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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"

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,788
I figured the Barret voice clips from the trailer were just from battles or action scenes, hence why he’s yelling. I didn’t get the impression that’s how he always talks.
 
Oct 25, 2017
270
You can still like a character even if they’re portrayed as a huge stereotype. I’m sorry I don’t have time to explain the obvious to you, but I’m replaying the original right now and there’s simply 0 chance the game would release like that today. He’s got good and important things to say, under a layer of bullshit that sounds like a high schooler who never met a black person in real life wrote it.
You mean at the beginning when he's agitated and swearing a lot when cloud is questioning his authority and mellows out tremendously post-Midgar except for the instances where shinra's involved, an obvious trigger? Shit, he talks like someone from a small blue collar town more than anything.
 
Oct 27, 2017
427
Sounds better than fine to me, sounds great.
I was more annoyed last time we heard him and his voice put me more in the mind of Blade than Barrett.
 
Nov 12, 2017
1,536
Buffalo
I wonder how many people in the whole planet are really concerned about this. This sounds like a huge overreaction to me.
i think a lot of people concerned with the representation of black people in media are concerned about it. but why does it matter how many people are concerned with a thing? do you really think that's a good metric for deciding whether or not something is worth your time, thought, and concern?
 
Nov 16, 2017
6,891
Careful there, buddy.

I'm a black FF fan myself, but it isn't right for you to discriminate other races. Everyone has a right to have a say about this subject.
Everyone? How?

Why would anyones opinion on a black characters depiction be relevant I'd they weren't black? They aren't part of the aggrieved party. It's an internal discussion.

For example, do men get to decide what is deemed sexist against women? I would assume you say no. There's no difference here.

A couple have said I'm "discriminatory" but that's a bunch of meritocracy bullshit. If everyone has a say and it went by majority opinion like you wanted, there would never be a voice to black concerns. They'd be downplayed and dismissed 100% of the time.

I feel like the person would also just hand wave different opinions of other black people.
How about call it out when you see it instead of making shit up
 
Aug 3, 2018
357
So I just watched the trailer for the first time. How about we get a little more of an example before anyone gets outraged?

It was two short lines.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,284
Careful there, buddy.

I'm a black FF fan myself, but it isn't right for you to discriminate other races. Everyone has a right to have a say about this subject.
No the opinions weigh different. A bunch of not black people saying it's fine or worse, "how I imagine him", is not cool.

So I just watched the trailer for the first time. How about we get a little more of an example before anyone gets outraged?

It was two short lines.
Like when it's more complete and harder to correct? Lol
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,071
So I just watched the trailer for the first time. How about we get a little more of an example before anyone gets outraged?

It was two short lines.
Who's outraged? People are bringing up a concern based on what we've been shown and the history of the character.

That's how this works.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,016
User Banned (3 Days): Repeated pattern of drive-by posting across a variety of threads
This thread lol.

Just wait for e3.
 
Oct 25, 2017
404
Some people need to reread the OP.

"Not from USA" "Never played FF7" "Not black"

You would need some of this background in order to understand what the OP even meant. No offense meant to anybody. But just because you liked something or you don't see a problem with it, doesn't mean there's no room for improvement, or that there is no reason for concern. Or that concern is outrage. "Being outraged" about other peoples outrage is not necessary. It gets old to see people keep having to remind everybody that "they see no problem". It misses the point.

Some fans just don't want them to lean so hard into the "hyper masculine + black" stereotype that is common enough, and played out. Some of this is referenced in the OP. It's not as damning as some of you want to make it seem.

Who's outraged? People are bringing up a concern based on what we've been shown and the history of the character.

That's how this works.
Posted at the same time as me, but 100% wanna echo this
 
Nov 12, 2017
1,536
Buffalo
Everyone? How?

Why would anyones opinion on a black characters depiction be relevant I'd they weren't black? They aren't part of the aggrieved party. It's an internal discussion.

For example, do men get to decide what is deemed sexist against women? I would assume you say no. There's no difference here.

