A major new game faced backlash for using Black Lives Matter imagery
- A new Tom Clancy smartphone game features imagery of protesters alongside raised fists that resemble symbolism for the the Black rights movement in the US.
- The game's intro says the protesters are actually a front for a secret organization named "UMBRA." The group "claim to promote an egalitarian utopia to gain popular support," but are secretly sowing discord.
- People widely criticized the game over the weekend, which forced a response from French publisher Ubisoft.
- "Imagery that appeared in the opening video sequence of 'Tom Clancy's Elite Squad' featuring a 'raised fist' was insensitive and harmful in both its inclusion and how it was portrayed," the company said.
- The game's publisher also pledged to update the game's use of the decades-old protest symbol.
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The use of the raised fist — also known as the Black Power fist, a decades-old protest symbol closely associated with the Black rights movement in the United States — in the intro to "Tom Clancy's Elite Squad" is at the heart of criticisms of the new smartphone game.
In the new smartphone game from French game publisher Ubisoft, an intro video depicts a world "in an alarming state," a narrator says. "Wars, corruption, and poverty have made it more unstable than ever."
Protesters can be seen clashing with police as fires rage, and slogans like "Power to the People!" have been spray painted on billboards and protest signs.
But the imagery becomes more specific as the intro movie continues, with raised Black fists and populist protest movements being depicted as a cover for a group named "UMBRA" which seeks to "build a new world order."
Following criticism of the game's depiction of the raised fist over the weekend, Ubisoft apologized and said it will remove the imagery in an upcoming update.
"Imagery that appeared in the opening video sequence of 'Tom Clancy's Elite Squad' featuring a 'raised fist' was insensitive and harmful in both its inclusion and how it was portrayed," the company said in a message posted to Twitter over the weekend.
"We have listened to and appreciate the players and the broader community who have pointed it out and we apologize," the message said. "This 'raised fist' imagery will be removed in the next title update."
Ubisoft has been rocked by recent allegations of sexual misconduct within the company. A number of executives have left in the wake of the claims, including the company's Vice President of editorial and creative services Tommy Francois.
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