The Last of Us 2 creator Neil Druckmann has responded to angry players after voice actor Laura Bailey revealed she'd received death threats over her role in the game. The PS4 title has faced backlash since release.
The Last of Us Part 2 released on June 17, and was met with overwhelming praise from critics. However, the Sony title was quickly faced with backlash from players who hated the game's story. It even got review-bombed on Metacritic.
The anger hasn't stopped there, though. Abby's voice actor, Laura Bailey, revealed on Twitter that she'd been getting harassment for her performance. Responding to the threats, Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann addressed those taking things too far.
The Last of Us 2 actor getting death threats
On July 3, veteran voice actor Laura Bailey took to Twitter to reveal that she'd been receiving a flood of harassment for her performance as Abby in The Last of Us Part 2. The artist uploaded images of the types of terrifying comments she'd been sent.
"Man. I try to only post positive stuff on here... but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming. I blacked out some of the words cuz, ya know, spoilers. Thank you to all the people sending me positive messages to balance it out. It means more than I can say," she said in the tweet.
The harassment ranges from users blaming her for ruining the PS4 title, to some of them even rising to the level of violent threats against her family. "I'm going to find where you live, and slaughter you for what you did. Mark my f**king words," one of the heinous messages read.
Man. I try to only post positive stuff on here... but sometimes this just gets a little overwhelming. I blacked out some of the words cuz, ya know, spoilers.
Side note. Thank you to all the people sending me positive messages to balance it out. It means more than I can say.❤️ pic.twitter.com/kGyULWPpNu
— Laura Bailey (@LauraBaileyVO) July 3, 2020
The actor's post quickly went viral on Twitter as many were shocked at the level of toxicity surrounding the game. Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann responded to Bailey's post, calling her "brave" and requesting for the harassers to get help.
"As the people that propagate this kind of hate would say, how stunning and brave! I hope these gamers get the mental help they so clearly need. Unfortunately this is now the cost of making popular entertainment that challenges conventions. Laura doesn’t deserve any of this," he said.
As the people that propagate this kind of hate would say, how stunning and brave! I hope these gamers get the mental help they so clearly need. Unfortunately this is now the cost of making popular entertainment that challenges conventions. Laura doesn’t deserve any of this. ❤️ https://t.co/kHzXddZzIB
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) July 3, 2020
The Last of Us creator then followed that up by responding to another user who argued that the writers of the PS4 title deserved the hate they were getting. "Look, I get it. You lose these fictional characters but they're not real.You do know that, right? Don't be scared of therapy."
Look... I get it. You love these fictional characters... but... they’re not real. You do know that, right?
Guys... don’t be scared of therapy. Think of it like working out for your brain. https://t.co/1emk4kpsih
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) July 4, 2020
Prominent figures from both the games and movie industry responded to the voice actor's post, and condemned those sending threats and harassment. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn replied, "It seems people are confusing fiction with reality in reality AND in fiction. Grow up."
Laura Bailey later responded to the reactions to her tweet, and thanked everyone for the positive messages. "Damn. The amount of encouraging responses to this... I've always believed that good people far outweigh the bad. Thanks for reminding me of that today," she said.
Despite The Last of Us 2's unanimous praise from critics and review publications, the game has been embroiled in controversy since its June release, as some players continue to take out their anger on those involved with it.
Regardless of the backlash, the Naughty Dog sequel has been a smash success for Sony so far. The wildly anticipated title has already sold over four million units, making it the fastest selling PlayStation 4 release to date.