Ubisoft has issued an apology after fans found a homophobic slur in some art within The Division 2. As part of the studio’s apology, Ubisoft has since removed the art in question.
A player who was documenting weird and misspelled graffiti in the game spotted the art alongside one of the in-game buildings. The artwork in question features a policeman eating a doughnut with the serial number “FA6607” featured on their badge. For those that may not understand what this means, it’s the common homophobic slur written in “leetspeak,” which replaces letters with similarly shaped numbers.
The offending artwork seems to be an homage a piece of art by Black Flag’s Raymond Pettibon that the band used in the flyer for the song Police Story. The original art shows the same policeman being force fed a gun instead of a doughnut, but the in-game artwork is otherwise remarkably similar.
It should go without saying that the controversy this graffiti has caused revolves around the continued use of a word that has been historically used to mock and disenfranchise queer folk. Unsurprisingly, the developers have elected to remove it.
Ubisoft has released a statement saying “We apologise that this image slipped through our content review processes, and we are currently reviewing them in order to avoid this kind of oversight from occurring in the future.”
Ubisoft did not say anything regarding the original Black Flag art, nor whether or not the team thought that being an homage to it was license enough to use the offending word.
The Division 2 is not the only game to have art assets pulled for being offensive. Last year, PUBG Corp. issued an apology after a helmet bearing the Japanese Rising Sun Flag appeared in Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Many Koreans and Chinese find this offensive due to their countries’ experiences in World War II. Meanwhile, Destiny 2 also had issues with a flag that looked similar to a known hate symbol.