Kotaku UK Apologizes for Publishing Joker Slur Article

Kotaku UK has apologized for releasing a Joker article about hearing a slur within the lyrics in a Persona 5 track in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Kotaku UK Apologizes for Publishing Joker Slur Article
The UK division of Kotaku has apologized after publishing an article about Joker titled “Super Smash Brother’s Ultimate’s Persona 5 Includes a Disability Slur.” In it, the writer claims that the lyrics used in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s version of “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There” from Persona 5 used the word “Retarded.”

“if you skip to around 1:48 into the track, you’ll reach a section of the song where words are softly spoken rather than sung,” claims writer/News Editor Laura Kate Dale. “At around 1:58 it appears the term ‘retarded’ is used and followed up by the assertion that ‘I can say it.’ The official lyrics for the song, curiously enough, does not include this spoken word section.”

Many fans were quick to point out that the word in question wasn’t the word “retarded”, but instead the words “retort it.”  After the backlash, Kotaku released the following statement on Twitter:

“A lot of Persona fans are insisting the lyrics are ‘retort it’ or ‘ritardendo’ (a musical term). We’ve listened again and still don’t hear it that way, but thought we’d update to allow that there may be an innocent explanation and we’re simply dealing with an unfortunate sound-alike. We have asked various companies involved with Persona for clarification on these lyrics, and will of course update again with any reply.”


However, as of this writing, the update has not appeared on the article. After further criticism from fans, as well as from the English voices of Ann (Erika Halacher) and Futaba (Erica Linebeck), Kotaku UK released an apology for the Joker slur article titled “We Screwed Up With That Persona Lyric.

The site’s editor, Rich Staton, released the following:

“We contacted Atlus and Nintendo for comment before publication. But we published the article before a response was received and, as the subsequent fallout has shown, that was a mistake. I’m the editor of the site and, ultimately, that means this error was down to me and me alone. . . But we accept that this article was a mistake. Publish in haste, as they say, and repent at leisure. We would like to apologise to Atlus, Nintendo, and the many Persona fans who were angry about this piece. It looks like we got it wrong. We screwed up: sorry.”

Staton also received confirmation from Nintendo (who also confirmed with Atlus) that the word used in the song is not “retarded.” Laura Kate Dale has also issued an apology on Twitter