A couple have said I'm "discriminatory" but that's a bunch of meritocracy bullshit. If everyone has a say and it went by majority opinion like you wanted, there would never be a voice to black concerns. They'd be downplayed and dismissed 100% of the time.
It's important white people recognize and talk about this shit too - not because they know better than black people, but because whites need to recognize their own whiteness, identify their implicit biases (we all have them - pretending is bullshit), and discuss them with others more openly and freely. You can't get rid of racial biases if you aren't talking about them.

So, in my mind, this isn't "deciding what is deemed sexist/racist," this is looking at the content and asking legitimate questions.

I don't quite understand your comment about meritocracies, however, so I'm not sure what you mean. I agree that majority opinions can be incredibly racist, however, so I at least agree that you can't trust the majority opinion about most stuff.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,294
I figured the Barret voice clips from the trailer were just from battles or action scenes, hence why he’s yelling. I didn’t get the impression that’s how he always talks.
This is exactly what I came to post. I just don’t think his voice is really much of an issue. Regardless, I prefer the Japanese VO’s for FF games (when possible), as their English VO choices aren’t ever that good. Regardless, I loved Barrett as a character.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,302
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.
Careful there, buddy.

I'm a black FF fan myself, but it isn't right for you to discriminate other races. Everyone has a right to have a say about this subject.
The fact that you two felt that adding "As a Black man" qualifiers was necessary for your post comes off as dishonest in regards to wanting a genuine discussion with the poster you're responding to. Not that they aren't intellectually dishonest to begin with in regards to this discussion.

1) The poster you are quoting isn't in charge of this thread/isn't the OP of this thread, he's saying in his opinion that Black FF fans opinions are more important to him than other FF fans. He doesn't have the ability to stop other posters from posting in the thread and participating, so no one is being "shut down" here/you're free to post in this thread as you've been doing.

2) There's nothing controversial or discriminatory about saying the opinions of the group of people being discriminated against have more value/weight than other groups not being discriminated against in general.
 
Nov 14, 2017
128
During the beginning of the game this is what he's like. It's on purpose. As you learn more about him, and his story unfolds that's where you get the depth.

At first he's supposed to come off as self righteous and in way over his head.(so he's over compensating with his act) It's over time that he gets development. Cloud's pretty much the same, but with apathy and angst.

What is left to be scene, and where I can understand if there is concern, is if the voice actor has the range to pull that side of Barret out when the time comes. I also hope they didn't pull a DMCV and give this to a white actor.
 

Leviathan

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
802
The fact that you two felt that adding "As a Black man" qualifiers was necessary for your post comes off as dishonest in regards to wanting a genuine discussion with the poster you're responding to. Not that they aren't intellectually dishonest to begin with in regards to this discussion.

1) The poster you are quoting isn't in charge of this thread/isn't the OP of this thread, he's saying in his opinion that Black FF fans opinions are more important to him than other FF fans. He doesn't have the ability to stop other posters from posting in the thread and participating, so no one is being "shut down" here/you're free to post in this thread as you've been doing.

2) There's nothing controversial or discriminatory about saying the opinions of the group of people being discriminated against have more value/weight than other groups not being discriminated against in general.
That's not how I described myself and I qualified my statement because OP made it clear that that specific qualifier was necessary for my opinion to warrant consideration. I wanted them to hear me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
165
Barrett sounds like Sweet Brown with a deep voice. I was cracking up at how embarrassing the shit is. They should get the EN/JP voice actors for Dutch from the Black Lagoon anime.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,071
Outraged is the new uppity. Just wave off legitimate concern and criticism based on the previous localization of FF7.
Yup, exactly this.

