Woke Assassin’s Creed Becomes the Latest DEI Fail

May 22, 2024 Woke Assassin’s Creed Becomes the Latest DEI Fail  image

Key Takeaways

  • Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game added “diversity” to its characters with a black protagonist in feudal Japan, generating eyerolls and sighs.
  • Most Americans believe woke video games are rewriting history without genuine care about inclusion, but as a marketing ploy.
  • Many see the masquerading of "cultural fusion" as a mockery of culture itself, which often leads to reactionary discourse and continued ideological divides.

Our Methodology


All Voters

Sample Size


Geographical Breakdown


Time Period

2 Days

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Ubisoft, the developers of the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise, announced its newest game will feature a black protagonist in feudal Japan. The character, Yasuke, was an African slave brought to Japan by an Italian missionary. He served as a "retainer," which was essentially a servant to samurai. This anachronism for the sake of diversity sparked online debate, reflecting broader cultural, historical, and political tensions. The discourse spans multiple dimensions, including historical accuracy, cultural representation, and the impact of woke ideologies on creative industries like gaming.

Historical Accuracy and Cultural Representation

Criticism of Historical Inaccuracy

Many critics argue having a black protagonist in a feudal Japan setting is historically inaccurate. They contend that such a character would not fit the historical and cultural context of the period, since Japan was relatively isolated and homogenous.

Some emphasize that historical accuracy is essential for maintaining the integrity and immersion of a game set in a specific historical era. They believe bending historical facts for the sake of diversity undermines the educational and experiential value of historical fiction.

Support for Creative Freedom and Representation

Proponents of diversity argue video games are a form of art and should be allowed creative freedom. They posit that incorporating diverse characters can offer new perspectives and enrich storytelling.

Advocates for representation say including a black protagonist can challenge Eurocentric narratives in media and provide visibility for underrepresented groups, despite the game taking place in feudal Japan and not needing European characters.

Woke Ideologies and Cultural Wars

The Woke Right and Leftist Parallels

The rhetoric from the "Woke Right" mirrors that of what they criticize in "leftist loonies." Both sides are seen as being inflexible and dogmatic about their moral and ideological stances.

Some commentators on the right accuse the left of pushing “diversity and inclusion” at the expense of historical realism and traditional values. They believe that such moves are part of a broader cultural agenda that erases historical facts and promotes a progressive ideology.

Virtue Signaling and Corporate Agendas

Critics from both ends of the political spectrum accuse companies like Ubisoft of engaging in virtue signaling. They argue these companies adopt progressive stances not out of genuine commitment to diversity, but to appeal to a broader market and avoid backlash.

This sentiment is reflected in broader critiques of corporate practices that superficially adopt social causes. Many accuse them of failing to address underlying issues and engaging in "performative wokeness." 

Broader Cultural Context

Freedom of Speech and Censorship

The discussions often extend to debates about freedom of speech and the perceived censorship of conservative viewpoints. Some argue pushing back against historically inaccurate representation is a form of preserving free expression and historical truth.

Others counter that encouraging diverse representation is itself an exercise of free speech and creativity, and limiting this in the name of accuracy is a form of censorship.

Polarization and Social Media Discourse

Social media platforms amplify these debates, with many resorting to hyperbolic and inflammatory language. This polarization makes it difficult to have nuanced discussions about the balance between historical accuracy and modern pushes for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The dialogue often devolves into ad hominem attacks and entrenched positions, reflecting broader societal divisions on issues of race, history, and identity politics.

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