New Overwatch Mei Skin Raises Cultural Appropriation Concerns

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To celebrate the upcoming May Melee Overwatch League tournament, developer Blizzard has dropped a new legendary Mei skin that gives the Overwatch hero an MMA-inspired look. But the change hasn’t been well-received, as the community is torn between loving and hating Mei’s cornrows, with a segment of players citing this as yet another form of cultural appropriation from a big-name studio.

The skin, which is called MM-Mei, sees the Chinese character don a boxer’s robe, “Frost”-emblazoned gloves, and even an MMA-inspired belt. The point of contention, however, is Mei’s hairstyle. In the legendary skin, Mei is wearing cornrows, a type of braided hairdo typically associated with the Black community, often used to tame knots and foster growth.

Players took to Twitter to respond to the skin. Some have demanded the Overwatch team “listen to the black people complaining that you gave her a black hairstyle,” arguing that the skin is shortsighted. Others cited the myriad ways Blizzard could’ve styled Mei’s hair while still evoking an MMA-inspired look, including a buzzcut, twin braids, and various kinds of ponytails.

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Source: Game Spot Mashup