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Square Enix Responds to Sugiyama’s anti-LGBTQ Comments


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1 hour ago, TriforceBun said:

I feel the reaction to this whole thing is overblown--Sugiyama's an 87 year-old Japanese man expected to conform to 2018 American culture views on homosexuality. He comes from a completely different era of a completely different culture.

Do the people boycotting DQ because of this apply that line of thinking to any artist? Because there's no way that, between all the media one consumes, every work is penned by people who share one's specific views on homosexuality, the environment, gun control, abortion, religion, the death penalty, immigration, health care...

I can enjoy work by anyone regardless of their political views. His view on political policies aside, Sugiyama’s disregard of the Nanking Massacre are very unpopular and uncommon even in Japan.

Regardless, his opinions on homosexuality (or at the very least the ones he was agreeing with on the show) are hardly on a policy level. He quite clearly had a complete disregard for them as people in general. Rights for gays is hardly a political battle in the West. Japan is going through this debate right now, this is topical and relevant to them at the moment.

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7 hours ago, Sumez said:

Fair enough, I think this is mostly a question of semantics, and what you read into "owing somebody". Of course Square Enix do not technically owe anyone anything, and they can do what they want. I'm a proponent of free speech and opponent of censorship.

But when a specific segment covers maybe 5% of their target demographic and potential income, there is obviously good reasons to at least respect those people. Of course the number gets even higher when we are including people sympathizing with those people (and if you can't sympathize with queer folks who get treated unfairly, don't expect me to ever respect you :) ).

Companies know this, as long as they aren't misguided bigots (see recent Papa John's controversy, etc.), so obviously they will not intentionally do anything to step on those people's toes. Moreso however, I'd expect the best in people and assume that they also don't do it because they are decent people. Unfortunately not all are, though.

Basically that's what I read into "owing" a part of your fanbase, in this context.

The usage of the word owe directly implies obligation, which in this context sounds like you were suggesting SQEX was obligated to create content specifically to cater to segments of its "target demographic". And DQ occasionally has camp and flaming characters, but I can't recall anything in particular that was anti-LGBTQ; I can think of one or two American works that are camp without being bigoted.

And Papa John himself isn't a bigot, from what I understand, just an idiot. He dropped the N-bomb as an example in discussion, which was then leaked out to the public. Using the word was incredibly dumb, the word is basically a nuke in political discourse -- Penny Arcade's Tycho Brahe describes it as cultural plutonium -- but he didn't target anyone in particular.

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9 hours ago, TriforceBun said:

Do the people boycotting DQ because of this apply that line of thinking to any artist? Because there's no way that, between all the media one consumes, every work is penned by people who share one's specific views on homosexuality, the environment, gun control, abortion, religion, the death penalty, immigration, health care...

Yes, they do, I see a lot of them on Tumblr. People on there legit think everything should be their way, or no way at all.

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42 minutes ago, Mefista said:

Yes, they do, I see a lot of them on Tumblr. People on there legit think everything should be their way, or no way at all.

That’s not a mindset exclusive to Tumblr. That’s not even a mindset exclusive to the Internet in general. That is a behavior that is exceptionally common among all people regardless of your political views.

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I can enjoy work by anyone regardless of their political views. His view on political policies aside, Sugiyama’s disregard of the Nanking Massacre are very unpopular and uncommon even in Japan.

Regardless, his opinions on homosexuality (or at the very least the ones he was agreeing with on the show) are hardly on a policy level. He quite clearly had a complete disregard for them as people in general. Rights for gays is hardly a political battle in the West. Japan is going through this debate right now, this is topical and relevant to them at the moment.

There are certain lines with me. It goes back to the comics deal. Some things are so bad I feel supporting the work enables the behavior. So I vote with my wallet. If fans choose to do that, then that is their decision. Books and music have on the average 1-5 people working on it. If someone is causing harm to the product, it's easy to cut them out. Movies and games are different. They have tens, even hundreds of staff. So if you want to stick to your guns, that's cool, but you have to weigh is it worth punishing everyone else on that team. On the other side of the card, you have to think about how your actions effects others. If you're spewing a bunch of venom on Twitter - stop! Plenty of creators have beliefs from the right and left that I don't agree with. The line is crossed for me when those people start forcing those beliefs on others.

