June is Pride month, a time to celebrate LBGTQIA+ people, self-affirmation, and equality. It’s also, perhaps frustratingly, a cynical period of time where a lot of companies and corporations coopt the meaning and imagery for the furtherance of profit and embrace the moneymaking potential over the people involved. It’s not unusual, then, for a company to somewhat step into some shit when connecting their product to Pride.
Such was the case with the Injustice 2 Mobile game, a thing that surprisingly exists and is even more surprisingly popular, which has been doing events around its various DC characters since the game’s launch in 2017. This time around, players were tasked with defeating femme fatale and bisexual plant woman Poison Ivy 400,000 times in aggregate. Attached to the tweet advertising this event, for some reason, was the hashtag “#Pride”.
This didn’t go great!
A Kotaku story outlined the myriad problems with this, chiefly that it seems mildly antithetical to give your Twitter account a rainbow makeover and then incentivize beating up the game’s most outwardly queer character. The story also brought attention to the weird dynamic between these two things, which prompted the official account to apologize.
— Injustice 2 Mobile (@Injustice2Go) June 4, 2021
This was all probably just a result of people not thinking and merely getting to Poison Ivy in the rotation of event characters while also hitching their wagon to Pride. But it does represent this weird thing where corporations cynically trip over themselves to show allyship but don’t really think about it all that hard. This probably could have, and should have, been 400,000 fights as Poison Ivy and it probably would have worked better.
Regardless, this isn’t a call to raise pitchforks or anything, but rather a hope that companies that seek to invoke Pride in their marketing think deeper about it than not at all.