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Halo Infinite developer apologises for offensive Juneteenth upgrade

Halo Infinite developer apologises for offensive Juneteenth upgrade
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Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has recently apologised after releasing a cosmetic item with a distasteful name in a Juneteenth upgrade.

The offensive item that appeared in the video game was an emblem that included a palette option dubbed "Bonobo," which is the name of an endangered great ape.

Juneteenth is an annual holiday in the US that commemorates June 19th, 1865, when Union soldiers shared the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas. This was two months after the Confederacy surrendered.

It was also about two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved people in the Southern states.

Once 343 became privy to the issue, the studio swiftly updated the palette option name to "Freedom."

Bonnie Ross, the founder and head of 343 Industries, took to her Twitter to address the situation in two posts.

She noted that the team "was made aware" of the option for their Juneteenth emblem and that it had "offensive and hurtful" terminology.

"We are a studio and franchise that is committed to inclusivity where everyone is welcome and supported to be their true self," Ross wrote.

"On behalf of 343, I apologise for making a celebrated moment a hurtful moment."

Despite the apology, people took to the comments of Ross' posts to still question why the name was used in the first place.

One wrote: "I think what people want to know is: why was it called that in the first place? Seems like it was a design choice (I'm sure by one person), but still… that's awful. It HAD to be intentional, right? There's no slang for the word is there that could be misconstrued?"

"My question is this. Who was responsible for naming it, and what is being done other than changing the name? Why can't we trust 343 employees to take their jobs seriously, even when that job is: 'create something to [acknowledge] black history without being racist?'" another added.

A third wrote: "This feels like a perfect example of why diversity in key positions is important. Not saying this still couldn't have happened, but it definitely feels like this could have been caught."

Elsewhere, the studio's senior community manager claimed that the original name referred to an internal toolset, which was not meant to be used to name any content.

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