Why Do We Gloss Over Discriminatory, Prejudiced Content In This Industry?

Oddish1

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,371
I'm curious, but would people find it more acceptable if these aspects in Persona 5 were changed in the localization? Like, if Persona 5 came out in Japan people found out about its homophobic content and localizers decided to remove or change it would that make the game less problematic and more enjoyable to play?
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
25,142
Which poll was this?
It was for this.

There were polls for favorite character, confident, etc.

Can’t post the pages because scans but here were the results. Endgame spoilers.
  1. Lala Escargot (159 votes)
  2. Lavenza (158 votes)
  3. Shiho Suzui (146 votes)
  4. Masayoshi Shido (80 votes)
  5. Newspaper Club Member (79 votes)
  6. Suguru Kamoshida (64 votes)
  7. Mr. Hiruta (54 votes)
  8. Young Rocker (24 votes)
  9. Mika (18 votes)
  10. Old Man at the Bathhouse (17 votes)
  11. President Tanaka (17 votes)
  12. Junya Kaneshiro (16 votes)
  13. Ichiryusai Madarame (16 votes)
  14. Real Igor (15 votes)
  15. Scruffy Romantic & Beefy Trendsetter (14 votes)
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
964
I've never played the game, but I've been made aware of its issues with how it treats homosexual characters. So it wasn't glossed over. Good job gaming community and good job OP.

I'm not going to denounce the game and all who've played it. At some point you have to pick your battles if you don't want to go insane.
 

sschol

Member
Oct 27, 2017
455
To be fair I think other industries have the same stuff. Tons of music and movie awards shows reward comparably distasteful works. I agree that we need to have higher standards, but let's not get it in our heads that we're special.
 

Suicide King

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
875
It's really hard to complain about stuff like that without being called an "SJW cuck" or whatever. Usually, people are most interested in games as products, and not really as artistic expressions that warrant more in-depth critique, so a game being 30fps is more of an offense than a game treating women as sexual objects.
 

Isambard

Member
Nov 14, 2017
8
From Waypoint:

Persona 5 Can’t Champion Marginalized Underdogs Without Queer Characters

Even worse, like previous games in the series, Persona 5 has no problem dipping its toes into queerphobia if the game thinks it can get a cheap joke in. During the game's first visit to Shinjuku, two older gay men quickly make advances on Ryuji and talk about who should be with him. When the Phantom Thieves go to the beach, Ryuji is hit on by the same men and chased away, as if a laugh track is to be played after.

At this point it's very clear that the outsiders that Persona 5 props up as heroes are all idealized rebels and nothing more. Queer people are on the outside too, but are represented as predatory and hypersexual at every point they appear. Queer folk in this fictionalized Tokyo are forced to the fringes—the only places society has deemed appropriate—unlike the Phantom Thieves who stay there to steal treasures.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,959
Greater Vancouver
Overseas sales are very much a secondary market to them. The creators were interviewed a while back and were incredulous that there were so many overseas fans because of how Japanese it is.
Usually people loving "how Japanese it is" means they love running around Shibuya, they love the style, they love the setting. It doesn't mean "we love the brazen unapologetic homophobia and Japan's shitty gender politics."
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,435
Iwatodai Dorm
No, not like that - it isn't natural to look up a girls skirt without permission, it's not natural to push a person who doesn't want to to take off their clothes - c'mon is it really that hard to remember that girls are actually people with thoughts and wants of their owns?
You realize that that's the way their relationship has been, right?

Ryuji and Ann has known each other for at least 3 (maybe 4) years before they met Joker. There are a couple of scenes where Ann actually flirts to Ryuji about it (one of them when they go to the beach). Ryuji literally asks Joker not to tell Ann that he finds her attractive despite them being friends since Junior high.
 

MetalBoi

Banned
Dec 21, 2017
3,176
Now that I think about it, another questionable decision was the portrayal of their teacher with what she was doing on the side, and even the doctor, given how the social links can go if you let them.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,959
Greater Vancouver
You realize that that's the way their relationship has been, right?

Ryuji and Ann has known each other for at least 3 (maybe 4) years before they met Joker. There are a couple of scenes where Ann actually jokes with Ryuji about it (one of them when they go to the beach). Ryuji literally asks Joker not to tell Ann that he finds her attractive despite them being friends since Junior high.
You can find your friend to be attractive without being a creep. And the game never gives you an option to smack him upside the head for being as such.
 

rras1994

Member
Nov 4, 2017
3,320
You realize that that's the way their relationship has been, right?

