French game publisher Ubisoft is apologizing to fans after a video showing the opening sequence for Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad showed images of a raised black fist, which critics said was “insensitive” and appeared to connect the Black Lives Matter movement to a fictional terrorist organization in the game.
The game’s opening sequence shows UMBRA, an anarchist group which the narrator explains is taking “advantage of escalating civil unrest” to “generate more chaos and weaken governments.” The black raised fist image was associated with UMBRA.
After the video was uploaded, several fans criticized how the imagery, including the fist, appeared to cast the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist group. One Twitter user who is a senior programmer at Massive Entertainment, a studio owned by Ubisoft, tweeted that the video was “gross and extremely disrespectful.”
Ubisoft said in its apology that the imagery in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad’s opening was “insensitive and harmful in both its inclusion and how it was portrayed.” The publisher promised that the imagery would be removed in the next game’s next update, which is September 1st for Android and “as soon as possible on iOS.”
Since June, Ubisoft has been under scrutiny for its toxic work culture, which allegedly spanned more than a decade. In July, Ubisoft’s CEO announced that the company was making several changes, which included several high-profile staff departures and tying bonuses to team leads based on “their ability to create a positive and inclusive work environment.”