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[Kotaku] Fans are Concerned about Barret's Voice in Final Fantasy 7 remake. A "hyper-masculine cartoon" and a "Mr. T facsimile"

Mar 12, 2019
204
#52
Barrett needs a full rewrite; his portrayal in the remake seems in line with his English original, unfortunately. Being black myself, I couldn't stand Barrett in the original because he's written like the translator is in high school and only knows black people from blacksploitation movies. He's got an okay arc, but he's not in my party unless he really has to be, and I wish it wasn't that way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,564
#53
I found most of the voices pretty bad tbh but nothing relating to stereotyping. They just sound really poorly delivered. Like every FF outside of 12 really.
 
Oct 27, 2017
11,974
#59
Barrett needs a full rewrite; his portrayal in the remake seems in line with his English original, unfortunately.
Dude we've heard him yell 2 lines, one of which seems to be a battle line. Claiming anything about his remake portrayal is beyond premature. I also thought his Mr. T caricature was embarrassing, but I'm not going to pretend to be able to say anything about how he'll be in this simply because I heard him speak a sum total of 5 seconds
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,174
#60
I'm really unhappy about the recast for his voice from the legend Beau Billingslea, as well as the others like Superman Sephiroth I really hope it's just placeholder voice acting.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,963
Dark Space
#64
Dude we've heard him yell 2 lines, one of which seems to be a battle line. Claiming anything about his remake portrayal is beyond premature. I also thought his Mr. T caricature was embarrassing, but I'm not going to pretend to be able to say anything about how he'll be in this simply because I heard him speak a sum total of 5 seconds
So the first lines we hear are typical stereotypical jive bullshit and we need to wait on the rest of it before forming a preliminary opinion?

He's uhhhh..... you know....
 
Oct 27, 2017
205
#67
User Banned (3 Days): Trolling and vilifying media outlet
Kotaku doing what they do best.

Take whatever is currently popular, create the illusion of racial/gender undertones being present, stir readers up and wait to see if said article gains traction
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,906
#69
I really didn't mind it; however it does give you the usual scruffy/deep voice adult blackk men ususally get portrayed in an anime/videogames. I would say it's too early to judge on how Barret's complete dialogue will sound, I can understand the sentiment of worry from the old FF7 dialogue because it did give off the that at least a Mr. T vibe whch that "Load off yout shoulders" kinda sounded like.


Damn I feel bad for laughing at this....yeah S-E needs to avoid this.
 
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Nov 8, 2017
3,566
#70
It's not really so much his voice as his botched characterization in the original's English translation to being a stereotypical "hyper-tough black dude", whereas in the Japanese version, he was apparently more nuanced.

I also think there's something to be said for the fact that the only two black Final Fantasy characters are also the only ones who use guns.
look not to defend Barrett and Sazh’s designs, but Edward (FF6), Vincent (FF7), Irvine (FF8), Balthier (FF12), Mustadio (FFT), Prompto (FF15)...

You could also count Lightning, who straight up shoots with her gunblade at a distance which differs from FF8 gunblades.

edit: and while there are only two main party playable black characters, there’s Kiros (FF8), Lani (FF9), Dona (FFX)...
 
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Mar 12, 2019
204
#71
Dude we've heard him yell 2 lines, one of which seems to be a battle line. Claiming anything about his remake portrayal is beyond premature. I also thought his Mr. T caricature was embarrassing, but I'm not going to pretend to be able to say anything about how he'll be in this simply because I heard him speak a sum total of 5 seconds
You're right, I can't speak to the script yet, but all you have to do is listen to the way those few lines are spoken to know you've heard it before. It's not a unique line read at all. Hopefully they give him a rewrite from what he had in the western (US?) original.
 
Apr 7, 2019
174
#72
No that line in the OP is not racist, that is absolutely absurd. That reach by whoever wrote that article is embarrassing.
That's why it's 'concerning' - we have two lines, and both are directed to sound exactly like that stereotype. Does that mean it for sure will be that way? No, but it is CONCERNING. hence the title.
I am really confused he sounds like someone speaking i do not hear any sort of caricature in his spoken lines thus far? in a overly dramatic RPG he seems to fit
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,014
#73
When people in the other thread were complaining about Barret supposedly having lighter skin (nonsense, IMO) I said that I’d be more worried about Barret’s writing and voice acting/direction more than anything else and I stand by it.

Also I want the original dorky Cloud from the JP version in the Remake, not stoic super serious emo Cloud from the English version that was made even worse in Advent Children.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
5,382
#74
You're right, I can't speak to the script yet, but all you have to do is listen to the way those few lines are spoken to know you've heard it before. It's not a unique line read at all. Hopefully they give him a rewrite from what he had in the western (US?) original.
i believe all translations are based in the english version and in general they are worse.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,963
Dark Space
#75
I am really confused he sounds like someone speaking i do not hear any sort of caricature in his spoken lines thus far? in a overly dramatic RPG he seems to fit
You have a thread in which black people have posted, many taking issue with the voice acting. Examples have been posted of how and why a problem is seen.

Taking the line of ignorance does nothing.
 
Nov 16, 2017
6,891
#76
Double edged sword.

Speak up now and they tell you its too early, haven't seen enough

Speak later, and they tell you its too late in development, can't change it.


Its easy to see no issues when it's not your representation on the line, I think only Black FF fans have a say here, everyone else kinda irrelevant.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,014
#77
Gita Jackson being really unprofessional here. I didn’t realize this article went up since Friday and on that same day the VA confirmed it wasn’t him, and yet she still hasn’t corrected her false claim that Barret is voiced by Jet from Cowboy Bebop’s VA.