Ryuji and Ann has known each other for at least 4 years before they met Joker. There are a couple of scenes where Ann actually jokes with Ryuji about it (one of them when they go to the beach). Ryuji literally asks Joker not to tell Ann that he finds her attractive despite them being friends since Junior high.
Oh, I forgot the rule that since they knew each other for a long time, it suddenly made it okay - oh, wait no it doesn't. I'll say it again, it's not normal to look up a girls skirt without permission, it's not okay to pressurise someone to take off their clothes when they don't want to.
 

Boney

Member
Oct 28, 2017
349
Santiago
Does Persona 5 have characters that think homosexuals are sexual predators or that's the statement the game is making. They're very different. Do they make you relate to the abusers or the person being abused?

For example, just last year, A Fantastic Woman won a handful of international film festival awards - including an Oscar - and it's about a transexual woman dealing with the sudden death of her boyfriend, while at the same time being harrassed by the boyfriend's family and the other people involved including the police and hospital staff. The movie isn't shy about showing how far people will go to hummiliate someone who they think is a sexual pervert and they never get any sort of retribution for it, but the audience will heavily empathize with the protagonist.
 

Giudecca

Member
Oct 27, 2017
315
Usually people loving "how Japanese it is" means they love running around Shibuya, they love the style, they love the setting. It doesn't mean "we love the brazen unapologetic homophobia and Japan's shitty gender politics."
I mean, yeah, but they understand the futility of barging in to another country's cultural norms and start demanding to conform to Western Ideals. No, homophobia is not part of Japan's culture, but the silence surrounding it and other pressing issues is. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.
 

ultra bawl

User requested ban
Banned
Nov 6, 2017
1,137
"We" don't gloss over it - I love Persona 5 to death and I complain about its handful of queerphobic scenes and its inconsistency towards women repeatedly. I've been moaning about Persona 3 and 4 doing it for years too.

I don't have an issue with Lala though and think she's a step in the right direction. She's just matter-of-factly there and gender non-conforming, and she's shown as having a good head on her shoulders and caring about her patrons.
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
25,142
I will say if they do Persona 5 Crimson that I hope those scenes are removed. There so random, short, and out of nowhere that their weirdly jarring even without the homophobia.
They can be removed and the flow of the cutscenes wouldn’t be affected in the slightest.

I remember the Persona 3 movies got rid of the transphobic bit during the beach scene so I’m hoping some of this is reaching ATLUS.

If nothing else hopefully the new blood for Persona 6 will understand the criticism.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,959
Greater Vancouver
I mean, yeah, but they understand the futility of barging in to another country's cultural norms and start demanding to conform to Western Ideals. No, homophobia is not part of Japan's culture, but the silence surrounding it and other pressing issues is. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.
Not treating sexual harassment of women and harmful homophobic stereotypes as acceptable shouldn't be up for debate, and it doesn't matter what country we're talking about. Like there's no shortage of women's groups in Japan that openly discuss the problems the country faces with how it treats women, and I doubt the gay community in Japan is cool with being treated like child predators.

Like, screw this notion of conforming to the West because they don't like it. Make changes because maybe their female staff doesn't like it. Their wives, their sisters, their daughters... Make changes because maybe they have worked with openly or closeted gay people in the past and this treats them like garbage.
 

Sub Boss

Member
Nov 14, 2017
13,034
Aren't those really minor characters?
Its wrong but i assume most reviewers didn't ever noticed them thus it didn't change their scores.

Does Persona 5 deserve lesser scores because it has a couple of harmful stereotypes or because the story is boring? Im actually surprised the reviews didn't notice the latter.
 
OP
OP
eyeball_kid

eyeball_kid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,645
Does Persona 5 have characters that think homosexuals are sexual predators or that's the statement the game is making. They're very different. Do they make you relate to the abusers or the person being abused?

