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Borderlands 2 Writer Responds to Tiny Tina Racism Allegations

Posted on February 4, 2013 AT 06:35am

Borderlands 2 writer Anthony Burch has responded to allegations of Racism regarding the way that Tiny Tina speaks and her choice of words.

Tiny Tina is a 13-year-old explosives expert who gives you several quests during the game. Fans took to Twitter to question Tiny Tina’s use of words such as “badonkadonk” and “crunk,” and claimed Burch had opted for “stereotypical low-class black lingo.”

“Have you never met white people who use that kind of language?” Burch responded. “Tina is based on several I know personally.”

“The last thing I want to be is exclusionary or prejudiced,” he continued, “so if Tina truly is problematic I’ll change her. I’m just not convinced that a character using lingo like badonkadonk/crunk is inherently racist. If I’m wrong I would like to know why.”

Tiny Tina’s original dialogue will not be altered in any way as it’s simply not possible due to technical limitations. “[Changing existing dialogue is] not actually feasible within the technical constraints of the game,” Burch said, “but I’d alter her dialogue in any future BL stuff.”

Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford also stepped in with his thoughts, “Tina is not racist because you are not racist,” he told Burch. “You’re a pillar of tolerance and inclusion.”

I’m going to have to file this in the “why now?” category. The game has been out for months and just now people are voicing a problem with how Tiny Tina speaks? I’m pretty sure that just saying a word doesn’t make you a racist. She’s not running around her workshop shouting racist slurs is she? I’m sure Burch wasn’t trying to purposefully insult anyone when he made the choice of how she would sound.

Tiny Tina is my second favorite character in Borderlands 2–behind Handsome Jack–simply because she is insane and her lines are hilarious. I feel that if this was a real issue it would have been brought up within the first few weeks of release. I see this being forgotten about pretty quickly.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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