Everybody makes mistakes but there’s no excuse for her to have taken 3 days to add a correction.
 
Oct 25, 2017
958
US, East Coast
#78
I didn’t like Barrett in the original, he came off as an overblown blaxportation parody. He called Cloud a “pencil-necked” something and at points came off so aggressive, he seemed like he would rather fight Cloud than be his companion... so much so, it ruined the game’s immersion.

Then I watched Tim Rogers videos of the mangled translation weeks ago, and it made sense... and found myself wishing I had played the original JP version without the “Mr. T” placed in. So I had hoped they would change this for the remake, but what I heard “I’m hea fo ya... ta help take the loooooad of ya shouldas” sounding like so much black preacher at a family cookout... it didn’t give me much hope.

Oh well, here’s to more “Jibba jabba” and “Jive punk ass bitches” in my epic fantasy games.

/rollseyes
 
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Nov 7, 2017
1,295
#81
Mr.T is an 80s icon... and Barret was clearly a play on him.
Strong, tough, badass.

Is Mr. T, a prominent black celebrity legend, considered a troubling racist caricature now... even if voiced by a person of color?
 
Mar 10, 2019
391
#82
Double edged sword.

Speak up now and they tell you its too early, haven't seen enough

Speak later, and they tell you its too late in development, can't change it.


Its easy to see no issues when it's not your representation on the line, I think only Black FF fans have a say here, everyone else kinda irrelevant.
Yeah. Really disheartening thread.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,998
#83
I was kinda expecting Mr. T to be honest since that's what they seemed to be going for with the original character. I don't know if that's really a problem or if it's just one black character that needs to represent an entire race whereas others have 30+ years of so many characters you need quirks to differentiate them.
 
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Mar 18, 2019
142
#85
Yeah...because he was a racist Mr T stereotype in text form in FF7. That's thye whole point. That's ENTIRELY on the localization. It's 2019 not 1997.

The fact that the Downey Tropic Thunder comparison is spot on is the whole point: It's literally the stereotypical 'gruff black guy' voice that is inherently racially ridiculous. Sounding exactly like a satiric breakdown of the entire trope only works when it's ironic.
Barrett is one of the most complex, three-dimensional characters in the FF series. He's far more than just a stereotype.

But the original English localization did make him sound like a stereotype. In the original Japanese text, Barrett speaks normally. But in the English localization, they decided to make him speak like Mr. T.

One reason why the localization team decided to make him speak like Mr. T is probably he kind of looks like him. It's likely that Tetsuya Nomura had Mr. T in mind when he drew Barrett's character design, since Mr. T was one of the world's most famous black people in the '90s. So the localization team saw his appearance, and decided to go all the way by making him speak like Mr. T as well.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
4,386
2001
#87
Clouds voice sounds different too. Don’t think that’s steve burton in the new trailer. Wonder why they changed actors? Taking too long to bring the product to market and they don’t have time now?
 

Leviathan

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
802
#93
Double edged sword.

Speak up now and they tell you its too early, haven't seen enough

Speak later, and they tell you its too late in development, can't change it.


Its easy to see no issues when it's not your representation on the line, I think only Black FF fans have a say here, everyone else kinda irrelevant.
As a Black FF fan who has apparently been blessed with the right to talk in your thread, I'll ask you to quit embarrassing yourself by ironically shutting out entire races of people. Regardless of whether you think we've earned that authority or you find it cathartic, it has never helped us before and it's not about to now. Not even weighing in on the Gita Jackson business, just asking you to retire that approach so we all look a little less bigoted.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,027
#94
I find it really odd and actually kind of infuriating that this author takes issue with the one or two lines of dialogue we've heard because it "plays into the stereotype" of black men being hulking masses of muscle like it's new. This has always been an issue with 'your dude' Barret's portrayal right down to his actual design and ever since the game released in 1997.

If you take issue with his voice acting for those reasons then you should be taking issue with the character as a whole. Otherwise, to me as a black man, this whole article just feels like a white guy stirring up controversy about issues unrelated to himself that he doesn't actually understand for clicks. Go away with this nonsense.
 
Oct 27, 2017
290
#97
Gita Jackson being really unprofessional here. I didn’t realize this article went up since Friday and on that same day the VA confirmed it wasn’t him, and yet she still hasn’t corrected her false claim that Barret is voiced by Jet from Cowboy Bebop’s VA.

Everybody makes mistakes but there’s no excuse for her to have taken 3 days to add a correction.
Yeah, its pretty disappointing. I sent her a link to Billingslea's tweet a couple days ago in hopes she'd make an edit. But nope.

Idris elba should voice barret. With an american accent. Boom I'm in.
Listening to some Stringer Bell clips with my eyes closed trying to picture Barrett. Interesting.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,638
#98
I find it really odd and actually kind of infuriating that this author takes issue with the one or two lines of dialogue we've heard because it "plays into the stereotype" of black men being hulking masses of muscle like it's new. This has always been an issue with 'your dude' Barret's portrayal right down to his actual design and ever since the game released in 1997.

If you take issue with his voice acting for those reasons then you should be taking issue with the character as a whole. Otherwise, to me as a black man, this whole article just feels like a white guy stirring up controversy about issues unrelated to himself that he doesn't actually understand for clicks. Go away with this nonsense.
It’s impossible for anyone to have initial reactions to his voice? Foh
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,403
Kuwait
Mr.T is an 80s icon... and Barret was clearly a play on him.
Strong, tough, badass.

Is Mr. T, a prominent black celebrity legend, considered a troubling racist caricature now... even if voiced by a person of color?
This, can someone please answer? What's wrong with a character being like Mr.T, i don't understand.