Controversy reared its ugly head again this week, when white American voice actress Laura Bailey confirmed she would be playing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End black antagonist.
Nadine Ross, the character Bailey plays in the game, is a black South African woman who owns her own security company.
When explaining why the choice was made to choose a white actress, Uncharted 4’s Creative Director Neil Druckmann had the following to say:
When we cast this character, we had no final look for the character. We just had kind of who she is, the army she runs, and that she’s from South Africa, so we sent a big casting call to all sorts of agents, including Laura’s agent.
So we brought into audition black actors, white actors, American actors, actors from South Africa, and they were all – not all, some of them were not so good – but a lot of them were really good.
And then Laura walks in and… just kills it. And I’m there with the casting director, with our editor, with my co-writer Josh Scherr and wee were all just floored with how good she was. There was no question in our mind, that’s Nadine.
That combination just felt so right, and we all fell in love with that character… You can’t change anything. This is who this character is. That to me is what’s so awesome about our medium is their outward appearance doesn’t matter at all.
This isn’t the first instance where a white voice actor or actress has played the role of a black person in a game. The Walking Dead’s Clementine (Melissa Hutchinson) was lauded for her voice-work despite not sharing a race with her on screen character.
Do you agree that this is purely an artistic choice or should we be hearing more black voice actors in our video games? Also that South African accent is pretty bad.