Mike Pondsmith, creator of Cyberpunk 2020 and consultant on Cyberpunk 2077, has struck out at those claiming content within Cyberpunk 2077 is offensive.
In case you missed it, several individuals online had taken offense to an in-game advertisement within Cyberpunk 2077 (via the Nvidia website, viewer discretion is advised).
It appears to be a transsexual woman with a prominent erection, being used to advertise a soft drink with the tag-line “mix-it up”. This advertisement also appeared at the CD Projekt Red E3 2019 booth.
The grumbling has been rumbling on for a few days online, but Pondsmith finally stepped in to share his thoughts. On a thread on the Cyberpunk 2077 SubReddit, Pondsmith replied to other users discussing the controversy:
“Want to say this just once. I am really tired of well meaning people on internet chat boards paternalistically telling me what I, as a black person, should be offended by. You want to be my ally? Go gird up your loins and at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, have the nerve to tell your racist Uncle Bob to STFU for a change.”
The developers and artists later defended this.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Art Director Kasia Redesiuk (who designed the poster) stated that since adverts typically use sexy people to advertise something – this was an extension of that in a dystopian setting where mega-corporations advertise aggressively.
“You’ll notice many advertisements – for anything, a table, chair, a roof tile – slap a random sexy person on top and say ‘hey, buy this’. This shows the sexploitation of those people, and many of our advertisements feature this sexualisation. We sexualise men, women, and people in between, all to show how terrible this is.
With our advertisements, we want to say something. For instance, there’s an advert for a fashion shop with the Colosseum – this beautiful piece of architecture – which has been taken over and turned into a marketplace. It’s art destroyed for consumerism’s sake.
[…] So yes, we have a person with both breasts and a penis on an advertisement, done on purpose, because it’s terrible to exploit people’s bodies like this. The poster in question is an advert for Chromanticore, a regular cola, one of many fictional drink brands in the game.
We thought this would be a brand which would slap a body on the advert and think nothing of it. It’s a terrible thing to say ‘mix it up’. We’re emulating what a company would say in Cyberpunk 2077.”
The other users continued to discuss the matter. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!