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"get practising your gobbledygook BK style! A microphone with googly eyes on will be coming your way!"― Playtonic Games on Twitter
Jon Jafari, known by his YouTube channel: "JonTron," was a voice actor for Yooka-Laylee. His channel is mostly video-game-based and is often characterized by its reverence of the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. He was asked on Twitter by Playtonic Games to voice a character for them after giving them a shoutout.
Jon is a YouTuber and Internet celebrity who is known for reviewing video games and movies on his channel, JonTronShow.
Removal from Yooka-Laylee
Jon Jafari engaged in a livestream debate with a Twitch streamer and YouTuber known as Destiny, in which Jontron stated arguably "racist statements". This event sparked throughout the Youtube community, and grew even further after a Youtube news channel 'Scarce' reported on this incident.
After the incident, JonTron made an official statement on an unlisted Youtube video titled "My Statement:" in order to clear up misconceptions many have had about his previous statements.
On March 23rd, 2017, Christopher Dring, senior editor of GamesIndustry.biz reported that Playtonic Games has removed JonTron from Yooka-Laylee in this following statement:
"We recently became aware of comments made by voice artist Jon Jafari after development on Yooka-Laylee had been completed. JonTron is a talented video presenter who we were initially, two years ago, happy to include as a voice contributor in our game. However, in light of his recent personal viewpoints, we have made the decision to remove JonTron's inclusion in the game via a forthcoming content update. We would like to make absolutely clear that we do not endorse or support JonTron's personal viewpoints and that, as an external fan contributor, he does not represent Playtonic in any capacity. Playtonic is a studio that celebrates diversity in all forms and strives to make games that everyone can enjoy. As such, we deeply regret any implied association that could make players feel anything but 100% comfortable in our game worlds, or distract from the incredible goodwill and love shown by our fans and Kickstarter backers."
About 6 hours after the incident, JonTron stated in a Tweet: "Unfortunate to see Playtonic remove me from Yooka Laylee, but I understand their decision. I wish them the best with their launch!"
Destiny, the one who originally debated with JonTron that sparked this incident also tweeted on the same day: "I think @PlaytonicGames is making a massive mistake removing JonTron. I think this only furthers the hostility between differing viewpoints."
As a result of this incident, gaming communities have generated a more negative approach to Yooka-Laylee, some of which have strongly encouraged Kickstarter backers to request a refund of the video game via a chargeback dispute with their bank and credit card company. In spite of this, many agree with (or have simply stood by) Playtonic's decision or have even applauded it.