For example, just last year, A Fantastic Woman won a handful of international film festival awards - including an Oscar - and it's about a transexual woman dealing with the sudden death of her boyfriend, while at the same time being harrassed by the boyfriend's family and the other people involved including the police and hospital staff. The movie isn't shy about showing how far people will go to hummiliate someone who they think is a sexual pervert and they never get any sort of retribution for it, but the audience will heavily empathize with the protagonist.
Both. Persona 5 portrays them as sexual predators and your fellow male party members (including tacitly the silent MC) treat them that way. If you watch the video I linked on the previous page, the game very clearly presents gay men as both comedic and a threat to straight society.
 

Tranqueris

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,634
What does that say about our industry? That we overlook marginalization and demonization of minority groups because we like the rest of the game, or gloss it over because it's our favorite IP?
I mean, yes. There are probably other industries out there that wish they had consumers that could "separate the art from the artist" or make excuses for that kind of bullshit the way that the gaming community does.
 

ultra bawl

User requested ban
Banned
Nov 6, 2017
1,137
Both. Persona 5 portrays them as sexual predators and your fellow male party members (including tacitly the silent MC) treat them that way. If you watch the video I linked on the previous page, the game very clearly presents gay men as both comedic and a threat to straight society.
To be fair, the party treat those men as sexual predators because those men are sexually harassing them. The game presents gay men terribly but I think it avoids the party passing judgment on anyone other than the individuals presented.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,384
Quebec City
Both. Persona 5 portrays them as sexual predators and your fellow male party members (including tacitly the silent MC) treat them that way. If you watch the video I linked on the previous page, the game very clearly presents gay men as both comedic and a threat to straight society.
The two adult characters you are referring too are clearly sexually harassing two teenagers. In another scene they literally try to sexually assault one. The reason the party members treat them like sexual predators is because these particular characters actually are.

That's not to say the series doesn't have actual issues with homosexuality. Not only are the only gay characters present in Persona 5 are most likely sexual offenders, but also Persona 4 treated it like it was some kind of sickness.
 

lauregami

Member
Apr 25, 2018
120
Does Persona 5 have characters that think homosexuals are sexual predators or that's the statement the game is making. They're very different. Do they make you relate to the abusers or the person being abused?

For example, just last year, A Fantastic Woman won a handful of international film festival awards - including an Oscar - and it's about a transexual woman dealing with the sudden death of her boyfriend, while at the same time being harrassed by the boyfriend's family and the other people involved including the police and hospital staff. The movie isn't shy about showing how far people will go to hummiliate someone who they think is a sexual pervert and they never get any sort of retribution for it, but the audience will heavily empathize with the protagonist.
As an aside, you may not know: "Transsexual" is now considered a pretty outdated term; unless you know that someone specifically identifies with the word it's better to use "transgender".

I have neither played P5 nor seen the film you're talking about. You're right in terms of how the camera lens and the eyes of the people creating the movie dictate how certain characters are to be viewed. And it sounds like in the movie you're describing, the camera lens is definitely on the main character's side, and the abuse she endures is portrayed as explicitly bad.

What it sounds like in P5 is that the camera itself, and by proxy the people creating the game, portray the LGBTQ+ characters as punchlines at best and predators at worst. They are seen as something inflicted upon the main characters, and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself that's something that I couldn't take even over the course of a 100+ hour game. Though the Ryuji character's behavior would probably turn me off before that, from how people are describing it.

This is reminding me of how I've been playing through all the old PS2 games I wanted to try but never could when I was younger. I booted up The Warriors, an old Rockstar brawler, and had fun with the game through the tutorial. It looked like a pretty fun conceit, I've never seen the movie on which it was based but the tone was interesting. Then I get control of the Warchief and am instructed to look for the rest of the Warriors. I come across a man in the process of sexually assaulting a woman, pressing her against a dumpster and feeling her up. I'm disgusted, but I'm thinking that maybe the game wants me to beat the hell out of this guy. Unfortunately: he was one of my gang members. I turned off the game immediately.

How far we've come, and how far we have to go.
 
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Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,959
Greater Vancouver
To be fair, the party treat those men as sexual predators because those men are sexually harassing them. The game presents gay men terribly but I think it avoids the party passing judgment on anyone other than the individuals presented.
I mean when you consider Persona 4's treatment of Kanji, regardless of him actually being gay or not, and Yosuke expressing genuine concern that Kanji might molest him in the middle of the night, it's not unfair to say Persona Team in general seems to have a real fucking garbage track-record of how it treats gay people.
 

