The Pokémon Company has pledged their support for the LGBT+ community after an incident on Twitter.
Chinese developer TiMi Studio Group were asked on Twitter to say “gay rights”.
They’re the developer behind the new Switch MOBA game Pokémon Unite – it’s not made directly by The Pokémon Company or Game Freak, who develop the main line games.
In response to the popular “gay rights” meme, though, the TiMi account replied “why? Rights of heterosexual players are equally important”.
When told their reply was “disappointing”, they responded “go and ask any gay people if they are disappointed by being treated EQUALLY”.
The offensive tweets have since been deleted, but Kotaku acquired screenshots.
TiMi Studio Group tweets. (Twitter/Kotaku)
Following the exchange, the TiMi account has released a response.
“If you happened to see some inappropriate remarks by me, here’s what happened. I meant to say everyone is equal, coz i know how hard we have to fight to achieve it. But I screwed up in the expression. Sorry. I feel really bad for the mistake. Tks so much for reminding.”
If you happened to see some inappropriate remarks by me, here’s what happened. I meant to say everyone is equal, coz i know how hard we have to fight to achieve it. But I screwed up in the expression. Sorry. I feel really bad for the mistake. Tks so much for reminding.
— TiMi Studio Group (@timistudios) August 5, 2021
The Pokémon Company has since responded to Kotaku with their own statement.
“At The Pokémon Company International, we believe in a just and equitable world and that every person, employee, and fan has the unique skills, powers, and purpose to contribute to this common cause. As part of this, we celebrate the humanity of every individual, and fully support the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are the foundations of our culture of belonging, and our core value of Integrity and Respect underlines the importance of treating people with respect and empathy to build an open and trusting environment.
“These statements do not align with our beliefs, culture, or values and are fundamentally wrong. We’re working with our external partner to address the situation.”
This might be as close as we get to Pikachu saying “gay rights”.
The Pokémon Company follow Halo announcer Jeff Steitzer who said “trans rights” in a recent Cameo video.