Wizards of the Coast has quietly altered the lore of their new Spelljammer expansion after players accused it for using “anti-black” imagery and tropes.
Specifically, this pertains to the backstory of one of the newly added races with the expansion, called the “Hadozee.”
Wizards of the Coast had previously described them as a race which gained sentience after genetic experimentation done in an attempt to turn them into a slave race.
Aside from the comparisons relating to the slave trade, people took issue (via Polygon) with the character design of the race, claiming it to be appear similar to that of black caricatures of minstrels shows, which has also been referred to blackface in modern times.
In response to this backlash, though done quietly, Wizards of the Coast has changed the lore of the hadozee on D&D Beyond, which is the online platform for resources on D&D.
Now the online database states they became this way as a result of natural evolution, rather than as a result of any attempts to enslave them.
Of course this doesn’t change the physical versions of the Spelljammer expansion which recently released, but it’s likely that future reprints by Wizards of the Coast will use the updated lore instead.
There also doesn’t appear to be any indication of changing the design of the Hadozee either, so it’s unknown if this will do much for those calling the species racist.
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