MsMuerta

Member
Nov 8, 2017
468
At least they could have tried to localize them to make the scenes less harmful - sure, I know they wouldn't have edited out Ryuji and Ren running out, but still.

I mean, I applauded ¿Treehouse? when they changed Soleil's JP supports (that involved her getting roofied until she became heterosexual) to some kind of introspective therapy thing Corrin came up with in FE Fates.
 

Gradon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,388
UK
I'm curious, but would people find it more acceptable if these aspects in Persona 5 were changed in the localization? Like, if Persona 5 came out in Japan people found out about its homophobic content and localizers decided to remove or change it would that make the game less problematic and more enjoyable to play?
I would welcome this with open arms, but we already know how the GameGate types would react to such a thing and I doubt Atlus would want to alienate their rabid fanbase with 'censorship'.

Between this, Persona 3 and 4, and Catherine I literally have no hope for Atlus when it comes to LGBT characters. They can write good ones (Lala and Erica (despite how the game treats her) but that doesn't mean the company won't continue to make a mockery of us.

I hope they get their shit together for the next game but I doubt it.
 

Giudecca

Member
Oct 27, 2017
315
Not treating sexual harassment of women and harmful homophobic stereotypes as acceptable shouldn't be up for debate, and it doesn't matter what country we're talking about. Like there's no shortage of women's groups in Japan that openly discuss the problems the country faces with how it treats women, and I doubt the gay community in Japan is cool with being treated like child predators.

Like, screw this notion of conforming to the West because they don't like it. Make changes because maybe their female staff doesn't like it. Their wives, their sisters, their daughters... Make changes because maybe they have worked with openly or closeted gay people in the past and this treats them like garbage.
I agree with you, but it's up for them to decide, not us.
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,435
Iwatodai Dorm
You can find your friend to be attractive without being a creep. And the game never gives you an option to smack him upside the head for being as such.
Why does that option has to exist? I mean, I get it that you think it's annoying at the very least, but the characters have a weird relationship to begin with. Smacking Ryuji is not an option in the game because that's how their relationship works.

Oh, I forgot the rule that since they knew each other for a long time, it suddenly made it okay - oh, wait no it doesn't. I'll say it again, it's not normal to look up a girls skirt without permission, it's not okay to pressurise someone to take off their clothes when they don't want to.
Dude, nobody said it was acceptable. I said that's how P-Studio presented their relationship: Ryuji likes her and bothers her, Ann flirts with him too. At some point you have to accept that teenagers behave like this even if you don't find it acceptable.

The criticism to that other scene was blown out of proportion too:

Yes, Yusuke asked Ann to pose naked for him BUT, they refused. This is the most important part here, they refused and invaded Madarame's palace.
When they cannot progress further in that palace they come up with a plan: Morgana has to open a door while Ann distracts Yusuke. How does Ann distract Yusuke? She doesn't pose for him, she dresses with layer over layer of clothes expecting to gain time while Morgana unlocks the door. There wasn't any intention to make her pose nude in the first part. That's what people never mention when they criticize this scene and why it was used as comic relief: the plan is stupid... and it works.

In general the criticism to that particular scene is something I don't comprehend: people are arguing here that they made Ann to pose nude for Yusuke, but the reality is that they came up with a silly plan to not make her pose nude for Yusuke.
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
6,931
Anime culture doesn't help to be honest. Of course they would go that low regarding LGBTQ individuals, we are just a joke.
 

PshycoNinja

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,974
Los Angeles
And unlike the OP example, this is a debatable point that you can't reasonably expect everyone to agree on.

So Ann, after being sexually harassed by the first dungeon baddie, vocally saying in many instances throughout the game how she is uncomfortable with what she wears in dungeons and Ryuji doing some sexual harassment of his own later is a-okay and something people can't agree is disgusting? She doesn't like wearing it, she doesn't like to show herself off and yet the game doesn't care. It puts her in suggestive clothing and has her does provocative poses when, for her character especially, is uncalled for.
 
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ultra bawl

User requested ban
Banned
Nov 6, 2017
1,137
This is reminding me of how I've been playing through all the old PS2 games I wanted to try but never could when I was younger. I booted up The Warriors, an old Rockstar brawler, and had fun with the game through the tutorial. It looked like a pretty fun conceit, I've never seen the movie on which it was based but the tone was interesting. Then I get control of the Warchief and am instructed to look for the rest of the Warriors. I come across a man in the process of sexually assaulting a woman, pressing her against a dumpster and feeling her up. I'm disgusted, but I'm thinking that maybe the game wants me to beat the hell out of this guy. Unfortunately: he was one of my gang members. I turned off the game immediately.