I've ALWAYS had issues with Barret's localization, since before I had the ability to put words to why. People don't think it's an issue that a white dude saw Barret and was like, "I'm going to make this dude sound like a shitty Tea Cake." when NONE of that problematic characterization is in the japanese dialogue? Why doesn't anybody else in the game talk like Barret? Nobody in Corel has the same type of syntax or colloquialisms. Dyne, Barret's best friend, doesn't talk at all like Barret. Marlene doesn't talk like Barret. I'd have far less of a problem with Barret's localization if the entire town of Corel spoke in the same way. Then it would, as somebody suggested earlier said, emblematic of a "poor, working class" or something like that. But that's not possible when only one character in the game has these speech patterns.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,071
If fans are already pissed about stiff like this, they will be furious when the final product comes out.
Want to explain what "stuff like this" is?

The representation of black people? Is there something else in the game "like this" that would be problematic? Because I'm super looking forward to the game and don't think I'm worried about anything other than how Barret is represented.

Or is this just a lazy drive-by "outrage culture" post with nothing of substance to speak on?

Ah, we're going to contextualize it like that, huh? Guess I shouldn't like Street Fighter as much as I do considering its use of stereotypes behind character design, then? Should I ignore the obvious Balrog/Tyson parallel or is that too offensive in the modern era? Hell, I'm Arabic and I love the hell outta Rashid and the dude is literally got a stage dedicated to a plane.

But hey, Mr. T's racist now, so what am I to say? This seems like insane exaggeration.
I'm never going to tell another person how they should feel about the representation they're getting. If you like Rashid, that's awesome. There might be other people out there who don't, and that's less awesome, but perfectly valid. I'd rather listen to the why's of both and have that inform my opinion than lash out at something another poster didn't say. For example, Mr. T isn't racist. Nobody ever said Mr. T is racist. Mr. T is his own person who created his persona based on the history of oppression and pride he's got in his heritage. He's an amazing person, and I'd suggest watching some interviews with him like this one:


If Barret talked like this, I'd be super fucking stoked.

I never said you were racist for liking Barret. That's projection on your part and something you need to think on yourself. Balrog/Tyson isn't offensive, but some of the art Capcom puts out for Balrog is stereotypical and offensive. Black representation in Japanese media can be problematic.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
1,869
Localization amirite?


Jokes aside, i think we all gotta give it time still. He has a new VA, we barely heard anything, The VA seems to be sticking close to the English Source material (despite how it was shotty in localization), this is something we all have to see play out and not based off two lines.


Did people forget that even the voice from Advent Children sound nearly identical?!



even in Advent children complete they dove more into it and had Marlene even mimic him, stereotypes and all?


It is still too early to say, but given all we have, the new VA is doing Barret on par with former Barret VA. If that comes with the stereotype, so be it. Barret as much deeper character then some stereotypes make him out to be anyhow. He is one of the characters in FFVII that actually has a ton of character development and evolving beyond the stereotype of being a wannabe mr.T.
Not really having issues with Barrett in these vids...but man, Cid and Cait Sith need some re-thinking for the remake. A redneck astronaut and a Scottish cat just don't make sense, even if it is FF.
 
Mar 29, 2019
315
Everyone? How?

Why would anyones opinion on a black characters depiction be relevant I'd they weren't black? They aren't part of the aggrieved party. It's an internal discussion.

For example, do men get to decide what is deemed sexist against women? I would assume you say no. There's no difference here.

A couple have said I'm "discriminatory" but that's a bunch of meritocracy bullshit. If everyone has a say and it went by majority opinion like you wanted, there would never be a voice to black concerns. They'd be downplayed and dismissed 100% of the time.



How about call it out when you see it instead of making shit up
Looking how you haven't replied to several people who argued against it. There is nothing made up here
 
Feb 17, 2019
61
I don't mind it at all. He sounds exactly like a supposed american gruff dude would sound like. Even sounds way better than the japanese version. I question if anyone is really upset about it or just gets a good chuckle out of it.

I am more offended by new black characters by japanese creators that either fall into the buff, scary black guy archetype or the funny comedic relief character. Funnily enough FF has black characters that fall into each category.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,168
I don't mind it at all. He sounds exactly like a supposed american gruff dude would sound like. Even sounds way better than the japanese version. I question if anyone is really upset about it or just gets a good chuckle out of it.