Sugiyama has been straddling that line for some time. The vast majority does not agree with his stances, but he has a unique position in the DQ hierarchy where he'll always be prominent. If PR has to step in and give an apology, he's becoming a liability. (Actually, should they have? It's mostly blown over, so is it just now coming back from approval?) He's composing fewer original tracks. So much to a point they've been reusing music for far too long. Maybe it's time to make Manami Matsumae the new composer. She did an awesome job with DQ Swords and has had a hand in a number a great soundtracks. Let's propose solutions like that instead of ResetEra's calling for his death.

Quote

And Papa John himself isn't a bigot, from what I understand, just an idiot. He dropped the N-bomb as an example in discussion, which was then leaked out to the public. Using the word was incredibly dumb, the word is basically a nuke in political discourse -- Penny Arcade's Tycho Brahe describes it as cultural plutonium -- but he didn't target anyone in particular.

It was and Tycho's right. It leads into the discussion of the context, is it counterproductive to Voldemort it, and should someone be branded for it. Hell, just look at the Huck Finn debate that's waged for decades!

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13 hours ago, eal said:

I can enjoy work by anyone regardless of their political views. His view on political policies aside, Sugiyama’s disregard of the Nanking Massacre are very unpopular and uncommon even in Japan.

Regardless, his opinions on homosexuality (or at the very least the ones he was agreeing with on the show) are hardly on a policy level. He quite clearly had a complete disregard for them as people in general. Rights for gays is hardly a political battle in the West. Japan is going through this debate right now, this is topical and relevant to them at the moment.

Yeah, the Nanking thing is odd. I wouldn't say that's what's really being addressed lately though. Fair enough on your second point.

Regarding the boycott talk, I fear that the series getting more bad publicity is only going to...well, hurt the series' success in the US. And I doubt it'd have any tangible effect on Sugiyama himself.

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It's only starting to become a liability. It doesn't ping on your average search. Only when you dig deeper into Sugiyama, and most folks won't do that. Somewhat similar to how Dragon Ball is still going strong despite Toriyama being involved with the Paradise Papers tax evasion scandal.

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My feelings:

Me: "Hi, I'm here to pick up my copy of Dragon Quest XI."

Cashier: "Did you know that the games music composer said some nasty anti-LGBT things."

Me: "Why are you poorly reciting the alphabet?"

Cashier: "I mean he made some vile statements about gay and transgender people."

Me: "I wasn't aware of that. Anyway, here's my sixty bucks. Make sure you give me my pre-order bonuses too. They're gonna look great alongside the 150 DQXI collector's edition I have arriving at my house later today!"

 

Edited by redneckpride4ever
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4 minutes ago, redneckpride4ever said:

My feelings:

Me: "Hi, I'm here to pick up my copy of Dragon Quest XI."

Cashier: "Did you know that the games music composer said some nasty anti-LGBT things."

Me: "Why are you poorly reciting the alphabet?"

Cashier: "I mean he made some vile statements about gay and transgender people."

Me: "I wasn't aware of that. Anyway, here's my sixty bucks. Make sure you give me my pre-order bonuses too. They're gonna look great alongside the 150 DQXI collector's edition I have arriving at my house later today!"

 

That’s probably how I would respond if I was in your shoes.

I like Sugiyama’s music. His personal views and actions are his own. I think he writes some damn good music, and happily listen to the symphonic suites again and again.

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5 hours ago, Madesagora said:

I'm a bit surprised people are reacting to this now. Sugiyama's views has been well known for a long time.

I'm new on this forum, but even then in my experience, this is a subject that does come up quite frequently.

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15 hours ago, Sumez said:

I'm new on this forum, but even then in my experience, this is a subject that does come up quite frequently.

I'm fairly new here too and I've hardly seen it. 🤔 Anyway I'm more referring to other places. Not here.