How far we've come, and how far we have to go.
I haven't played The Warriors but it's based on a novel and a film where many of the gang members - including those in the titular gang - are meant to be disliked. With the exception of the protagonist (I think), none of them are really painted as heroes. One of them sexually harasses a woman who...

...turns out to be an undercover police officer, and everyone leaves him behind as he's taken into custody.
 

Doukou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,338
I agree with you, but it's up for them to decide, not us.
We can help them, for example Japan just recently started a metoo movement inspired by what happened in the West to deal with sexism and its victim blaming culture. Giving criticism and explaining how something can be hurtful to western audiences is something that can help Atlus learn.
 

Bhonar

Banned
Oct 31, 2017
6,066
A lot of shit in Japanese games gets glossed by the western media because they're huge fans of "the culture" and assume the unsavory parts are just "part of the culture."
Well it's definitely true that Japanese and East Asian (Korean, Chinese) cultures are different than America. That's reality.

Now you are free to hate that culture, and there's nothing wrong with voicing that opinion. Cultures are different across the world, and one person isn't going to like every culture that exists.

But in that same vein, there's nothing wrong with me being fine with East Asian culture. You cannot tell me that I or others are wrong for that. In my case, I'm actually fully Chinese anyway.
 
OP
OP
eyeball_kid

eyeball_kid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,645
To be fair, the party treat those men as sexual predators because those men are sexually harassing them. The game presents gay men terribly but I think it avoids the party passing judgment on anyone other than the individuals presented.
The two adult characters you are referring too are clearly sexually harassing two teenagers. In another scene they literally try to sexually assault one. The reason the party members treat them like sexual predators is because these particular characters actually are.

That's not to say the series doesn't have actual issues with homosexuality. Not only are the only gay characters present in Persona 5 are most likely sexual offenders, but also Persona 4 treated it like it was some kind of sickness.
The writers don't exactly provide us with a view of gay men in any other context. All we get are homophobic representations of them. And in both instances, the tone of the scenes of sexual predation is one of comedy. I think the game is clear about its treatment of gay characters. This is the way gay men were viewed in America in the 1950s. As comic relief and as dangerous deviants. I don't see any shades of grey in P5's presentation of gay characters. And there's not many shades of grey in their treatment of Ann, either.
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,435
Iwatodai Dorm
Both. Persona 5 portrays them as sexual predators and your fellow male party members (including tacitly the silent MC) treat them that way. If you watch the video I linked on the previous page, the game very clearly presents gay men as both comedic and a threat to straight society.

That scene was pretty bad, but the game doesn't present all gay men as a threat to straight society: There's another character that doesn't have that stereotype attached to them and is actually a good charcater that actually becomes your employer.
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
25,142
This is reminding me of how I've been playing through all the old PS2 games I wanted to try but never could when I was younger. I booted up The Warriors, an old Rockstar brawler, and had fun with the game through the tutorial. It looked like a pretty fun conceit, I've never seen the movie on which it was based but the tone was interesting. Then I get control of the Warchief and am instructed to look for the rest of the Warriors. I come across a man in the process of sexually assaulting a woman, pressing her against a dumpster and feeling her up. I'm disgusted, but I'm thinking that maybe the game wants me to beat the hell out of this guy. Unfortunately: he was one of my gang members. I turned off the game immediately.

How far we've come, and how far we have to go.
Not saying you can’t feel this way but I feel like there’s context around this.

The Warriors are a gang. They take protection money, steal, vandalize, and I’m pretty sure they help sell drugs in the game.
Their not really intended to be good people.

Also if the character is the one I’m thinking of he gets some karma at least. At the end he’s arrested when he try’s that crap on an undercover cop.
 

Black_Red

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,632
Those were like 2 30 second (bad) jokes on a 80-100 hour game, I think its understandable that it didnt affect people's opinion on the game.
 

