Like many other game studios, NetherRealm decided to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month with a special event in Injustice 2 Mobile that would run throughout all of June. The challenge to earn themed Pride Month rewards was seen as tone-deaf by some players, as the game tasked its fanbase with defeating Poison Ivy hundreds of thousands of times to unlock prizes. Players can also unlock Batwoman as a playable character if certain goals are met, which further ties into the Pride Month theme as the crime-fighter identifies as a lesbian in the comics.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be seen as controversial as Injustice 2 regularly holds events such as this, but the fact that NetherRealm was motivating players to constantly attack a famously bisexual character from DC Comics to celebrate Pride Month was seen as problematic. The official Injustice 2 Mobile account on Twitter released a statement apologizing for the event.
“We recognize associating our latest Global Challenge with Pride was insensitive and inappropriate,” the game’s account tweeted. “Real-life violence acts against the LGBTQIA+ community and women within that community in particular is all too common and we should actively engage in efforts to end LGBTQIA+ violence, not normalize it.”
In more recent times, Poison Ivy has been in an on and off-again relationship with Harley Quinn, with their romantic pairing even being used as a major character development plot point in Harley’s animated HBO Max series.
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