For the past few days, Wizards of the Coast has come under fire due to the portrayal of the new Hadozee race in Dungeons & Dragon's Spelljammer: Adventures In Space. The Hadozee are humanoid "deck apes" who were made sentient by a wizard, in order to sell them as a slave army. In time, they would come to work for elves as deckhands on ships.
The similarities between the Hadozee and the enslavement of people from Africa, especially the ship-working, is plain to see and has been called out by numerous players. At first, Wizards argued that the Hadozee were inspired by Planet of the Apes, but has now come out with a statement on the Dungeons & Dragons website. Wizards apologised for the racist depictions and mentioned that all offensive content about the race will be removed from digital versions and future reprints of physical ones.
"We wanted to acknowledge and own the inclusion of offensive material within our recent Spelljammer: Adventures in Space content," says the statement. "We failed you, our players and our fans, and we are truly sorry.
"The campaign includes a people called Hadozee which first appeared in 1982. Regrettably, not all portions of the content relating to the Hadozee were properly vetted before appearing in our most recent release. As we continue to learn and grow through every situation, we recognize that to live our values, we have to do better."
It went on to mention that over D&D's 50-year history, there have been characters and races of all kinds – some good, some evil – many of whom have been inspired by real life. However, the creators recognise that this method now needs to change in order to ensure a more inclusive game.
"Effective immediately, we will remove the offensive content about Hadozee in our digital versions – and these will no longer be included in future reprints of the book," continued the statement. "Our priority is to make things right when we make mistakes. In addition, we’ve initiated a thorough internal review of the situation and will take the necessary actions as a result of that review."
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