user ChrisPyre wrote to the official forums for Dead By Daylight shortly after the DLC launched. “HOWEVER: The decision to launch the Unknown with femme coded cosmetics was extremely irresponsible, and is already enabling transphobia amongst the more hateful members of the playerbase.”

ChrisPyre expresses concern over The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) being transphobic via Dead By Daylight Official Forum
Archive link ChrisPyre expresses concern over The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) being transphobic via Dead By Daylight Official Forum

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“The cheerleader outfit in particular evokes a rather harmful stereotype of trans women, a masculinized body in feminine clothing that’s depicted as dangerous and grotesque,” they dismayed. “The fact The Unknown happens to be voiced by a trans woman (which otherwise would be a such a great excited piece of trivia) makes the choice to launch with these cosmetics feel particularly egregious.”

“If there were other, more positive pieces of trans rep in DBD this wouldn’t feel like such a blunder. But with all the combined factors, and the political climate that these skins are being released under, I’m really am shocked no one on the team thought that maybe these skins were inappropriate.”

The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) and its hallucination duplicate shamble through an arcade in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) and its hallucination duplicate shamble through an arcade in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

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Sharing an image of The Unknown in its cheerleader outfit, @_rawrell on Twitter exclaimed, “New Dead by Daylight killer is a deformed freak in a skirt [and] voiced by a trаոѕ VA. What in the ever-living H*CK did the devs mean by this?”

_rawrell expresses concerns over the Greenville Cheer costume for The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) via Twitter
Archive Link @_rawrell expresses concerns over the Greenville Cheer costume for The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) via Twitter

While The Unknown appears to have a distended and twisted neck (as does its other limbs), nothing in its lore suggests it had been hung. Slatzism is likely referring to bandied claim (which do have basis in some studies) that nearly half of transgender people under various ages have attempted or committed suicide.

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But perhaps most notable among the outraged was Alexandria themselves.

Addressing their “recent viral watch hanging” in a now-deleted social media post, Alexandria asserted, “I voiced the character ‘the unknown’ in dead by daylight. At the time of voicing, it was a great experience. I was told at the time I was voicing the character that there was no model and that the creature was supposed to be amorphous.”

The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) catches a glimpse of Sable Ward (Liz Morey) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) catches a glimpse of Sable Ward (Liz Morey) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

“They had no model design before I recorded my lines,” she then claimed. “So it’s my assumption that the design team, took my medical history, and my ability to use multiple voices as an opportunity to create character models that encapsulate my medical history as trans, and capitalize on catering to the transphobic community. I was tricked into voicing a stereotype.”

“Since yesterday, I have been virally harassed for being trans, by thousands of people since yesterday,” she added. “Many folks in the trans community are up in arms over this and rightfully so. I feel that reparations from the team that deliberately tricked me is the only logical next choice of action. I am so upset, so infuriated that people are comparing trans-people to these clearly TRANSPHOBIC character skins. If I had any idea of the fallout that would happen after simply voicing a character, I never would have in the first place.”

Sable Ward (Liz Morey) and Mikaela Reid (Adrienne Cowan) run through the woods in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
Sable Ward (Liz Morey) and Mikaela Reid (Adrienne Cowan) run through the woods in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

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“Let me personally apologize to anybody who has been a victim of transphobia due to this release. Please know you are loved. Know that you are valid,” Alexandria reassured. “As for me, I am not okay. This has ruined my reputation, has put me physically at risk for being attacked in public if anybody recognizes my face or voice.”

“There were no diversity consultants on this project,” the voice actress concluded. “The company knew that making a stereotypical ‘man in a dress’ as a character and having a TRANS voice actress voice it, would bring lots of money and people back to the game. I’m not dumb, I know how marketing works. This seems to be a huge ploy and the trans-community along with myself were the victims.”

Zoey Alexandria states her disgust over being deceived by Behaviour Interactive via Twitter
Zoey Alexandria states her disgust over being deceived by Behaviour Interactive via Twitter

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However, after receiving pushback to her accusations – primarily in the form of a Community Note’s post on @_rawrell’s post which explained the mysterious, dual-voiced, appearance-stealing existence of The Unknown – Alexandria would quickly walked back her earlier claims.

Taking to her personal Twitter account, Alexandria backpedaled, “There has been a recent misunderstanding.”

“Anybody that thinks the skins are going away is not in the loop,” she wrote. “Behavior is allegedly aware of the mass transphobic remarks and memes being made, and the gaming community is not a reflection of the game developers. I wasn’t kept in the loop with what the characters final look would be, I was given an ambiguous description for the part, and even though I tried my best to find out more, continually asking for more info, that wasn’t possible.”

Zoey Alexandria clarifies her position over Behaviour Interactive, The Unknown, and Dead By Daylight via Twitter
Archive link Zoey Alexandria clarifies her position over Behaviour Interactive, The Unknown, and Dead By Daylight via Twitter

“This is why I was upset,” she then swore. “The skins themselves were never the issue. Lack of communication was.”

“Please STOP ‘Boycotting’ Behavior,” Alexandria concluded her follow-up post. “They are NOT transphobic, it’s wrong to take bits of info and jump to your own conclusions. Behavior is a good company, and has been nothing but kind and supporting through this tough process of receiving mass harassment for my involvement in the character. Leave. It. A..lo-ne.”

The arcade in the Greenville Square map in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The arcade in the Greenville Square map in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

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Two days after Alexandria’s call for a cease-fire, Behaviour Interactive defended the trangender community against the supposed outpouring of harassment, with a spokesperson telling Pink News “Since our latest Chapter release, folks have taken it upon themselves to divert our work from its original purpose and use our newest Killer to target and harass players. We want to say loudly and unequivocally that this malicious content and attitude is unacceptable and has no place in Dead by Daylight. This community should be a safe place where EVERYONE can find a true sense of belonging.”

A statue in the park of the Greenville Square map in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
A statue in the park of the Greenville Square map in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

“These people have also directly targeted the voice artist behind The Unknown, resulting in her being at the centre of hideous attacks,” The developer continued. “She is highly talented, and we were privileged to collaborate with her. Her voice acting experience is perfect for the character we were designing, which needed a wide range of voice tone and expert-level technique. The reception for The Unknown has been phenomenally positive and this is in big part thanks to her dedication and amazing work.”

“We will continue to express support to our voice actress, to all of our community members as well as standing actively against hate in our game,” Behavior Interactive ultimately defied.

The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) mere inches from Sable Ward (Liz Morey) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) mere inches from Sable Ward (Liz Morey) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

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It should be noted that both Alexandria’s outrage and ‘worst case’ interpretation of her employment with Behavior come across as particularly baffling given their history of LGBT representation within Dead by Daylight.

Not only is survivor David King a gay man, but the game also features two transgender characters as alternative skins – Tubarão from Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and The Birch from the CryptTV YouTube short film of the same name.

Further, the “All Things Wicked Livestream” promoting the DLC also introduced all developers and guests with their name and preferred pronouns.

Sable Ward (Liz Morey) stumbles into the UVX of The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016
Sable Ward (Liz Morey) stumbles into the UVX of The Unknown (Zoey Alexandria) in Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive), 2016

And though not related to the LGBT community, the developer also removed Leatherface’s iconic ability to wear his victims faces after the mechanic was the target of numerous bad-faith blackface allegations in 2022.

With the developer so ready to avoid causing offense, it seems unlikely they would have intentionally insulted Alexandria as she alleged.

David King (Stefan Horvath) shows off the Heartbreaker’s Suit via “Dead by Daylight | VAIN VALENTINE | Collection Trailer”, Dead By Daylight, YouTube
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