Dead by Daylight transphobia controversy explained

The Unknown

UPDATE: We received a statement from a Behaviour Interactive Spokesperson about the issue.

“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.

These people have also directly targeted the voice artist behind The Unknown, resulting in her being at the centre of hideous attacks. 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.”

You can find the rest of the article in its original form below:

Over the past few days, there’s been an unfortunate buzz about the latest killer added to Dead by Daylight called “The Unknown”. Due to the character’s design people created their own narrative regarding Behaviour’s choice of voice actress.

The Unknown is a strange creature meant to represent the uncanny human-shaped figures and monsters seen in analog horror such as The Mandela Catalogue where creatures called “Alters” terrorize their victims.

The Mandela Catalogue

The Unknown is an amorphous creature though in-game its represented as some twisted mass of flesh that appears to only be wearing the corpse of its victim, its true form is literally “unknown”. Not only does The Unknown wear the corpses of its victims, it also speaks with their voice; it really is an unsettling thing.

As a corpse-wearing monster, it’s not picky about its victims either and has preyed on both men and women. In order to capture the range of The Unknown while still keeping the voices similar, Dead by Daylight hired professional trained vocalist Zoey Alexandria to voice both the male and female voices of The Unknown. These voices change based on which cosmetics are equipped, with the male voice being stronger with masculine cosmetics, and the female voice louder with feminine cosmetics.

Of course, an agender monstrosity wearing sexually-coded clothing is a recipe for people on Twitter to invent theories and coincidences in a way that fits their world view. What seems to have kicked off the controversy was at least one popular post conflating the monster as a metaphor for being trans.

Dead by Daylight

It’s worth mentioning that The Unknown’s overall body shape doesn’t change regardless of what clothes or whose face it’s wearing, and that the default cosmetics for The Unknown are masculine.

However, shortly after posts like the one above began to spread (at the time of writing it has over 27,000 likes), Alexandria made a post accusing Behaviour Interactive of transphobia. She seemingly repeated the talking point of the post above, mistakenly believing it to be intentional on the part of Behaviour at the time.

Zoey Alexandria Post

Alexandria’s response caught the attention of Dead by Daylight fans who were split on Twitter’s uncharitable interpretation of The Unknown and how Alexandria appeared to have taken it at face value.

Transphobia would be out of character for Dead by Daylight and Behaviour. Dead by Daylight features multiple LGBT+ characters and outside of the game they regularly introduce staff members on video with banners that include their pronouns.

Context was eventually added to the original tweet with a community note, and shortly after Alexandria walked back her original statement accusing Behaviour.

In a now deleted tweet (she deleted her Twitter account shortly after), Alexandria apologizes for her previous accusations and maintains she was irritated that she didn’t get to see the monster’s design during the process.

Zoey Alexandria

Dead by Daylight is available now on Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Android, and iOS. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)

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