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17 hours ago, Sumez said:

I'm new on this forum, but even then in my experience, this is a subject that does come up quite frequently.

It comes up a lot lately, but up until maybe a year ago nobody knew most of this stuff about him. We love his music but most American fans of JRPGs think of Uematsu, not Sugiyama.

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23 hours ago, Madesagora said:

I'm a bit surprised people are reacting to this now. Sugiyama's views has been well known for a long time.

Well gaming journalism has just caught on.

For me, Sugiyama has always been that annoying relative at Thanksgiving dinner who rambles about dumb crap that you just kinda tolerate.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/10/2018 at 10:56 PM, Fates said:

I made the mistake and read the Resetera thread...

Always a mistake, no matter the subject. Bunch of friggin unhinged lunatics running that asylum. They make the old neogaf they split from look reasonable in comparison. 

As for the actual subject here, I can't speak on it, as I have no idea what he actually said. " negative comments about LGBTQ people " could be anything from "kill all gays and send them to hell" to "marriage should only be between a man and a woman" and I really don't care enough to go searching out more. Certainly not from ResetERA where if you don't want anyone allowed into the country no matter who or where from, REEEEEEEEEEEE,you're a nazi KKK racist, and should be lined up and shot.

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15 hours ago, tbb033 said:

could be anything from "kill all gays and send them to hell" to "marriage should only be between a man and a woman"

Certainly there's a different degree of aggression between the two, but both display an obnoxious amount of embarassing bigotry that deserves no respect or support from anyone.

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17 hours ago, tbb033 said:

As for the actual subject here, I can't speak on it, as I have no idea what he actually said. " negative comments about LGBTQ people " could be anything from "kill all gays and send them to hell" to "marriage should only be between a man and a woman" and I really don't care enough to go searching out more. Certainly not from ResetERA where if you don't want anyone allowed into the country no matter who or where from, REEEEEEEEEEEE,you're a nazi KKK racist, and should be lined up and shot.

https://kotaku.com/politician-made-anti-lgbtq-comments-on-dragon-quest-com-1827885043

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im glad they are not bending over to SJWs non sense. The puff puffs are optional, and female costumes are optional, if you don't like them then don't get them. You are not required to get them, SJWs need to stop crying. 

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Erh, that has nothing to do with Sugiyama's bigoted statements. There's a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge gap between sexy costumes and actively denouncing homosexuals as people with the same rights as others.

I'm not seeing any "SJWs crying" over the former anyway.

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6 hours ago, Sumez said:

Erh, that has nothing to do with Sugiyama's bigoted statements. There's a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge gap between sexy costumes and actively denouncing homosexuals as people with the same rights as others.

I'm not seeing any "SJWs crying" over the former anyway.

There was a review that briefly mentioned being disappointed by bunny girls and puff-puff being in the game but still gave it a good review. I don’t know where the sexy costumes thing comes from though, but they really aren’t optional. Not that it bothers me in particular, but they’re sometimes the best female armor at the time, so it becomes unreasonable not to equip them. Maybe I’m missing something. Are visible costume changes a thing that can be turned off?

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5 hours ago, eal said:

There was a review that briefly mentioned being disappointed by bunny girls and puff-puff being in the game but still gave it a good review. I don’t know where the sexy costumes thing comes from though, but they really aren’t optional. Not that it bothers me in particular, but they’re sometimes the best female armor at the time, so it becomes unreasonable not to equip them. Maybe I’m missing something. Are visible costume changes a thing that can be turned off?

You don't need to get the costumes, or puff puff. IGN needs to fire whoever did this review also.  Anyway Sugiyama isn't going to live for very long anyway, he's like 87 I think. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Hecatomb said:

You don't need to get the costumes, or puff puff. IGN needs to fire whoever did this review also.  Anyway Sugiyama isn't going to live for very long anyway, he's like 87 I think. 

 

Those costumes are your armor. Yes, you need it. Isn’t there a quest that requires costumes too? So you can’t complete the game without them. Why should they fire someone for writing a review? Besides, they gave it a good review.

