As you might recall, Chucklefish has been hard at work on its upcoming DLC for Wargroove. Officially titled Wargroove: Double Trouble, it adds a new story and three new Outlaw Commanders. They include the mighty Wulfar, the trouble-making twins Errol and Orla, and the maleficent Vesper.
Last month, the publisher and developer revealed the voice actors in charge of bringing each of the new commanders to life in the game. Since then, it has issued an apology to the game community for casting white voice actors as non-white characters in the DLC. Here's the full statement (via Twitter):
Hi everybody, first of all we want to thank you for all the feedback in the last 24hours in regards to the voice actor casting in Wargroove. We appreciate everybody who took the time to share their concerns and educate us.
We want to be honest about what happened. During our casting process we knew that we didn't want our own unconscious biases to impact who we hired to work on Wargroove. We took 2 steps to do this: the first was that we had an external casting management team who helped throughout development, and the second was that we handled the auditions blindly. That is to say we made a point of not looking at profiles, back catalogues, headshots etc. and made our decision only using audition audio files sent to us.
We also understand that posting photos of our voice actors beside characters of colour without acknowledgment of the systemic problem of representation in the industry was insensitive and poorly communicated.
We sincerely apologise for the harm we have caused. We will be more sensitive in our future casting decisions and will continue to support the work of all those pushing for better representation of people of colour in the industry.
The voice actors cast as these characters include Eileen Montgomery as Errol, Vivien Taylor as Orla and Jessica Straus as Vesper. Despite issuing the above apology, it sounds as if Chucklefish is sticking with its casting choices, as it ends by stating how it will be more sensitive with "future casting decisions" and will continue to push for better representation.