Halo Infinite studio apologies for ‘offensive and hurtful’ word in Juneteenth cosmetic

Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross Apologizes For Halo Infinite Release (opens in a new tab) Cosmetics commemorating the end of slavery in the United States included a palette with an “offensive and hurtful” name.

The epic nametag is called June 13, named after an American holiday commemorating the end of slavery. But one player quickly noticed that an extra palette was available for the nameplate, named “Bonobo.” Bonobo is a type of great ape, which has clearly racist connotations when used to refer to the day sixteen.

343 quickly renames palette to “Freedom” —YouTuber Sean W (opens in a new tab) said it was the “fastest fix” he had ever seen — and Ross issued a brief but undeserved apology on Twitter.

“We became aware of a color palette option for our June 16 logo that contained an offensive and hurtful term. The team immediately addressed the issue via an update. japan,” she tweeted.

“We’re a studio and franchise committed to inclusion where everyone is welcome and encouraged to be who they really are. On behalf of 343, I apologize for making a memorable moment a reality. painful moment.”

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Ross did not comment on how the name was associated with cosmetics in the first place, but 343 senior community manager John Junyszek said it was a reference to “internal toolkit (opens in a new tab). “An image of the software was posted by a streamer Mint Blitz (opens in a new tab)while Kotaku (opens in a new tab) says it’s a “content editing program” being used at 343; the program was apparently not used to develop Halo Infinite but is widely known and loved by the studio staff.

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

The possibility of the name being used as a thoughtless placeholder seems implausible, but the explanation doesn’t hold water with everyone. For instance, OpTic Gaming player Brad “aPG” Laws pointed out that the name probably went through multiple layers of studio approval, with no establishment flagging it as offensive.

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Some fans in the Halo subreddit (opens in a new tab) expressed similar skepticism, and shared theories on the origin of the name that ranged from an organized conspiracy to simple neglect.

Whatever the reason, Halo Infinite’s creative head Joseph Staten has also apologized for the use of the name, calling it “indefensible”.

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I’ve reached out to Microsoft for more information on the naming of the palette and will update if I get a reply.

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