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No you don't need the sexy costumes, I played through the whole game without them, so stop lying.  You are not required to get them.  The bunny suit is only in a side quest, which you don't even have to do.  He also got a ton of thumbs down for his review, and the comments are nothing but people making fun of him for being a SJW. 

Edited by Hecatomb
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There are quite a few things going on in this thread, so here's my stance.

Sugiyama's war crime denials.   Yeah, it sucks but to be honest it's a far more nuanced topic than people give it credit for.   The Imperial Japanese Army most certainly did some messed up things during the war.  Nanking was absolutely tragic.  But there is certainly reason to suspect that some of the claims are exagerated.  The Chinese government has their own reasons for drumming up anti-Japanese sentiment and Nanking is a go to.  No one knows the exact death count, but the upper estimates (which the Chinese government) likes to cite are most certainly unrealistic.  With that said, Sugiyama isn't that rabid.  Most people that sling this crap around act like he goes around spouting this #$*! all the time.  All he did was contribute money and put his name (amongst several other names) on an editorial.

Sugiyama's Anti-LBTG stance.  Yeah, this one sucks.   Can't really make excuses for it.   I don't know if I'd label Sugiyama as a raging homophobe though.  

Sexy Costumes / Content in DQ.   Oh man...  Dragon Quest's sexualization is so lowkey and I'm baffled by the outrage for it.  I'd argue that it's not so much sexualization, but that Dragon Quest has always been making fun of sexualization more than anything.  Dragon Quest has always used sexuality as a source of humor rather than titilation. 

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1 hour ago, Hecatomb said:

No you don't need the sexy costumes, I played through the whole game without them, so stop lying.  You are not required to get them.  The bunny suit is only in a side quest, which you don't even have to do.  He also got a ton of thumbs down for his review, and the comments are nothing but people making fun of him for being a SJW. 

First, please don’t call me a liar over something as subjective as what armor you equip because I found out about visible armor after I equipped the Dancer’s Costume to Serena because it was the best armor for the right price for me at the time. I also said nothing about them being required. They only put armor in the game if they intend for you to use it, which I have been. I also said the costumes are required for 100% completion of the game, since a quest involves them.

The guy gave it a glowing review and pointed something out to readers that might be bothered by it. The fact that people are so upset about something that innocuous makes me think maybe they’re the ones that need to stop crying about it, not the “SJWs.” Especially if someone’s personal opinion is so upsetting to them. After all, they’re not required to read it, right!

We should all be concerned about our jobs if reactionary insults are enough to justify firing someone.

10 minutes ago, Megalosaro said:

There are quite a few things going on in this thread, so here's my stance.

Sugiyama's war crime denials.   Yeah, it sucks but to be honest it's a far more nuanced topic than people give it credit for.   The Imperial Japanese Army most certainly did some messed up things during the war.  Nanking was absolutely tragic.  But there is certainly reason to suspect that some of the claims are exagerated.  The Chinese government has their own reasons for drumming up anti-Japanese sentiment and Nanking is a go to.  No one knows the exact death count, but the upper estimates (which the Chinese government) likes to cite are most certainly unrealistic.  With that said, Sugiyama isn't that rabid.  Most people that sling this crap around act like he goes around spouting this #$*! all the time.  All he did was contribute money and put his name (amongst several other names) on an editorial.

Sugiyama's Anti-LBTG stance.  Yeah, this one sucks.   Can't really make excuses for it.   I don't know if I'd label Sugiyama as a raging homophobe though.  

Sexy Costumes / Content in DQ.   Oh man...  Dragon Quest's sexualization is so lowkey and I'm baffled by the outrage for it.  I'd argue that it's not so much sexualization, but that Dragon Quest has always been making fun of sexualization more than anything.  Dragon Quest has always used sexuality as a source of humor rather than titilation. 

There is no outrage. A review or two made a point about it and people are upset that they had an opinion on sexualization that was different from theirs and they’ve made it a bigger thing then it ever was.

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