Briarios

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
1,238
If you have a problematic society, the art reflecting that society will also be problematic. It's ridiculous to expect every piece of entertainment to be completely sterile and devoid of controversial material. And -- should it contain some, it's an issue to reduce the whole to just those parts. The proper thing to do is to acknowledge those reflections are issues we have to deal with -- and, actually address those issues head on. If you feel that aspects of Persona 5 are homophobic, make sure you express yourself ... share that, share how it could be better and how things should be improved. But, I don't think it's being glossed over in video games any more than it is in any other storytelling medium ... but, in something like Persona 5, we're literally dealing with multiple cultures and there are bound to be conflicts in how we look at things and how we expect things to be.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,959
Greater Vancouver
Why does that option has to exist? I mean, I get it that you think it's annoying at the very least, but the characters have a weird relationship to begin with. Smacking Ryuji is not an option in the game because that's how their relationship works.
It only "works" because the writers move passed it and never forces him to apologize. She never responds to this shit with a laugh, there's no fun flirtation until maybe the beach scene which is 4 dungeons in. But every time this happens prior, she flips at him and tells him to back off. This doesn't go two ways - it's clearly him directing his gaze at her. Just because the game does this while the soundtrack plays the "goofy fun time song" doesn't make it not gross.

And again, this shit begins immediately after Ann was a target of sexual harassment. Not just by Ryuji, but by the camera too.

If someone is making your friend clearly uncomfortable with shit like that, you tell them to knock it off or leave. It's that simple. You don't pass it off as "Oh he likes to creepily leer at her, despite her disapproval. That's just how our group rolls!"
I agree with you, but it's up for them to decide, not us.
For as long as they still intend on selling this here, we're free to criticize them for it.
 

lauregami

Member
Apr 25, 2018
120
That scene was pretty bad, but the game doesn't present all gay men as a threat to straight society: There's another character that doesn't have that stereotype attached to them and is actually a good charcater that actually becomes your employer.
It doesn't sound like they're saying that they present all gay men as a threat to straight society; it sounds like they are using both portrayals at the same time.

The dissonance is intentional: it's a very common discrimination tactic, to portray the people you are targeting as simultaneously harmless/stupid/bumbling and a cunning threat. That way, the people you are trying to influence dislike your targets in all contexts. It's to intentionally create mistrust. Think about how black people are portrayed by white supremacists: a common image that they employ is the young black man being taken into police custody who, in their mind, claims to have done nothing, even when they have some kind of plot like a shooting or a robbery planned. Think about how when the racists create dialogue for the black person in this image, it is always a gross misrepresentation of how black people actually talk, a "broken" English almost portrayed as a different language in and of itself. Even though we have news story after news story of young innocent black men being gunned down by police, this image holds strong, because white supremacists keep it strong using this form of discrimination. The tactic is to try to get people to disrespect what discriminators construct as a group of people's "face" that hides "evil" intent.
 

Eros

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,427
Yeah if they do a Crimson, I'd like to see some scenes go. The gay men hitting on Ryuji, and Ryuji peeking under Ann's skirt. I believe it was after they saved Ann from Kamoshida, is when Ryuji did the peek. And considering Kamoshida was sexually harassing/abusing the female students, that crosses the line for me. Otherwise I'm "okay" with Ryuji peeking at Ann at times, even if I can also do without it. He finds her attractive, they flirt, and they're teenagers.
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
25,142
So Ann, after being sexually harassed by the first dungeon baddie, vocally saying in many instances throughout the game how she is uncomfortable with what she wears in dungeons and Ryuji doing some sexual harassment of his own later is a-okay and something people can't agree is disgusting. She doesn't like wearing it, she doesn't like to show herself off and yet the game doesn't care. It puts her in suggestive clothing and has her does provocative poses when, for her character especially, is uncalled for.
Ann is more a victim of inconsistent writing IMO.
My draw of it was always that she actually did enjoy her outfit and the Femme fatale role but was embarrassed to admit it.

You can tell by her in battle animations and voice lines that she really gets into the roll. Plus in her confidante she mentions looking up to that kind of character. There also stuff like her playfully brushing off Ryuji’s flirting when they go to the beach.

The problem is they don’t really commit to it so you still have her acting shy and awkward in other scenes. I feel like Ann was two characters in writing that got merged into one and it leads to that awkwardness.

Again another thing I hope they can improve on.
 

