Wizards of the Coast recently released the (kinda) new Dungeons & Dragons boxed set, “Spelljammmer: Adventures in Space.” “Spelljammers” is a revamp of an original setting from 1982 that allows players to run campaigns in space. This playbook also introduced six new playable races, one of them being the Hadozee.
The Hadozee are a race of flying monkeys who were kidnapped by wizards to experiment on. Once they were magically enhanced, the wizards intended to sell them to the highest bidder. The Hadozee would eventually rise up and kill them. The parallels between their lore and real-world events becomes very clear when you think deeply about it. Monkey has long been a slur and an oppressive term against Black people. The same people who were also taken by ship unwillingly and sold for profit. Not to mention historical atrocities like the Tuskegee experiment where black patients were knowingly denied life-saving medication. It’s all just really horrible.
Wizards of the Coast acknowledged these parallels in their apology. In the same statement, the company explains the oversight.
“Throughout the 50-year history of Dungeons & Dragons, some of the characters in the game have been monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world groups have been and continue to be denigrated. We understand the urgency of changing how we work to better ensure a more inclusive game.”
“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.”Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast promises that, “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. 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.”