CD Projekt Red stole the show at E3 2019 this year, showcasing not only a new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer and release date but also Keanu Reeves.
However, not everyone was impressed with the unveiling as the trailer showed an in-game advertisement featuring a transgender model.
The image above was briefly shown during E3 and immediately caused uproar because the model appears to have a penis. Lots of people took to social media to debate whether this is an example of diversity, or if it’s there for commercialism.
On Twitter, one user said: “The argument that this Cyberpunk poster is knowingly poorly representing trans women because ‘commercialism’, only really holds water if there is also really good trans representation in the game that’s not fetishized or used as a scary distopian [sic] prop.”
Another said: “think my biggest issue with the ad in cyberpunk – beside the fetishising and their weird defense of it – is the idea that trans bodies being considered beautiful enough to be used in advertising is dystopian?”
The controversy comes less from the inclusion of trans model, and more from CD Projekt Red’s comments on it.
Speaking to Polygon, Cyberpunk art director Kasia Redesiuk said: “Personally, for me, this person is sexy. I like how this person looks. However, this model is used — their beautiful body is used — for corporate reasons. They are displayed there just as a thing, and that’s the terrible part of it…
“In [the year] 2077, especially with how much body modifications are available, I think people just mix and match however they want, however they feel,” Redesiuk said. “And even society is more open to different kinds of relationships.”
“Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopian future where megacorporations dictate everything. They try to, and successfully, influence people’s lives. They shove products down their throats. They create those very aggressive advertisements that use, and abuse, a lot of people’s needs and instincts. So, hypersexualization is apparent everywhere, and in our ads there are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between.
“This is all to show that [much like in our modern world], hypersexualization in advertisements is just terrible,
“It was a conscious choice on our end to show that in this world — a world where you are a cyberpunk, a person fighting against corporations. That [advertisement] is what you’re fighting against.”
When asked what she would say to anyone who might take offence at the use of the image, Redesiuk said: “I would say it was never the intention to offend anyone,
“However, with this image of an oversexualized person, we did want to show how oversexualization of people is bad. And that’s it.
“I think that sexy bodies are sexy. Full disclosure: I love female bodies. I love male bodies. I love bodies in between. This is who I am. However, I hate it when it’s used commercially. And that’s exactly what we want to show by doing this exactly, by showing how big corporations use people’s bodies against them.”
On Twitter the debate continues.
Featured Image Credit: CD Projekt Red