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JonTron Dropped As Yooka-Laylee Character Due To Racist Views

Banjo Kazooie.Justin Taylor/Flickr

YouTuber JonTron or Jon Safari has been removed from the list of people affiliated with the game Yooka-Laylee, where he voiced one of the characters. The game by studio Playtonic is a spiritual successor to platformer Banjo Kazooie and has built up quite a bit of hype. The decision to drop Safari came after the popular internet star expressed some racists opinions.

By and large, Safari is one of the most popular video game celebrities on YouTube, with over 3 million subscribers on his channel. That’s nowhere near PewDiePie numbers, but it was enough for Playtonic to approach the YouTuber for a voice acting role on their game. When the studio learned that Safari had rather racist views on Mexicans, he was dropped, GamesIndustry.Biz reports.

In a statement issued by Playtonic to the publication, the studio clarified that it only learned of Safari’s opinions after the game was finished. As a result, once the next update rolls in, his speaking roles will be wiped from the game.

"JonTron is a talented video presenter who we were initially, two years ago, happy to include as a voice contributor in our game,” Playtonic said. “However, in light of his recent personal viewpoints, we have made the decision to remove JonTron's inclusion in the game via a forthcoming content update. We would like to make absolutely clear that we do not endorse or support JonTron's personal viewpoints and that, as an external fan contributor, he does not represent Playtonic in any capacity.”

The move by the studio to distance itself from the now-controversial figure also makes good business sense, Forbes reports, because it can have negative repercussions for the game. It’s well known at this point that many in the video game community hold progressive opinions, almost to the point of mania. If gamers start thinking that Playtonic endorses Safari’s views in any way, their bottom line could suffer.

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