Kurdel

Member
Nov 7, 2017
11,777
The writers don't exactly provide us with a view of gay men in any other context. All we get are homophobic representations of them. And in both instances, the tone of the scenes of sexual predation is one of comedy. I think the game is clear about its treatment of gay characters. This is the way gay men were viewed in America in the 1950s. As comic relief and as dangerous deviants. I don't see any shades of grey in P5's presentation of gay characters. And there's not many shades of grey in their treatment of Ann, either.
I wasn't all that hot on the game at that point, and this was the last straw that stopped me from finishing it.

Fuck that game.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,709
I'm not singling Persona 5 out here, but can you imagine a film winning an Oscar in 2017 which treated gay people like predators and jokes?
Given the lengths involved, TV is a closer comparison and I've lost count of the number of popular, award-winning TV comedies that frequently make jokes involving stereotypes of race, religion, and sex. So it seems to me that our society isn't so much entirely against the concept of making these kinds of potentially offensive jokes, but rather that these kinds of jokes need to be handled a certain way. And it's not at all surprising that a game from a very different culture that had (from what I've heard) a rushed localization job didn't handle these jokes well.
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,435
Iwatodai Dorm
User Warned: Making excuses for a pattern of homophobia
It only "works" because the writers move passed it and never forces him to apologize. She never responds to this shit with a laugh, there's no fun flirtation until maybe the beach scene which is 4 dungeons in. But every time this happens prior, she flips at him and tells him to back off. This doesn't go two ways - it's clearly him directing his gaze at her. Just because the game does this while the soundtrack plays the "goofy fun time song" doesn't make it not gross.

And again, this shit begins immediately after Ann was a target of sexual harassment. Not just by Ryuji, but by the camera too.

If someone is making your friend clearly uncomfortable with shit like that, you tell them to knock it off or leave. It's that simple. You don't pass it off as "Oh he likes to creepily leer at her, despite her disapproval. That's just how our group rolls!"
You already answered your own argument, she does. She does it again in her SL, that's how P-Studio wrote them. That's why you don't have the chance to smack him.

It doesn't sound like they're saying that they present all gay men as a threat to straight society; it sounds like they are using both portrayals at the same time.

The dissonance is intentional: it's a very common discrimination tactic, to portray the people you are targeting as simultaneously harmless/stupid/bumbling and a cunning threat. That way, the people you are trying to influence dislike your targets in all contexts. It's to intentionally create mistrust. Think about how black people are portrayed by white supremacists: a common image that they employ is the young black man being taken into police custody who, in their mind, claims to have done nothing, even when they have some kind of plot like a shooting or a robbery planned. Think about how when the racists create dialogue for the black person in this image, it is always a gross misrepresentation of how black people actually talk, a "broken" English almost portrayed as a different language in and of itself. Even though we have news story after news story of young innocent black men being gunned down by police, this image holds strong, because white supremacists keep it strong using this form of discrimination. The tactic is to try to get people to disrespect what discriminators construct as a group of people's "face" that hides "evil" intent.
To me it totally does though:

Does Persona 5 have characters that think homosexuals are sexual predators or that's the statement the game is making. They're very different. Do they make you relate to the abusers or the person being abused?

For example, just last year, A Fantastic Woman won a handful of international film festival awards - including an Oscar - and it's about a transexual woman dealing with the sudden death of her boyfriend, while at the same time being harrassed by the boyfriend's family and the other people involved including the police and hospital staff. The movie isn't shy about showing how far people will go to hummiliate someone who they think is a sexual pervert and they never get any sort of retribution for it, but the audience will heavily empathize with the protagonist.
Both. Persona 5 portrays them as sexual predators and your fellow male party members (including tacitly the silent MC) treat them that way. If you watch the video I linked on the previous page, the game very clearly presents gay men as both comedic and a threat to straight society.
Unless I'm reading something wrong that's how I interpreted that exchange.

Look, I think Hashino (director of P3 to P5 for the people who may not know) is a person who doesn't understand gay people and therefore he includes scenes like those in all his games: it's in P5, it's in P4, P3 and Catherine too. I also think that with him gone we have the chance to get better LGBT characters in Persona, but I also think there are people in here that are actually pushing the idea that particularly this game is actually going out of its way to be homophobic and harmful when that's not the case. In short, "why don't we smack Persona 5 for being homophobic and problematic?" the answer is actually pretty simple: because the scenes described by the OP are just a fraction of a 100 hour game that tried to accomplish another thing.