I am more offended by new black characters by japanese creators that either fall into the buff, scary black guy archetype or the funny comedic relief character. Funnily enough FF has black characters that fall into each category.
Not General Leo from FF6, well until he's killed. Sadly, Sazh was the only tolerable character in FF13 and relatable one as well despite being a stereotype.
 
Nov 13, 2017
360
The voice is whatever to me, it's the lines he's delivering that are important. After learning about the original personality of the character from Tim Rogers' videos, I really hope they bring him closer to the original Japanese script.
 
Jan 10, 2018
345
Eh, I think it's fine. Hard to judge it too much on just a few lines heard out of context, though.
His voice is no worse than any other remake voice we've heard so far.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,189
Austin, TX
To be fair, Barret was clearly inspired by Mr. T in his looks and his text (at least in the translation). It makes sense they'd stick with the theme. They probably should and will alter some of his lines in the new version, but I assume the persona will be largely the same.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
I'd just like a Black character to not be an exaggeration/stereotype.

That would be nice, you know showing a Black person speak like we normally do.
Kiros? Raubahn?

I mean it's sad that there is only two options but the series HAS had representation that isn't offensive. With Barret he was never intended to be a racist stereotype in the japanese version so I find it funny when people keep saying "ORIGINAL GAME" as if the english version was the original lmao
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,155
The localization team has the chance to exceed expectations and go with a more mature, grounded portrayal of it's characters. I would much prefer that over every VA firing on all-anime cylinders throughout the game.
 
Oct 30, 2017
142
Want to explain what "stuff like this" is?

The representation of black people? Is there something else in the game "like this" that would be problematic? Because I'm super looking forward to the game and don't think I'm worried about anything other than how Barret is represented.

Or is this just a lazy drive-by "outrage culture" post with nothing of substance to speak on?
This game has a plenty "like this" things in it that are going to need to be addressed with some thought. Just wait for how they handle Wall Market and the Sauna. Square Enix has their work cut out for them. Personally I don't think that Barrett's voice is bad, but then again I have a feeling I will be cringing through most of the dialogue in this game anyway... If I live long enough to see it actually get a full release.
 
Aug 12, 2018
1,151
Twin Peaks, Washington
One thing I'd like to mention as a Japanese speaker is that while the English script is worse and has the racist localization issues Tim Rodgers mentioned, the Japanese delivery still has stereotypical overtones. This is largely missing in the original game as there is no voice acting, but in Advent Children and this new trailer it is present. You'll notice Barrett's pronunciation and speech pattern is different than the other cast members, and his voice type is typically cast for black characters in Japanese media.

Basically, while Barret's script is less overtly racist in Japanese his delivery is very similar to a Japanese version of his English delivery. You can see the same issue crop up with Sazh in 13.

The fact of the matter is that Japanese media often has deep-seated racial issues with multicultural casts of characters. So it's bad all around. So don't be super quick to support the Japanese voice acting as if it is devoid of issues because they are present there too.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
5,382
The two lines are bad, but one is passable since its in the middle of the fight and the japanese translation is the same. But the Second one "thats easy enough" the phrase and tone of the voice is different than the japanese "lets stick to the plan". Thats a yellow flag to me, i have to hear more, but i dont want the english Barret persona, the japanese one is way cooler and its how he should be, its the original How he was created, i Hope the remake fix the english localisation. This is a point that would make the remake better than the english original.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,974
Miami
Yeah, that's the bad feeling.
Not General Leo from FF6, well until he's killed. Sadly, Sazh was the only tolerable character in FF13 and relatable one as well despite being a stereotype.
I love Sazh, he's probably my favorite RPG character ever despite the really offensive stereotyping going on with his appearance and speech. His scene with Vanille when she reveals her secret is just incredibly powerful.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,894
What gets me is that Barret doesn't even sound like Mr. T.

He sounds like a stormfront poster trying their best to "sound black" for the purpose of mockery.
 
Dec 16, 2017
2,160
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.
I always laugh about this one, because this is almost the same exact complaint about Goku from DBZ in the Japanese version vs the Funimation dub.